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14-403-DAL
Thursday, March 27, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2013

Employment rose in 25 of the 26 largest counties in Texas from September 2012 to September 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2012 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that rates of job growth in three Texas counties ranked in the top 10 nationwide. Fort Bend County’s 6.0-percent job gain led the nation and the Texas counties of Brazos (5.7 percent, 3rd) and Denton (4.9 percent, 8th) also shared in the top 10 ranking. (See table 1.)

Employment nationwide advanced 1.7 percent from September 2012 as 286 of the 334 largest U.S. counties registered increases. As noted, Fort Bend, Texas, recorded the fastest rate of employment growth in the country, up 6.0 percent, while Peoria, Ill., registered the largest decline, down 3.7 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,192,300) in September 2013, followed by Dallas County (1,509,000). Three other counties, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, had employment levels exceeding 600,000. Together, the 26 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013, average weekly wages nationwide increased 1.9 percent to $922. Among large counties in Texas, Gregg County registered the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 4.1 percent, while Brazos recorded the largest decrease, down 1.0 percent. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2013, Harris had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,187 and Cameron had the lowest at $587.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 228 counties in Texas with employment levels below 75,000 in 2012. Among these smaller counties, 89 percent (202) had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2013. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Fourteen of Texas’s 26 large counties recorded wage growth above the 1.9-percent national increase from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013. Gregg County’s 4.1-percent wage increase was the highest in the state and placed 15th in the national ranking. (See table 1.) Four additional Texas counties registered wage growth ranking in the top 50 nationally: Fort Bend (3.6 percent, 29th); Midland (3.5 percent, 31st); and Brazoria and Montgomery (3.4 percent each, tied 37th). In contrast, average weekly wages fell in Brazos and Webb Counties, decreasing 1.0 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Among the 334 largest U.S. counties, 291 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest increase with a gain of 9.9 percent. Dane, Wis., was second with wage growth of 9.3 percent, followed by Collier, Fla. (8.0 percent). Wage decreases were recorded in 40 large counties nationwide; Pinellas, Fla., experienced the largest over-the-year wage loss at 4.3 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 26 large Texas counties were at least 10 percent above the national average of $922 per week in the third quarter of 2013. Harris County led at $1,187 per week and ranked 20th among the 334 large counties nationwide. Harris was followed by Midland ($1,148, 25th), Dallas ($1,115, 33rd), Collin ($1,070, 43rd), and Travis ($1,028, 53rd). Two additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Fort Bend ($969, 75th), and Williamson ($928, 96th).

Texas had 4 of the 11 lowest-paying large counties in the United States, all located along the border with Mexico. These included Cameron ($587, 333rd), Hidalgo ($595, 332nd), Webb ($636, 330th) and El Paso ($666, 324th). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included Brazos ($711, 314th), Lubbock ($736, 296th), and McLennan ($748, 284th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 101 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $1,868. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,698, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,667), Washington, D.C. ($1,560), and San Francisco, Calif. ($1,549).

Of the largest counties in the United States, 232, or more than two-thirds, reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2013. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C., at $564 per week. Pasco, Fla. ($635), joined the Texas counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Webb among the bottom five. Wages in these five lowest-ranked counties were about one-third or less of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Twenty-six of the 228 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $922. Two of these smaller counties had wages that not only exceeded $1,000 per week, but were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,336), and Shackelford ($1,229). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $373 in the third quarter of 2013. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 33 had wages below the national average. Thirty-eight reported average weekly wages under $600, 78 registered wages from $600 to $699, 58 had wages from $700 to $799, 40 had wages from $800 to $899, and 40 had wages of $900 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest wages were generally concentrated around the metropolitan areas of Austin, Amarillo, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, and Odessa. Lower paying counties were generally located in the agricultural areas of central Texas and the Texas Panhandle, as well as along the Texas-Mexico border.

Additional Statistics and Other Information

QCEW data for states have been included in this release in table 3. For additional information about quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note or visit www.bls.gov/cew.

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2012 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2013 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2014.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.


Technical Note

Average weekly wage data by county are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, also known as the ES-202 program. The data are derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) legislation and provided by State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The 9.3 million employer reports cover 135.0 million full- and part-time workers. The average weekly wage values are calculated by dividing quarterly total wages by the average of the three monthly employment levels of those covered by UI programs. The result is then divided by 13, the number of weeks in a quarter. It is to be noted, therefore, that over-the-year wage changes for geographic areas may reflect shifts in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and such other factors as hours of work. Thus, wages may vary among counties, metropolitan areas, or states for reasons other than changes in the average wage level. Data for all states, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), counties, and the nation are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/; however, data in QCEW press releases have been revised (see Technical Note below) and may not match the data contained on the Bureau’s Web site.

QCEW data are not designed as a time series. QCEW data are simply the sums of individual establishment records reflecting the number of establishments that exist in a county or industry at a point in time. Establishments can move in or out of a county or industry for a number of reasons–some reflecting economic events, others reflecting administrative changes.

The preliminary QCEW data presented in this release may differ from data released by the individual states as well as from the data presented on the BLS Web site. These potential differences result from the states’ continuing receipt, review and editing of UI data over time. On the other hand, differences between data in this release and the data found on the BLS Web site are the result of adjustments made to improve over-the-year comparisons. Specifically, these adjustments account for administrative (noneconomic) changes such as a correction to a previously reported location or industry classification. Adjusting for these administrative changes allows users to more accurately assess changes of an economic nature (such as a firm moving from one county to another or changing its primary economic activity) over a 12-month period. Currently, adjusted data are available only from BLS press releases.

Table 1. Covered (1) employment and wages in the United States and the 26 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2013 (2)
AreaEmploymentAverage Weekly Wage (3)
September
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2012-13 (4)
National
ranking by
percent change (5)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (5)
Percent change,
third quarter
2012-13 (4)
National
ranking by
percent change (5)

United States (6)

134,957.51.7--$922--1.9--

Texas

11,091.92.8--952122.515

Bell, Texas

111.11.41747702562.577

Bexar, Texas

773.32.6778271971.2208

Brazoria, Texas

96.23.2489081163.437

Brazos, Texas

94.95.73711314-1.0318

Cameron, Texas

131.91.81405873332.392

Collin, Texas

330.34.8111,070430.8236

Dallas, Texas

1,509.03.2481,115332.859

Denton, Texas

195.54.988371871.6172

El Paso, Texas

282.41.51626663242.0127

Fort Bend, Texas

157.86.01969753.629

Galveston, Texas

98.52.8628052200.2275

Gregg, Texas

77.10.92258461744.115

Harris, Texas

2,192.32.9601,187202.951

Hidalgo, Texas

231.72.6775953322.1108

Jefferson, Texas

116.9-2.03319211030.9224

Lubbock, Texas

129.12.3977362962.670

McLennan, Texas

103.31.21947482841.4192

Midland, Texas

85.34.5141,148253.531

Montgomery, Texas

151.44.8119031223.437

Nueces, Texas

159.71.81408171992.487

Potter, Texas

77.31.31877782511.8146

Smith, Texas

95.22.5857842481.6172

Tarrant, Texas

812.63.0579121100.6248

Travis, Texas

637.84.1201,028532.487

Webb, Texas

92.81.9130636330-0.2301

Williamson, Texas

139.94.316928961.5181

(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(5) Ranking does not include the county of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
(6) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.


Table 2. Covered (1) employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Texas third quarter 2013 (2)
AreaEmployment September 2013Average Weekly Wage (3)

United States (4)

134,957,493$922

Texas

11,091,882952

Anderson

18,290754

Andrews

7,4381,094

Angelina

36,149709

Aransas

6,487658

Archer

2,067684

Armstrong

408524

Atascosa

13,145814

Austin

9,982846

Bailey

2,557634

Bandera

3,040588

Bastrop

15,135651

Baylor

1,158602

Bee

10,308771

Bell

111,073770

Bexar

773,319827

Blanco

2,743784

Borden

222527

Bosque

3,678622

Bowie

40,768689

Brazoria

96,157908

Brazos

94,855711

Brewster

3,765745

Briscoe

314524

Brooks

2,682759

Brown

15,062630

Burleson

4,404828

Burnet

12,663703

Caldwell

8,077671

Calhoun

10,9191,099

Callahan

2,013697

Cameron

131,885587

Camp

4,176648

Carson

4,3411,336

Cass

7,269702

Castro

2,549614

Chambers

13,0371,070

Cherokee

14,882618

Childress

2,383588

Clay

1,435604

Cochran

727686

Coke

684548

Coleman

2,036529

Collin

330,3011,070

Collingsworth

801671

Colorado

6,971691

Comal

43,384693

Comanche

3,684553

Concho

847651

Cooke

16,310859

Coryell

14,440615

Cottle

430635

Crane

1,7771,185

Crockett

1,705695

Crosby

1,439614

Culberson

1,163583

Dallam

4,219729

Dallas

1,509,0271,115

Dawson

4,331863

De Witt

7,329714

Deaf Smith

7,381688

Delta

1,468373

Denton

195,456837

Dickens

437592

Dimmit

5,965893

Donley

1,076805

Duval

3,713859

Eastland

7,711823

Ector

72,1241,055

Edwards

359626

El Paso

282,372666

Ellis

43,254721

Erath

15,265598

Falls

3,140610

Fannin

6,773696

Fayette

9,054719

Fisher

883668

Floyd

1,738613

Foard

322535

Fort Bend

157,799969

Franklin

3,115631

Freestone

5,790804

Frio

6,049849

Gaines

5,945825

Galveston

98,499805

Garza

1,953747

Gillespie

9,550623

Glasscock

482574

Goliad

1,427747

Gonzales

6,874690

Gray

9,238842

Grayson

43,448755

Gregg

77,052846

Grimes

8,166837

Guadalupe

31,577740

Hale

12,101621

Hall

829601

Hamilton

2,476619

Hansford

2,148862

Hardeman

1,099613

Hardin

12,508742

Harris

2,192,3321,187

Harrison

24,796934

Hartley

2,158661

Haskell

1,669592

Hays

55,549664

Hemphill

2,340956

Henderson

16,002614

Hidalgo

231,715595

Hill

9,605675

Hockley

10,504912

Hood

15,892810

Hopkins

12,295688

Houston

6,135811

Howard

12,765817

Hudspeth

1,1181,024

Hunt

28,119810

Hutchinson

8,762982

Irion

7801,020

Jack

3,173994

Jackson

5,564753

Jasper

10,418690

Jeff Davis

954561

Jefferson

116,915921

Jim Hogg

2,055736

Jim Wells

19,857905

Johnson

43,190745

Jones

3,851695

Karnes

4,765769

Kaufman

27,467703

Kendall

12,174772

Kenedy

6671,033

Kent

282621

Kerr

16,961693

Kimble

1,399597

King

1101,161

Kinney

793786

Kleberg

13,655651

Knox

1,214793

La Salle

3,3621,029

Lamar

18,924734

Lamb

4,268651

Lampasas

4,480581

Lavaca

5,770651

Lee

6,544846

Leon

5,340860

Liberty

16,791757

Limestone

8,514673

Lipscomb

1,226761

Live Oak

4,455743

Llano

4,348620

Loving

751,065

Lubbock

129,064736

Lynn

1,324656

Madison

4,663632

Marion

2,005555

Martin

1,653818

Mason

1,090549

Matagorda

10,066806

Maverick

16,683588

McCulloch

3,309740

McLennan

103,271748

McMullen

570913

Medina

8,793636

Menard

435464

Midland

85,3251,148

Milam

5,472833

Mills

1,368564

Mitchell

2,322764

Montague

5,751745

Montgomery

151,433903

Moore

10,627738

Morris

4,839895

Motley

309494

Nacogdoches

22,063634

Navarro

17,006650

Newton

1,600579

Nolan

5,880719

Nueces

159,687817

Ochiltree

5,191899

Oldham

910802

Orange

22,490898

Palo Pinto

8,525728

Panola

10,536861

Parker

30,568796

Parmer

5,479722

Pecos

5,753792

Polk

10,634657

Potter

77,329778

Presidio

2,451755

Rains

1,744535

Randall

28,565704

Reagan

1,997953

Real

660447

Red River

2,472562

Reeves

4,144741

Refugio

2,603750

Roberts

214668

Robertson

3,738784

Rockwall

23,567697

Runnels

2,886631

Rusk

14,279794

Sabine

2,137634

San Augustine

1,549620

San Jacinto

2,102591

San Patricio

18,781829

San Saba

1,499522

Schleicher

1,017784

Scurry

8,375962

Shackelford

1,5941,229

Shelby

8,197639

Sherman

1,065689

Smith

95,213784

Somervell

3,9991,002

Starr

14,655531

Stephens

3,279717

Sterling

667802

Stonewall

530705

Sutton

2,5561,176

Swisher

1,901585

Tarrant

812,634912

Taylor

59,002714

Terrell

391820

Terry

3,754729

Throckmorton

453571

Titus

15,173637

Tom Green

46,134711

Travis

637,8141,028

Trinity

2,340575

Tyler

3,847611

Upshur

6,861673

Upton

1,698984

Uvalde

9,774595

Val Verde

16,643655

Van Zandt

9,952607

Victoria

40,781823

Walker

23,725670

Waller

16,039817

Ward

4,5591,014

Washington

15,186685

Webb

92,756636

Wharton

15,465682

Wheeler

2,926707

Wichita

52,510698

Wilbarger

6,478673

Willacy

3,827665

Williamson

139,873928

Wilson

7,093636

Winkler

2,8251,083

Wise

21,823894

Wood

9,202632

Yoakum

4,221994

Young

6,847735

Zapata

4,857981

Zavala

2,457503

(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.


Table 3. Covered (1) employment and wages by state, third quarter 2013 (2)
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (3)
September
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2012-13
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
third quarter
2012-13
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (4)

134,957.51.7$922--1.9--

Alabama

1,847.60.8794341.343

Alaska

345.00.499093.07

Arizona

2,490.92.2859221.536

Arkansas

1,156.50.1723472.121

California

15,526.42.71,05762.121

Colorado

2,355.73.1952121.731

Connecticut

1,650.30.71,10931.928

Delaware

416.82.1941142.121

District of Columbia

726.21.51,56013.07

Florida

7,501.82.6808311.146

Georgia

3,928.22.3867211.536

Hawaii

617.71.7839251.633

Idaho

644.72.3703502.319

Illinois

5,731.70.7959111.536

Indiana

2,883.61.2784381.633

Iowa

1,512.01.5772402.121

Kansas

1,347.61.8776392.026

Kentucky

1,794.51.0760431.146

Louisiana

1,893.41.4827282.910

Maine

601.50.7735461.830

Maryland

2,546.40.61,01180.451

Massachusetts

3,318.31.21,13122.611

Michigan

4,069.72.1875201.536

Minnesota

2,724.21.7938152.611

Mississippi

1,099.10.8688512.515

Missouri

2,661.01.3805321.440

Montana

446.71.2705492.319

Nebraska

937.51.3766413.43

Nevada

1,169.42.5836272.026

New Hampshire

624.50.6895182.417

New Jersey

3,851.91.21,06851.343

New Mexico

793.70.5766410.749

New York

8,724.81.31,10841.731

North Carolina

4,006.41.7817301.440

North Dakota

436.73.4921165.51

Ohio

5,147.51.4837261.245

Oklahoma

1,572.61.4797332.417

Oregon

1,709.82.4856232.611

Pennsylvania

5,622.40.3913171.633

Rhode Island

465.21.3878192.611

South Carolina

1,859.32.3751441.928

South Dakota

408.90.9706483.43

Tennessee

2,712.81.5819290.650

Texas

11,091.92.8952122.515

Utah

1,265.52.9791363.16

Vermont

302.50.0788373.43

Virginia

3,650.10.6971101.146

Washington

3,017.92.41,04472.121

West Virginia

710.3-0.7751443.72

Wisconsin

2,752.71.1793353.07

Wyoming

286.10.2840241.440

Puerto Rico

910.9-2.5501(5)-0.6(5)

Virgin Islands

37.9-1.9706(5)-0.6(5)
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(5) Data not included in the national ranking.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014