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News Release Information

15-2458-DAL
Monday, January 11, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (972) 850-4800

County Employment and Wages in Oklahoma – Second Quarter 2015

Employment rose in Oklahoma’s three large counties from June 2014 to June 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2014 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that Cleveland County had the largest increase, up 2.7 percent, followed by Tulsa (1.8 percent) and Oklahoma (1.3 percent). (See table 1.)

Employment nationwide advanced 2.0 percent during the 12-month period as 319 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Utah, Utah, recorded the fastest employment gain in the country, up 7.5 percent. Ector, Texas, experienced the largest over-the-year decrease among these counties with a loss of 4.2 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Oklahoma, employment was highest in Oklahoma County (450,800) in June 2015. Tulsa and Cleveland Counties had employment levels of 349,500 and 80,800, respectively. Together, the three largest Oklahoma counties accounted for 55.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

All three large Oklahoma counties experienced average weekly wage gains from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015. Oklahoma County recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages, up 1.4 percent. (See table 1.) Oklahoma County also had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $900, closely followed by Tulsa County ($892). Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.0 percent from a year ago to $968 in the second quarter of 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 74 counties in Oklahoma with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in June 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Oklahoma County’s 1.4-percent rise in average weekly wages from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015 ranked 276th among the nation’s 342 largest counties. Wages in Cleveland and Tulsa recorded over-the-year increases of 1.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 323 of the 342 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Ventura, Calif., experienced the largest wage gain in the nation, up 15.2 percent. Santa Clara, Calif., had the second largest increase (11.3 percent), followed by Forsyth, N.C. (10.9 percent), and Riverside, Calif. (8.7 percent).

Nationwide, 16 of the largest counties registered wage declines during the period. Olmsted, Minn., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 5.2 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the second largest wage decline (-5.1 percent), followed by Midland, Texas (-3.2 percent), and Hillsborough, N.H. (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the state’s three large counties were below the national average of $968 per week. In the second quarter of 2015, average wages in Oklahoma County ($900) ranked 164th and Tulsa County ($892) ranked 170th, both in the middle of the national rankings of the 342 largest counties. In contrast, wages in Cleveland County ($724) ranked among the lowest, at 325th. (See table 1.)

More than two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (240) reported average weekly wages below the national average ($968) in the second quarter of 2015. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($568), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($586), Hidalgo ($614), and Webb ($651).

Nationwide, average weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 102 of the 342 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,109. San Mateo, Calif., was second with an average weekly wage of $1,863, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,842). Average wages in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif., were nearly four times the average wage in the
lowest-ranked county, Horry, S.C. ($568).

Average weekly wages in Oklahoma's smaller counties

All 74 smaller counties in Oklahoma – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages below the national average of $968. Among these counties, Washington ($909) and Grant ($883) posted the highest weekly wages, while Sequoyah reported the lowest ($522). (See table 2.)

When all 77 counties in Oklahoma were considered, 12 reported average wages under $600 per week, 27 registered wages from $600 to $699, 26 had wages from $700 to $799, and 12 had wages of $800 or more. (See chart 1.) The higher-paying counties were concentrated around the larger metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as smaller cities including Elk City, Enid, and Woodward. The lower-paying counties, those with weekly wages under $600, were generally located in the eastern third of the state.

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 2014 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 2015 version of the news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm.

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

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.


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 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.6 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 employment and wages in the United States and the 3 largest counties in Oklahoma, second quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2014-15 (2)
National ranking
by percent
change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
second quarter
2014-15 (2)
National ranking
by percent
change (3)

United States (4)

140,594.92.0--$968--3.0--

Oklahoma

1,591.50.6--818390.549

Cleveland, Okla.

80.82.71027243251.1295

Oklahoma, Okla.

450.81.32269001641.4276

Tulsa, Okla.

349.51.81728921700.3319

(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(3) Ranking does not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.


Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Oklahoma, second quarter 2015
AreaEmployment
June 2015
Average
weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,594,927$968

  Oklahoma

1,591,523818

    Adair

4,366637

    Alfalfa

1,577844

    Atoka

3,071586

    Beaver

1,660775

    Beckham

10,971831

    Blaine

3,055716

    Bryan

14,989680

    Caddo

7,240700

    Canadian

31,843769

    Carter

24,458784

    Cherokee

15,780641

    Choctaw

4,232574

    Cimarron

680571

    Cleveland

80,793724

    Coal

1,121588

    Comanche

43,157723

    Cotton

1,511615

    Craig

5,578645

    Creek

18,927764

    Custer

12,857738

    Delaware

8,673601

    Dewey

1,405762

    Ellis

1,255721

    Garfield

26,452811

    Garvin

10,005804

    Grady

12,329700

    Grant

1,752883

    Greer

1,271597

    Harmon

695616

    Harper

1,227655

    Haskell

3,415554

    Hughes

3,103593

    Jackson

9,525667

    Jefferson

1,067661

    Johnston

2,868638

    Kay

18,093731

    Kingfisher

6,252804

    Kiowa

2,193635

    Latimer

3,125794

    LeFlore

12,853667

    Lincoln

6,679653

    Logan

7,246645

    Love

5,409664

    Major

2,773771

    Marshall

4,264650

    Mayes

12,706765

    McClain

8,772665

    McCurtain

11,122666

    McIntosh

3,861571

    Murray

6,090665

    Muskogee

29,945726

    Noble

4,638779

    Nowata

1,775577

    Okfuskee

2,361602

    Oklahoma

450,763900

    Okmulgee

9,422656

    Osage

6,697696

    Ottawa

12,218586

    Pawnee

3,344737

    Payne

32,943738

    Pittsburg

16,123791

    Pontotoc

17,475727

    Pottawatomie

22,864649

    Pushmataha

2,651592

    Roger Mills

728767

    Rogers

27,438821

    Seminole

7,230668

    Sequoyah

9,305522

    Stephens

15,685804

    Texas

9,844711

    Tillman

1,842674

    Tulsa

349,502892

    Wagoner

9,239722

    Washington

21,297909

    Washita

1,887697

    Woods

3,904771

    Woodward

9,709840

(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Note: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.


Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, second quarter 2015
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2014-15
Average
weekly wage
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
second quarter
2014-15
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

140,594.92.0$968--3.0--

Alabama

1,899.31.3819371.641

Alaska

346.60.41,02882.430

Arizona

2,549.92.5904211.839

Arkansas

1,184.61.7762472.135

California

16,338.92.81,13155.51

Colorado

2,517.13.2989133.013

Connecticut

1,693.10.91,17742.038

Delaware

439.12.2991121.542

District of Columbia

745.11.81,59911.839

Florida

7,907.73.6861282.623

Georgia

4,167.83.4903222.430

Hawaii

635.91.6876243.86

Idaho

678.52.9713502.333

Illinois

5,925.51.51,015102.623

Indiana

2,966.01.7811403.47

Iowa

1,561.20.9802432.818

Kansas

1,382.10.7819372.818

Kentucky

1,850.51.7822353.013

Louisiana

1,930.60.5850300.847

Maine

615.80.8768462.916

Maryland

2,631.31.41,04672.623

Massachusetts

3,488.32.11,21124.72

Michigan

4,225.01.5916202.135

Minnesota

2,826.31.5977153.28

Mississippi

1,114.71.1709510.648

Missouri

2,746.61.7842322.818

Montana

461.51.8754482.721

Nebraska

968.71.2787444.13

Nevada

1,248.13.2855292.623

New Hampshire

647.71.5967161.346

New Jersey

4,000.21.51,12662.623

New Mexico

808.40.8805411.444

New York

9,136.91.91,18033.19

North Carolina

4,185.62.6850303.94

North Dakota

445.0-1.8939180.350

Ohio

5,308.11.4865262.430

Oklahoma

1,591.50.6818390.549

Oregon

1,810.43.4899233.013

Pennsylvania

5,763.90.8958172.721

Rhode Island

480.01.5925192.916

South Carolina

1,963.52.5782452.135

South Dakota

428.61.3740493.94

Tennessee

2,832.12.8863273.19

Texas

11,689.42.4988141.542

Utah

1,345.93.9821363.19

Vermont

309.30.6831342.234

Virginia

3,767.21.71,000112.529

Washington

3,197.63.31,02693.19

West Virginia

706.5-0.8803421.444

Wisconsin

2,839.81.0836332.623

Wyoming

291.5-1.586925-0.151

Puerto Rico

884.6-1.4513(3)2.0(3)

Virgin Islands

37.90.1748(3)2.2(3)

(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(3) Data not included in the national ranking.

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.


 

Last Modified Date: Monday, January 11, 2016