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16-440-DAL
Monday, March 21, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2015

Employment rose in 24 of the 27 largest counties in Texas from September 2014 to September 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 one Texas county ranked among the top 10 nationwide for job growth. The 6.1-percent employment gain in Denton County was the fastest in the state and ranked third nationwide. In contrast, employment fell in Ector, Midland, and Gregg; annual percentage job losses were evident in most industry sectors, but were led by natural resources and mining. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.9 percent from September 2014 to September 2015 as 312 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., recorded the fastest employment gain in the country, up 6.5 percent. Ector, Texas, experienced the largest over-the-year decrease with a loss of 8.3 percent; employment in Ector’s natural resources and mining sector fell 28.4 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,287,600) in September 2015, followed by Dallas County (1,616,800). Three other counties, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, had employment levels exceeding 600,000. Together, the 27 largest Texas counties accounted for 81.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, average weekly wages nationwide increased 2.6 percent to $974. Among large counties in Texas, Travis registered the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 3.9 percent, while Midland recorded the largest decrease, down 6.7 percent. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2015, Harris had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,240 and Cameron had the lowest at $615.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 227 counties in Texas with employment levels below 75,000 in 2014. Among these smaller counties, 204 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Five of Texas’s 27 large counties recorded wage growth above the 2.6-percent national increase from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. Travis County’s 3.9-percent wage increase was the highest in the state and placed 47th in the national ranking, followed by Galveston (3.5 percent, 72nd), Denton (3.0 percent, 117th), Brazoria (2.8 percent, 138th), and Jefferson (2.7 percent, 147th). (See table 1.) In contrast, six Texas counties recorded wage decreases from the third quarter of 2014. Midland, Texas, experienced the largest percentage decrease in the nation, with average weekly wages declining 6.7 percent over the year; the natural resources and mining sector had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage decline with a decrease of 8.1 percent over the year.

Nationally, 319 of the 342 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Rockland, N.Y., experienced the largest wage gain in the nation, up 24.9 percent. Lake, Ill., had the second largest increase (11.7 percent), followed by Onondaga, N.Y. (6.5 percent), and Washington, Ore. (6.4 percent).

Nationwide, 20 of the largest counties registered wage declines during the period. As noted, Midland, Texas, experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.7 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the second largest wage decline (-4.9 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-3.2 percent), and Stark, Ohio (-2.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 27 large Texas counties were at least 10 percent above the national average of $974 per week in the third quarter of 2015. Harris County led at $1,240 per week and ranked 21st among the 342 large counties nationwide. Harris was followed by Midland ($1,177, 31st), Dallas ($1,157, 38th), Collin ($1,126, 43rd), and Travis ($1,122, 45th). Three additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Ector ($1,037, 74th), Jefferson ($1,003, 85th), and Brazoria ($992, 89th).

Texas had four of the lowest-paying large counties in the United States, all located along the border with Mexico: Cameron ($615, 341st), Hidalgo ($624, 340th), Webb ($658, 338th), and El Paso ($698, 331st). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included Brazos ($734, 326th), Lubbock ($779, 294th), and McLennan ($792, 284th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 100 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 $2,090. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,894, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,829), San Francisco, Calif. ($1,712), and Washington, D.C. ($1,667).

Of the largest counties in the United States, 242, or more than two-thirds, reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2014. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C., at $598 per week, followed by the Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo. Wages in these three lowest-ranked counties were less than 30 percent of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Twenty-three of the 227 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $974. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,347) and King ($1,331). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $399 in the third quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 31 had wages below the national average. Forty-seven reported average weekly wages under $650, 88 registered wages from $650 to $749, 58 had wages from $750 to $849, 26 had wages from $850 to $949, and 35 had wages of $950 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average weekly wages were located around the large metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as the smaller areas of Midland, Odessa, and Amarillo. Lower-paying counties were concentrated in the agricultural areas of central Texas, the Texas Panhandle, and 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 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. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

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 fourth quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 8, 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 140.4 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 27 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,442.21.9--$974--2.6--

Texas

11,681.02.1--999131.145

Bell, Texas

116.24.2228232492.6154

Bexar, Texas

821.43.3718741932.2204

Brazoria, Texas

103.44.032992892.8138

Brazos, Texas

99.84.516734326-0.4326

Cameron, Texas

135.71.22216153412.2204

Collin, Texas

366.94.9111,126432.5165

Dallas, Texas

1,616.84.0321,157381.4274

Denton, Texas

221.46.138851803.0117

Ector, Texas

72.0-8.33401,03774-4.9340

El Paso, Texas

292.03.1896983312.6154

Fort Bend, Texas

170.63.649949117-0.3323

Galveston, Texas

102.83.5588532133.572

Gregg, Texas

76.1-4.2338846218-1.5337

Harris, Texas

2,287.60.82521,240210.1319

Hidalgo, Texas

243.92.51246243401.0300

Jefferson, Texas

123.10.42921,003852.7147

Lubbock, Texas

135.02.41287792942.1215

McLennan, Texas

108.11.91627922842.2204

Midland, Texas

86.8-7.33391,17731-6.7341

Montgomery, Texas

165.33.2819571120.0320

Nueces, Texas

163.00.82528612011.2286

Potter, Texas

79.11.61928042720.2318

Smith, Texas

100.24.125810265-0.6329

Tarrant, Texas

844.92.61179671042.5165

Travis, Texas

692.44.6151,122453.947

Webb, Texas

97.72.61176583380.9305

Williamson, Texas

150.84.5169371301.7253

(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 Texas, third quarter 2015
AreaEmployment
September
2015
Average
weekly
wage (1)

United States (2)

140,442,224$974

Texas

11,680,983999

Anderson

19,994773

Andrews

7,3381,125

Angelina

36,262742

Aransas

6,368709

Archer

1,861722

Armstrong

436629

Atascosa

12,198830

Austin

10,055845

Bailey

2,454732

Bandera

3,113629

Bastrop

16,117690

Baylor

1,226676

Bee

9,329742

Bell

116,176823

Bexar

821,361874

Blanco

2,922800

Borden

257570

Bosque

3,680666

Bowie

41,508713

Brazoria

103,414992

Brazos

99,783734

Brewster

3,784721

Briscoe

319584

Brooks

2,479777

Brown

15,858666

Burleson

3,990819

Burnet

13,167739

Caldwell

8,186688

Calhoun

12,6781,165

Callahan

2,201717

Cameron

135,659615

Camp

3,896716

Carson

4,5721,347

Cass

7,377651

Castro

2,618678

Chambers

13,0721,027

Cherokee

14,519640

Childress

2,445691

Clay

1,384679

Cochran

756729

Coke

665612

Coleman

2,046560

Collin

366,8631,126

Collingsworth

867702

Colorado

7,004711

Comal

49,449766

Comanche

3,709606

Concho

864719

Cooke

15,533834

Coryell

15,677685

Cottle

366595

Crane

1,4101,101

Crockett

1,831827

Crosby

1,485628

Culberson

1,226724

Dallam

4,516780

Dallas

1,616,7501,157

Dawson

4,346710

De Witt

8,077782

Deaf Smith

7,613717

Delta

1,438399

Denton

221,444885

Dickens

438639

Dimmit

5,896963

Donley

949603

Duval

3,321783

Eastland

7,242831

Ector

72,0151,037

Edwards

370621

El Paso

292,002698

Ellis

47,127778

Erath

16,045631

Falls

3,133664

Fannin

7,166726

Fayette

9,230728

Fisher

875702

Floyd

1,568641

Foard

319492

Fort Bend

170,571949

Franklin

2,948730

Freestone

5,466877

Frio

6,743881

Gaines

6,520841

Galveston

102,818853

Garza

1,815735

Gillespie

10,004683

Glasscock

587824

Goliad

1,246661

Gonzales

7,166755

Gray

8,483858

Grayson

44,640765

Gregg

76,124846

Grimes

7,704837

Guadalupe

34,409775

Hale

12,106654

Hall

804609

Hamilton

2,485640

Hansford

2,208913

Hardeman

1,147622

Hardin

12,981763

Harris

2,287,6131,240

Harrison

24,428903

Hartley

2,532710

Haskell

1,695652

Hays

61,062721

Hemphill

2,1321,028

Henderson

16,126637

Hidalgo

243,945624

Hill

9,504733

Hockley

9,901905

Hood

16,049818

Hopkins

12,490692

Houston

6,666843

Howard

12,666847

Hudspeth

1,2091,086

Hunt

27,822915

Hutchinson

8,7191,070

Irion

677991

Jack

3,2431,053

Jackson

5,691784

Jasper

10,290715

Jeff Davis

968591

Jefferson

123,0811,003

Jim Hogg

1,830714

Jim Wells

18,156790

Johnson

44,621786

Jones

3,338704

Karnes

5,675944

Kaufman

29,155739

Kendall

14,188852

Kenedy

5781,080

Kent

294637

Kerr

17,800763

Kimble

1,298581

King

1191,331

Kinney

776845

Kleberg

12,151698

Knox

1,205791

La Salle

3,1951,117

Lamar

20,273762

Lamb

3,789691

Lampasas

4,689611

Lavaca

5,579687

Lee

7,079842

Leon

5,391901

Liberty

16,697759

Limestone

7,861711

Lipscomb

1,255745

Live Oak

4,323920

Llano

4,628666

Loving

53909

Lubbock

135,011779

Lynn

1,307699

Madison

5,392700

Marion

1,985560

Martin

1,848877

Mason

1,069565

Matagorda

11,088919

Maverick

17,403615

McCulloch

2,901713

McLennan

108,057792

McMullen

6361,040

Medina

9,439664

Menard

422495

Midland

86,7571,177

Milam

5,780872

Mills

1,379617

Mitchell

2,205792

Montague

5,221739

Montgomery

165,309957

Moore

10,814816

Morris

4,139768

Motley

309490

Nacogdoches

22,173685

Navarro

16,554706

Newton

1,560578

Nolan

6,117761

Nueces

162,970861

Ochiltree

5,136901

Oldham

1,049823

Orange

22,749896

Palo Pinto

8,357740

Panola

9,421828

Parker

32,481831

Parmer

5,676808

Pecos

5,955818

Polk

10,496712

Potter

79,076804

Presidio

2,197725

Rains

1,765582

Randall

29,314749

Reagan

1,9601,011

Real

767498

Red River

2,505617

Reeves

4,284768

Refugio

2,405796

Roberts

287707

Robertson

3,928780

Rockwall

26,259772

Runnels

2,805652

Rusk

13,503788

Sabine

2,254662

San Augustine

1,515692

San Jacinto

1,972639

San Patricio

19,049863

San Saba

1,609583

Schleicher

932752

Scurry

7,855952

Shackelford

1,416998

Shelby

8,529704

Sherman

1,053738

Smith

100,197810

Somervell

3,9961,019

Starr

14,882564

Stephens

3,177703

Sterling

671763

Stonewall

529632

Sutton

2,0711,167

Swisher

1,914620

Tarrant

844,890967

Taylor

60,372747

Terrell

4161,060

Terry

3,705738

Throckmorton

473676

Titus

15,422682

Tom Green

47,442757

Travis

692,4231,122

Trinity

2,426620

Tyler

3,883654

Upshur

6,915692

Upton

1,7261,116

Uvalde

10,066645

Val Verde

17,114695

Van Zandt

10,379634

Victoria

41,643840

Walker

23,827734

Waller

15,805813

Ward

4,7991,012

Washington

14,849722

Webb

97,696658

Wharton

15,705708

Wheeler

2,515735

Wichita

53,018714

Wilbarger

6,046679

Willacy

3,535643

Williamson

150,801937

Wilson

7,642664

Winkler

2,5351,026

Wise

20,440869

Wood

9,676672

Yoakum

4,219989

Young

6,874736

Zapata

3,856910

Zavala

2,684535

(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, third quarter 2015
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September
2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2014-15
Average
weekly wage
National ranking
by level
Percent change, third
quarter 2014-15
National ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

140,442.21.9$974--2.6--

Alabama

1,893.61.2830341.840

Alaska

346.40.41,04192.234

Arizona

2,613.92.9889241.542

Arkansas

1,193.41.9756482.622

California

16,474.43.01,13453.46

Colorado

2,513.02.91,006122.430

Connecticut

1,668.30.21,14742.038

Delaware

436.32.1963150.348

District of Columbia

743.61.41,66712.333

Florida

8,023.23.5852313.110

Georgia

4,171.12.8916222.819

Hawaii

635.41.4896233.110

Idaho

680.33.3736502.137

Illinois

5,888.61.31,020103.93

Indiana

2,971.71.6818392.430

Iowa

1,535.90.4823383.014

Kansas

1,370.90.6809411.840

Kentucky

1,852.51.4804422.918

Louisiana

1,926.3-0.2858300.747

Maine

609.70.7779463.37

Maryland

2,607.81.31,06782.430

Massachusetts

3,446.91.41,19723.014

Michigan

4,203.01.6921202.720

Minnesota

2,800.71.4990142.622

Mississippi

1,118.91.2706511.343

Missouri

2,737.91.9846322.234

Montana

457.91.9759473.74

Nebraska

964.01.4811404.22

Nevada

1,254.53.2862292.527

New Hampshire

642.81.5952182.720

New Jersey

3,933.91.41,11662.622

New Mexico

809.20.6798431.343

New York

9,065.41.81,18033.110

North Carolina

4,194.12.5863283.014

North Dakota

438.0-3.895617-2.351

Ohio

5,282.71.2878251.939

Oklahoma

1,598.00.2825370.049

Oregon

1,812.83.0924194.41

Pennsylvania

5,722.10.8961162.527

Rhode Island

477.41.2919212.622

South Carolina

1,959.72.9788442.622

South Dakota

419.50.9756483.110

Tennessee

2,850.62.7864273.28

Texas

11,681.02.1999131.145

Utah

1,353.93.7829353.28

Vermont

308.20.5829353.014

Virginia

3,759.72.51,014112.527

Washington

3,187.62.51,11172.234

West Virginia

702.4-1.1785450.946

Wisconsin

2,815.70.9834333.55

Wyoming

287.4-1.586626-1.150

Puerto Rico

891.1-0.7512(3)1.4(3)

Virgin Islands

36.8-2.1738(3)2.1(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, March 21, 2016