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18-348-DAL
Friday, March 16, 2018

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2017

Employment rose in 20 of the 25 largest counties in Texas from September 2016 to September 2017, 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 2016 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that Midland and Montgomery Counties ranked among the top 10 nationwide for job growth. The 10.4-percent employment gain in Midland County ranked first and the 4.0-percent gain in Montgomery County ranked eighth. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.0 percent from September 2016 to September 2017 as 283 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registered increases. As noted, Midland County, Texas, had the fastest employment gain in the nation (10.4 percent). Within Midland, the largest employment increase was in natural resources and mining, which gained 4,526 jobs over the year (24.4 percent). Collier, Fla., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, down 5.2 percent. Within Collier, construction had the largest employment decrease, with a loss of 1,879 jobs (-12.8 percent).

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,261,300) in September 2017, followed by Dallas County (1,691,100). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 700,000. Together, the 25 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, average weekly wages nationwide decreased 0.6 percent to $1,021. Among the large counties in Texas, Midland had the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 8.4 percent, which also ranked first in the nation in terms of percentage increase. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2017, Midland had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,283.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 229 counties in Texas with annual average employment levels below 75,000 in 2016. Among these smaller counties, 213 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2017. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Among Texas’s 25 large counties, 5 recorded wage gains from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. Midland County’s 8.4-percent wage increase was the highest in the nation and Brazos (1.3 percent), Travis (0.9 percent), and Smith (0.6 percent) ranked among the top 50 nationwide. (See table 1.) McLennan County ranked 52nd with a 0.5-percent wage gain. Twenty large Texas counties had over-the-year wage decreases. Cameron County had the largest decrease, down 3.0 percent, followed by Tarrant (-2.9 percent) and Lubbock (-2.7 percent). Nationally, average weekly wages declined 0.6 percent over the year.

Nationwide, 265 of the 346 largest counties had over-the-year wage decreases. Mercer, N.J., had the largest wage decline in the nation, down 8.8 percent. The Mercer, N.J., decrease was followed by Wyandotte, Kan. (-6.0 percent); Clark, Nev. (-5.3 percent); and Somerset, N.J. (-5.0 percent).

Of the 346 largest counties nationwide, 71 experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. The 8.4-percent increase in Midland, Texas, was followed by Union, N.J. (+8.2 percent); Elkhart, Ind. (+6.5 percent); Forsyth, N.C. (+5.3 percent); and Maui + Kalawao, Hawaii (+4.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 25 large Texas counties were more than 15 percent above the national average of $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017. Midland County led at $1,283 per week and ranked 21st among the 346 large U.S. counties. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,247, 25th), Dallas ($1,213, 34th), Collin ($1,190, 39th), and Travis ($1,188, 40th). Two additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Brazoria ($1,074, 73rd), and Jefferson ($1,052, 84th).

Texas had a number of low-paying large counties. Three of the four lowest-paying large counties in the nation were located along the Texas-Mexico border: Cameron ($612, 346th), Hidalgo ($649, 344th), and Webb ($672, 343rd). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($717, 337th), Brazos ($775, 325th), and Lubbock ($790, 313th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 96 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,320. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $2,123, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,954), and New York, N.Y. ($1,889).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (250) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wage was reported in Cameron, Texas ($612), followed by Horry, S.C. ($633), and the Texas counties of Hidalgo ($649) and Webb ($672). Wages in these 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

Sixteen of the 229 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,021. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,465) and Upton ($1,295). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $444 in the third quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 23 had wages below the national average. Thirty-one counties reported average weekly wages under $650, 83 registered wages from $650 to $749, 61 had wages from $750 to $849, 41 had wages from $850 to $949, and 38 had wages of $950 or higher. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average weekly wages were located around the larger 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 2016 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 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process is accelerating for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data will be published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data will be accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release will occur two weeks later, accompanied by a data release notice.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 144.5 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.

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.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 25 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)

September
2017
(thousands)

Percent
change,
September
2016-17 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent
change,
third quarter
2016-17 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)

United States (4)

144,464.41.0--$1,021---0.6--

Texas

12,008.91.4--1,03212-1.029

Bell, Texas

117.50.3244863248-0.398

Bexar, Texas

857.81.3114905194-0.7133

Brazoria, Texas

107.2-1.93421,07473-0.9150

Brazos, Texas

102.91.41047753251.327

Cameron, Texas

138.20.4233612346-3.0311

Collin, Texas

398.03.3161,19039-0.7133

Dallas, Texas

1,691.11.9671,21334-1.9245

Denton, Texas

239.63.024929180-2.5285

El Paso, Texas

300.90.8182717337-1.5208

Fort Bend, Texas

177.30.9167942167-2.0256

Galveston, Texas

108.5-0.1287886216-1.3186

Harris, Texas

2,261.30.12701,24725-1.7231

Hidalgo, Texas

252.71.680649344-0.6121

Jefferson, Texas

119.7-2.33441,05284-1.4195

Lubbock, Texas

139.11.3114790313-2.7300

McLennan, Texas

112.50.42338412750.552

Midland, Texas

91.410.411,283218.41

Montgomery, Texas

176.44.081,003112-0.5111

Nueces, Texas

160.5-0.7314883223-0.290

Potter, Texas

78.0-0.8321821289-1.0156

Smith, Texas

102.40.91678432720.649

Tarrant, Texas

877.82.3481,000113-2.9307

Travis, Texas

728.02.6321,188400.937

Webb, Texas

100.11.2132672343-1.0156

Williamson, Texas

164.62.9271,010108-1.3186

Footnotes:
(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, 3rd quarter 2017
AreaEmployment
September
2017
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

144,464,425$1,021

Texas

12,008,9411,032

Anderson

20,134792

Andrews

7,3071,167

Angelina

35,386742

Aransas

4,935741

Archer

1,764691

Armstrong

363696

Atascosa

12,551902

Austin

9,946857

Bailey

2,628708

Bandera

3,081671

Bastrop

17,886706

Baylor

1,222658

Bee

8,677688

Bell

117,456863

Bexar

857,771905

Blanco

3,207927

Borden

179671

Bosque

3,680695

Bowie

41,180761

Brazoria

107,1931,074

Brazos

102,944775

Brewster

3,740749

Briscoe

307553

Brooks

2,440803

Brown

15,863703

Burleson

4,225797

Burnet

13,805784

Caldwell

8,503727

Calhoun

10,7881,203

Callahan

2,273746

Cameron

138,203612

Camp

3,867692

Carson

4,7371,465

Cass

7,417704

Castro

2,514687

Chambers

14,3791,145

Cherokee

14,116673

Childress

2,478690

Clay

1,351665

Cochran

639719

Coke

689656

Coleman

2,136576

Collin

398,0371,190

Collingsworth

812767

Colorado

6,902764

Comal

54,779782

Comanche

3,572629

Concho

630862

Cooke

14,036841

Coryell

17,507768

Cottle

385712

Crane

1,125965

Crockett

1,560745

Crosby

1,429635

Culberson

1,027937

Dallam

4,633776

Dallas

1,691,0951,213

Dawson

4,210724

De Witt

7,614874

Deaf Smith

7,409774

Delta

1,111444

Denton

239,647929

Dickens

451634

Dimmit

5,987987

Donley

909586

Duval

3,288737

Eastland

7,303906

Ector

72,6811,081

Edwards

413613

El Paso

300,882717

Ellis

49,417807

Erath

16,824667

Falls

3,165648

Fannin

7,424744

Fayette

9,337749

Fisher

892782

Floyd

1,641676

Foard

399551

Fort Bend

177,290942

Franklin

2,978802

Freestone

4,857778

Frio

6,733931

Gaines

6,388888

Galveston

108,472886

Garza

1,823723

Gillespie

10,594694

Glasscock

522719

Goliad

1,279685

Gonzales

6,983783

Gray

7,647916

Grayson

45,830792

Gregg

73,711866

Grimes

7,053870

Guadalupe

41,873797

Hale

11,860693

Hall

776544

Hamilton

2,474685

Hansford

2,166937

Hardeman

1,226659

Hardin

12,344771

Harris

2,261,2911,247

Harrison

22,794880

Hartley

2,663738

Haskell

1,590640

Hays

66,949751

Hemphill

2,395994

Henderson

16,841676

Hidalgo

252,686649

Hill

10,146752

Hockley

9,730946

Hood

15,771780

Hopkins

12,521739

Houston

7,303865

Howard

12,653910

Hudspeth

1,0281,123

Hunt

29,4401,007

Hutchinson

8,1991,085

Irion

7421,216

Jack

3,094888

Jackson

5,827798

Jasper

9,900757

Jeff Davis

895649

Jefferson

119,7481,052

Jim Hogg

1,690736

Jim Wells

15,645840

Johnson

46,742820

Jones

3,102711

Karnes

5,791940

Kaufman

31,645783

Kendall

15,511909

Kenedy

5851,060

Kent

283633

Kerr

17,683789

Kimble

1,285577

King

81735

Kinney

778895

Kleberg

11,354744

Knox

1,115857

La Salle

3,4211,162

Lamar

21,395820

Lamb

3,943721

Lampasas

4,438634

Lavaca

5,496702

Lee

7,375998

Leon

4,738908

Liberty

16,817815

Limestone

7,639741

Lipscomb

1,281784

Live Oak

4,020993

Llano

4,658702

Loving

87862

Lubbock

139,141790

Lynn

1,567811

Madison

4,601720

Marion

2,109626

Martin

1,977927

Mason

1,074615

Matagorda

10,743950

Maverick

17,504630

McCulloch

2,923756

McLennan

112,489841

McMullen

4921,006

Medina

9,779677

Menard

401515

Midland

91,4351,283

Milam

5,516788

Mills

1,305610

Mitchell

2,061747

Montague

4,803769

Montgomery

176,3791,003

Moore

10,764826

Morris

3,514881

Motley

325496

Nacogdoches

22,361697

Navarro

16,303716

Newton

1,240686

Nolan

5,939793

Nueces

160,506883

Ochiltree

4,503869

Oldham

905722

Orange

20,947987

Palo Pinto

8,826793

Panola

8,643876

Parker

32,267857

Parmer

5,850785

Pecos

5,545854

Polk

10,880731

Potter

78,011821

Presidio

2,050834

Rains

1,843593

Randall

30,257780

Reagan

1,9161,181

Real

711464

Red River

2,705652

Reeves

5,840956

Refugio

2,345696

Roberts

253898

Robertson

4,139827

Rockwall

29,590789

Runnels

2,803663

Rusk

13,165808

Sabine

2,298696

San Augustine

1,750699

San Jacinto

2,081655

San Patricio

18,566888

San Saba

1,718677

Schleicher

722827

Scurry

6,4941,000

Shackelford

1,269900

Shelby

8,068691

Sherman

989790

Smith

102,424843

Somervell

3,7971,008

Starr

15,220565

Stephens

3,198682

Sterling

529801

Stonewall

509742

Sutton

1,8911,202

Swisher

1,901638

Tarrant

877,7551,000

Taylor

61,045772

Terrell

280825

Terry

3,758874

Throckmorton

422549

Titus

15,874697

Tom Green

47,287762

Travis

727,9531,188

Trinity

2,262650

Tyler

3,646667

Upshur

6,687675

Upton

1,5221,295

Uvalde

9,904627

Val Verde

17,427697

Van Zandt

10,920630

Victoria

37,841843

Walker

24,449756

Waller

15,813845

Ward

4,5951,087

Washington

14,676746

Webb

100,130672

Wharton

15,648733

Wheeler

2,000749

Wichita

53,833735

Wilbarger

5,798695

Willacy

3,456665

Williamson

164,5891,010

Wilson

8,135702

Winkler

2,7451,119

Wise

19,403835

Wood

9,962684

Yoakum

3,8311,070

Young

6,719777

Zapata

3,573894

Zavala

2,408663

Footnotes:
(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 2017
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September
2017
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2016-17
Average
weekly wage
National
ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter
2016-17
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

144,464.41.0$1,021---0.6--

Alabama

1,941.10.885937-1.338

Alaska

335.4-0.71,02515-2.850

Arizona

2,760.12.494824-0.210

Arkansas

1,213.00.678849-0.619

California

17,153.41.71,21540.54

Colorado

2,625.91.91,06790.54

Connecticut

1,676.30.11,1796-2.247

Delaware

443.00.41,026140.46

District of Columbia

764.70.71,75911.32

Florida

8,305.8-0.289629-1.131

Georgia

4,343.51.396121-0.927

Hawaii

652.50.495322-0.313

Idaho

722.32.777850-0.516

Illinois

5,969.60.51,05710-0.313

Indiana

3,044.00.686136-0.619

Iowa

1,546.1-0.285538-2.247

Kansas

1,376.4-0.183941-2.146

Kentucky

1,890.40.583742-2.449

Louisiana

1,904.3-0.186933-1.742

Maine

621.90.782146-0.516

Maryland

2,661.80.51,1058-1.742

Massachusetts

3,568.00.91,2652-0.927

Michigan

4,334.30.996420-1.131

Minnesota

2,883.01.11,03013-2.045

Mississippi

1,129.1-0.172951-1.439

Missouri

2,805.80.987831-1.234

Montana

468.60.9793480.18

Nebraska

973.3-0.285039-0.823

Nevada

1,337.72.991426-3.851

New Hampshire

659.10.61,02216-0.415

New Jersey

4,043.61.11,1567-1.541

New Mexico

816.00.382345-0.823

New York

9,329.81.21,2193-0.210

North Carolina

4,348.01.390427-0.721

North Dakota

419.2-1.095322-1.234

Ohio

5,383.60.692025-0.823

Oklahoma

1,593.30.784340-1.234

Oregon

1,905.31.896919-0.19

Pennsylvania

5,836.51.01,00217-1.131

Rhode Island

484.50.897318-1.844

South Carolina

2,027.20.882843-0.516

South Dakota

426.20.480347-0.721

Tennessee

2,953.31.190328-1.234

Texas

12,008.91.41,03212-1.029

Utah

1,444.12.687930-0.210

Vermont

310.30.186933-1.439

Virginia

3,843.61.01,05311-0.823

Washington

3,343.42.01,20851.71

West Virginia

694.00.2826441.13

Wisconsin

2,866.90.587632-1.029

Wyoming

276.20.3868350.37

Puerto Rico

862.8-3.1509(3)-2.7(3)

Virgin Islands

36.9-1.1763(3)-1.9(3)

Footnotes:
(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: Friday, March 16, 2018