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19-219-DAL
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2018

Employment rose in 24 of the 25 largest counties in Texas from September 2017 to September 2018, 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 2017 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that job growth in Midland, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties ranked among the top 10 nationwide. Midland County ranked first with an increase of 11.9 percent, Fort Bend ranked fifth (6.5 percent), and Brazoria ranked seventh (5.5 percent). (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.6 percent from September 2017 to September 2018 as 295 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. As noted, Midland County had the fastest employment gain in the nation (11.9 percent). Within Midland, the largest employment increase was in natural resources and mining, which gained 5,824 jobs over the year (23.7 percent). New Hanover, NC, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, down 2.0 percent. Within New Hanover, leisure and hospitality had the largest employment decrease, with a loss of 1,466 jobs (-8.0 percent).

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,307,600) in September 2018, followed by Dallas County (1,711,900). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 750,000. Together, the 25 largest Texas counties accounted for 79.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, average weekly wages nationwide increased 3.3 percent to $1,055. Among the large counties in Texas, Midland had the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 7.4 percent, which ranked seventh in the nation in terms of percentage increase. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2018, Midland also had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,401.

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 2017. Among these smaller counties, 207 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2018. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of the 25 large Texas counties recorded wage gains from the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018. Over-the-year wage growth in three large Texas counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Midland (7.4 percent, 7th), Travis (4.4 percent, 44th), and Lubbock (4.3 percent, 49th). (See table 1.) Webb County, one of the lowest-paying counties in the nation, ranked 52nd in wage growth with a 4.2-percent gain. Montgomery County (0.9 percent) had the smallest over-the-year wage increase among the state’s large counties. Nationally, average weekly wages rose 3.3 percent.

Nationwide, 336 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Chatham, GA, had the largest third quarter over-the-year wage gain at 8.5 percent. Chatham was followed by King County, WA (7.9 percent), and Santa Clara and Stanislaus, CA (each at 7.8 percent).

Of the 349 largest counties nationwide, 11 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Elkhart, IN, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 4.2 percent. Elkhart was followed by Union, NJ (-3.7 percent) and Providence, RI (-3.4 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 $1,055 in the third quarter of 2018. Midland County led at $1,401 per week and ranked 16th among the 349 large U.S. counties. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,271, 29th), Travis ($1,247, 34th), Dallas ($1,245, 36th), and Collin ($1,244, 37th). Two additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Brazoria ($1,101, 76th) and Jefferson ($1,060, 93rd).

Texas also 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 ($632, 349th), Hidalgo ($662, 347th), and Webb ($698, 346th). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($735, 340th), Brazos ($785, 331st), and Lubbock ($825, 309th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 94 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,460. San Mateo, CA, was second at $2,363, followed by San Francisco, CA. ($2,097).

Among the largest U.S. counties, nearly three-fourths (255) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2018. The lowest weekly wage was reported in Cameron, TX ($632), followed by Horry, SC ($635), and the Texas counties of Hidalgo ($662) and Webb ($698). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than 30 percent of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Of the 229 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – 22 reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,055. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,661) and La Salle ($1,410). Real County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $489 in the third quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 29 had wages below the national average. Forty-three counties reported average weekly wages under $700, 85 registered wages from $700 to $799, 57 had wages from $800 to $899, 27 had wages from $900 to $999, and 42 had wages of $1,000 or higher. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average weekly wages were concentrated around the larger metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as the smaller areas of Midland, Odessa, and Amarillo. Lower-paying counties tended to be located 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 2017 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 2018 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/cewbultn17.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.


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 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 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)

September
2018
(thousands)

Percent
change,
September
2017-18 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent
change,
third quarter
2017-18 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)

United States (4)

146,824.11.6--$1,055--3.3--

Texas

12,327.02.6--1,064143.125

Bell, Texas

118.00.62198822562.2259

Bexar, Texas

867.51.21619301952.9169

Brazoria, Texas

113.55.571,101762.8186

Brazos, Texas

107.03.7287853311.7290

Cameron, Texas

138.31.41396323492.6208

Collin, Texas

416.13.7281,244374.159

Dallas, Texas

1,711.91.61231,245362.6208

Denton, Texas

246.52.2789461862.3241

El Paso, Texas

306.91.61237353402.7196

Fort Bend, Texas

190.86.559531831.4309

Galveston, Texas

108.51.81049122202.1267

Harris, Texas

2,307.62.1851,271292.1267

Hidalgo, Texas

258.92.3726623472.0272

Jefferson, Texas

123.03.3401,060931.6299

Lubbock, Texas

139.71.01798253094.349

McLennan, Texas

113.81.31488712693.2141

Midland, Texas

105.711.911,401167.47

Montgomery, Texas

185.93.8261,0071340.9323

Nueces, Texas

162.00.52359062302.6208

Potter, Texas

77.30.02968512843.886

Smith, Texas

103.71.31488492882.4232

Tarrant, Texas

900.52.1851,0291163.3128

Travis, Texas

753.03.3401,247344.444

Webb, Texas

100.90.32626983464.252

Williamson, Texas

172.94.6151,0161271.7290

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, third quarter 2018
AreaEmployment
September
2018
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

146,824,093$1,055

Texas

12,326,9871,064

Anderson

20,390825

Andrews

7,7541,290

Angelina

35,318769

Aransas

5,283740

Archer

1,784728

Armstrong

403722

Atascosa

13,554999

Austin

10,417885

Bailey

2,630738

Bandera

3,314686

Bastrop

18,255751

Baylor

1,208685

Bee

8,870706

Bell

118,046882

Bexar

867,478930

Blanco

3,172916

Borden

204703

Bosque

3,628722

Bowie

41,193768

Brazoria

113,5271,101

Brazos

106,972785

Brewster

3,941756

Briscoe

318571

Brooks

2,565844

Brown

15,905705

Burleson

4,562850

Burnet

14,312802

Caldwell

9,039799

Calhoun

11,9531,243

Callahan

2,568817

Cameron

138,314632

Camp

3,756747

Carson

4,9161,661

Cass

7,712718

Castro

2,577682

Chambers

15,7911,177

Cherokee

14,478694

Childress

2,557705

Clay

1,502675

Cochran

642740

Coke

726801

Coleman

1,983592

Collin

416,1451,244

Collingsworth

851758

Colorado

6,752783

Comal

57,366804

Comanche

3,695652

Concho

612706

Cooke

14,591892

Coryell

16,596789

Cottle

400703

Crane

1,4951,222

Crockett

1,547776

Crosby

1,320667

Culberson

1,122984

Dallam

4,774836

Dallas

1,711,9081,245

Dawson

4,137758

De Witt

7,746844

Deaf Smith

7,582793

Delta

1,032502

Denton

246,546946

Dickens

436643

Dimmit

6,8101,051

Donley

949751

Duval

3,614742

Eastland

8,2711,067

Ector

80,2121,172

Edwards

401664

El Paso

306,862735

Ellis

52,304833

Erath

16,951697

Falls

3,189712

Fannin

8,008764

Fayette

9,374775

Fisher

830790

Floyd

1,573672

Foard

345588

Fort Bend

190,756953

Franklin

3,039803

Freestone

4,657792

Frio

7,728957

Gaines

6,333919

Galveston

108,520912

Garza

1,798740

Gillespie

10,683718

Glasscock

6991,099

Goliad

1,331695

Gonzales

7,330823

Gray

7,714939

Grayson

46,929818

Gregg

74,358899

Grimes

7,283934

Guadalupe

41,448830

Hale

11,822703

Hall

806539

Hamilton

2,588700

Hansford

2,1971,052

Hardeman

1,247715

Hardin

13,073807

Harris

2,307,5661,271

Harrison

23,627930

Hartley

2,604771

Haskell

1,507679

Hays

69,854773

Hemphill

2,2961,051

Henderson

17,142700

Hidalgo

258,867662

Hill

10,093779

Hockley

9,9931,043

Hood

16,419839

Hopkins

12,740742

Houston

6,866900

Howard

13,303958

Hudspeth

1,3331,136

Hunt

29,8871,008

Hutchinson

8,1791,119

Irion

9311,024

Jack

3,6461,154

Jackson

5,870837

Jasper

9,852755

Jeff Davis

942602

Jefferson

123,0281,060

Jim Hogg

1,658756

Jim Wells

16,733893

Johnson

47,233857

Jones

2,889730

Karnes

6,3941,024

Kaufman

31,193806

Kendall

16,182951

Kenedy

5731,218

Kent

273715

Kerr

18,084792

Kimble

1,248589

King

116785

Kinney

988883

Kleberg

11,398738

Knox

1,074783

La Salle

3,8161,410

Lamar

21,589776

Lamb

3,918773

Lampasas

4,549657

Lavaca

5,649724

Lee

7,150949

Leon

4,855984

Liberty

18,208870

Limestone

7,657825

Lipscomb

1,314848

Live Oak

3,7001,054

Llano

4,735704

Loving

117899

Lubbock

139,707825

Lynn

1,588916

Madison

4,504763

Marion

1,908627

Martin

2,4371,028

Mason

1,028654

Matagorda

10,863962

Maverick

17,929650

McCulloch

2,918743

McLennan

113,826871

McMullen

490963

Medina

9,708708

Menard

430518

Midland

105,7491,401

Milam

5,290779

Mills

1,242633

Mitchell

1,924792

Montague

4,813768

Montgomery

185,8511,007

Moore

11,246857

Morris

3,636912

Motley

306545

Nacogdoches

22,635708

Navarro

17,360744

Newton

1,301712

Nolan

5,985811

Nueces

161,976906

Ochiltree

4,578917

Oldham

1,004775

Orange

22,902993

Palo Pinto

8,791843

Panola

8,916901

Parker

33,897856

Parmer

5,779839

Pecos

5,826884

Polk

11,393774

Potter

77,293851

Presidio

2,107808

Rains

1,918656

Randall

31,636806

Reagan

2,0701,237

Real

706489

Red River

2,589677

Reeves

7,5201,138

Refugio

2,316806

Roberts

243869

Robertson

4,144845

Rockwall

30,924814

Runnels

2,830682

Rusk

13,654819

Sabine

2,249718

San Augustine

1,832728

San Jacinto

2,033683

San Patricio

18,548913

San Saba

1,878774

Schleicher

797881

Scurry

6,5871,058

Shackelford

1,3711,057

Shelby

8,435736

Sherman

1,020819

Smith

103,725849

Somervell

3,9381,054

Starr

14,811578

Stephens

3,136716

Sterling

520821

Stonewall

490743

Sutton

1,8511,222

Swisher

1,875698

Tarrant

900,5101,029

Taylor

62,365804

Terrell

270815

Terry

3,777859

Throckmorton

461521

Titus

15,793730

Tom Green

48,003817

Travis

753,0441,247

Trinity

2,249642

Tyler

3,823687

Upshur

6,950714

Upton

1,5571,200

Uvalde

9,575657

Val Verde

17,904711

Van Zandt

11,271663

Victoria

39,253871

Walker

25,318774

Waller

16,969893

Ward

5,8421,193

Washington

14,863751

Webb

100,913698

Wharton

16,180764

Wheeler

2,112811

Wichita

54,550768

Wilbarger

5,988706

Willacy

3,584679

Williamson

172,9211,016

Wilson

8,656734

Winkler

3,6051,263

Wise

20,603859

Wood

9,961724

Yoakum

3,6071,203

Young

6,879779

Zapata

3,592945

Zavala

2,394721

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 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2018 (thousands)Percent change, September 2017-18Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

146,824.11.6$1,055--3.3--

Alabama

1,966.01.2885383.125

Alaska

334.0-0.41,065133.712

Arizona

2,838.62.8974232.931

Arkansas

1,222.10.7811492.931

California

17,457.51.81,26053.89

Colorado

2,684.02.11,10493.518

Connecticut

1,681.50.31,20962.541

Delaware

447.80.61,046152.442

District of Columbia

770.70.71,80712.836

Florida

8,690.74.6924293.125

Georgia

4,448.82.3993203.321

Hawaii

654.70.0975222.442

Idaho

743.53.0805503.223

Illinois

6,029.20.81,087103.028

Indiana

3,072.30.9883392.442

Iowa

1,555.00.6887373.712

Kansas

1,390.41.0867423.518

Kentucky

1,898.70.5855432.247

Louisiana

1,915.40.5901333.712

Maine

626.50.6851453.712

Maryland

2,683.90.71,13082.442

Massachusetts

3,598.10.71,30523.223

Michigan

4,366.50.8991212.836

Minnesota

2,904.30.81,074124.25

Mississippi

1,133.70.2754513.420

Missouri

2,812.00.4907313.321

Montana

473.31.0815482.836

Nebraska

980.30.6873412.836

Nevada

1,382.93.4936282.442

New Hampshire

662.30.51,040161.749

New Jersey

4,072.60.81,18172.148

New Mexico

826.21.2855433.97

New York

9,467.51.41,27244.25

North Carolina

4,398.01.1938263.89

North Dakota

424.31.1995194.43

Ohio

5,424.40.7947252.931

Oklahoma

1,616.81.2874403.616

Oregon

1,939.81.51,005183.89

Pennsylvania

5,894.81.01,031173.028

Rhode Island

489.41.096324-1.351

South Carolina

2,088.22.8834460.850

South Dakota

431.51.3827473.028

Tennessee

3,005.61.7938263.97

Texas

12,327.02.61,064143.125

Utah

1,494.43.4911303.616

Vermont

310.90.0892362.640

Virginia

3,889.61.11,082112.931

Washington

3,425.62.41,28036.22

West Virginia

706.01.7894358.11

Wisconsin

2,888.90.7901332.931

Wyoming

278.20.6905324.34

Puerto Rico

862.50.2534(3)5.3(3)

Virgin Islands

33.4-8.0888(3)18.6(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: Tuesday, March 26, 2019