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News Release Information

20-210-DAL
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2019

Employment rose in 25 of the 26 largest counties in Texas from September 2018 to September 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that job growth in Williamson and Denton Counties ranked among the top 10 nationwide. Williamson County ranked sixth with an employment increase of 3.9 percent, and Denton ranked 10th (3.5 percent). Ector was the only large Texas county to record a job loss (-1.3 percent) during the period. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.1 percent over the year with 283 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year.  Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,350,400) in September 2019, followed by Dallas County (1,750,700). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 750,000. Together, the 26 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

All large counties in Texas experienced average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Among the large counties in Texas, Williamson had the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 12.3 percent, which ranked third in the nation. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.6 percent from a year ago to $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. 

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 228 counties in Texas with annual average employment levels below 75,000 in 2018. Among these smaller counties, 204 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2019. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of the 26 large Texas counties recorded wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Over-the-year wage growth in six large Texas counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Williamson (12.3 percent, 3rd), Smith (5.1 percent, 31st), Cameron, Dallas and Tarrant (4.9 percent, tied for 42nd), and Travis (4.8 percent, 47th). Brazoria County had the smallest over-the-year wage increase (0.9 percent, 339th) among the state’s large counties. Nationally, average weekly wages rose 3.6 percent.

Nationally, 350 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Boulder, CO, had the largest percentage wage increase (+18.4 percent). The remaining five large counties registered wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 26 large Texas counties were more than 15 percent above the national average of $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. Midland County led at $1,459 per week and ranked 17th among the 355 large U.S. counties. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,315, 28th), Travis ($1,312, 29th), Dallas ($1,303, 32nd), and Collin ($1,278, 39th). Three additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Ector ($1,227, 49th), Williamson ($1,143, 82nd), and Brazoria ($1,095, 97th).

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 ($659, 355th), Hidalgo ($683, 353rd), and Webb ($712, 352nd). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($765, 346th), Brazos ($815, 334th), and Lubbock ($861, 304th).

Nationally, 98 large counties reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,447. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 257 counties. At $659 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Of the 228 smaller Texas counties–those with employment below 75,000–24 reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,093. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,711) and Loving ($1,561). Real County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $511 in the third quarter of 2019.

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 32 had wages below the national average. Thirty-three counties reported average weekly wages under $700, 110 registered wages from $700 to $849, 64 had wages from $850 to $999, 23 had wages from $1,000 to $1,149, and 24 had wages of $1,150 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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of this news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.


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 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 26 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.51.1--$1,093--3.6--

Texas

12,603.22.1--1,109124.110

Bell

120.91.31329162544.293

Bexar

878.41.21429651953.8132

Brazoria

116.62.0691,095970.9339

Brazos

109.22.2608153343.6157

Cameron

141.51.51106593554.942

Collin

432.03.0251,278393.1212

Dallas

1,750.72.7371,303324.942

Denton

260.93.5109621983.0227

Ector

81.1-1.33441,227492.4276

El Paso

312.91.41227653464.293

Fort Bend

195.82.2609771873.5168

Galveston

110.10.91869592024.1103

Harris

2,350.41.9761,315283.1212

Hidalgo

265.02.3546833533.6157

Jefferson

123.11.9761,0841023.5168

Lubbock

141.61.11538613044.1103

McLennan

114.41.41228922814.478

Midland

107.70.52261,459173.4182

Montgomery

192.02.6431,0611194.293

Nueces

163.41.11539372252.9238

Potter

77.11.61028882893.3195

Smith

103.40.42388932805.131

Tarrant

923.31.61021,0791064.942

Travis

779.93.1211,312294.847

Webb

103.00.81967123522.2288

Williamson

181.43.961,1438212.33

(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 2019
AreaEmployment
September
2019
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525$1,093

Texas

12,603,1601,109

Anderson

20,912853

Andrews

7,9991,328

Angelina

35,427784

Aransas

5,564769

Archer

1,787731

Armstrong

390757

Atascosa

14,2831,046

Austin

10,765933

Bailey

2,497773

Bandera

3,343711

Bastrop

18,681776

Baylor

1,417666

Bee

8,886716

Bell

120,913916

Bexar

878,443965

Blanco

3,361983

Borden

261776

Bosque

3,707776

Bowie

41,808784

Brazoria

116,6001,095

Brazos

109,181815

Brewster

4,096787

Briscoe

323598

Brooks

2,749852

Brown

15,341735

Burleson

4,555902

Burnet

14,824821

Caldwell

8,899746

Calhoun

12,8731,314

Callahan

2,510802

Cameron

141,467659

Camp

3,846759

Carson

5,0371,711

Cass

7,818731

Castro

2,517721

Chambers

18,1381,269

Cherokee

14,501717

Childress

2,525737

Clay

1,497703

Cochran

657812

Coke

736761

Coleman

1,962614

Collin

431,9731,278

Collingsworth

821779

Colorado

7,020822

Comal

60,194843

Comanche

3,847675

Concho

926782

Cooke

14,907902

Coryell

16,059818

Cottle

415895

Crane

1,1481,119

Crockett

1,458823

Crosby

1,265728

Culberson

1,2211,050

Dallam

4,484874

Dallas

1,750,7221,303

Dawson

4,270789

De Witt

7,938878

Deaf Smith

7,809823

Delta

1,004512

Denton

260,926962

Dickens

441659

Dimmit

6,5041,074

Donley

849628

Duval

3,534753

Eastland

7,5191,037

Ector

81,0511,227

Edwards

572808

El Paso

312,881765

Ellis

52,520868

Erath

16,906714

Falls

3,165721

Fannin

8,525798

Fayette

8,997833

Fisher

788818

Floyd

1,554672

Foard

378572

Fort Bend

195,792977

Franklin

3,127824

Freestone

4,613805

Frio

7,6171,008

Gaines

6,618986

Galveston

110,078959

Garza

1,858834

Gillespie

10,879751

Glasscock

581993

Goliad

1,297835

Gonzales

7,341844

Gray

7,749961

Grayson

47,276851

Gregg

76,321919

Grimes

7,320992

Guadalupe

42,137867

Hale

11,533726

Hall

758572

Hamilton

2,596738

Hansford

2,088950

Hardeman

1,333716

Hardin

12,757836

Harris

2,350,3921,315

Harrison

23,126957

Hartley

2,562787

Haskell

1,451620

Hays

73,520815

Hemphill

1,8751,166

Henderson

17,553725

Hidalgo

264,971683

Hill

10,166809

Hockley

9,6771,154

Hood

16,906856

Hopkins

12,989768

Houston

7,071944

Howard

13,6591,003

Hudspeth

1,5161,171

Hunt

27,705964

Hutchinson

8,0141,157

Irion

1,0051,099

Jack

2,597928

Jackson

6,165891

Jasper

9,460802

Jeff Davis

861672

Jefferson

123,0761,084

Jim Hogg

1,686786

Jim Wells

16,457936

Johnson

48,726901

Jones

3,004746

Karnes

6,7521,096

Kaufman

32,578834

Kendall

17,765962

Kenedy

5071,358

Kent

297696

Kerr

18,550814

Kimble

1,239605

King

152743

Kinney

1,055984

Kleberg

11,720781

Knox

1,073862

La Salle

3,5261,411

Lamar

22,209819

Lamb

4,057821

Lampasas

4,655698

Lavaca

5,484770

Lee

7,9411,039

Leon

5,0591,030

Liberty

18,835903

Limestone

8,127859

Lipscomb

1,327841

Live Oak

4,2201,135

Llano

4,903735

Loving

2881,561

Lubbock

141,585861

Lynn

1,471927

Madison

4,330766

Marion

1,964626

Martin

2,8171,165

Mason

1,046642

Matagorda

10,814993

Maverick

17,926674

McCulloch

2,514804

McLennan

114,375892

McMullen

622969

Medina

10,147740

Menard

456534

Midland

107,6871,459

Milam

5,220793

Mills

1,292676

Mitchell

1,943805

Montague

4,958767

Montgomery

192,0111,061

Moore

11,367890

Morris

3,791937

Motley

326549

Nacogdoches

22,271736

Navarro

17,630758

Newton

1,277725

Nolan

6,464850

Nueces

163,358937

Ochiltree

4,445919

Oldham

973796

Orange

22,5641,025

Palo Pinto

8,715884

Panola

8,252930

Parker

34,924866

Parmer

5,799863

Pecos

5,632946

Polk

11,572799

Potter

77,104888

Presidio

2,153863

Rains

1,980662

Randall

32,531832

Reagan

2,0731,362

Real

710511

Red River

2,682677

Reeves

9,1581,319

Refugio

2,336834

Roberts

260932

Robertson

4,389861

Rockwall

32,807819

Runnels

2,907718

Rusk

13,737853

Sabine

2,448712

San Augustine

2,150828

San Jacinto

2,156709

San Patricio

18,657929

San Saba

1,849800

Schleicher

758940

Scurry

6,4651,077

Shackelford

1,3091,089

Shelby

8,606782

Sherman

1,069813

Smith

103,371893

Somervell

3,6921,117

Starr

14,816613

Stephens

3,267731

Sterling

522817

Stonewall

487786

Sutton

1,6101,142

Swisher

1,844680

Tarrant

923,2631,079

Taylor

65,172837

Terrell

266832

Terry

3,502835

Throckmorton

379595

Titus

16,347742

Tom Green

47,773860

Travis

779,8551,312

Trinity

2,270668

Tyler

3,905688

Upshur

7,249765

Upton

1,6931,438

Uvalde

9,883687

Val Verde

18,492719

Van Zandt

11,312691

Victoria

38,722905

Walker

25,454797

Waller

18,217896

Ward

6,2671,225

Washington

15,406778

Webb

102,968712

Wharton

16,378832

Wheeler

1,951919

Wichita

54,774791

Wilbarger

5,890734

Willacy

3,989734

Williamson

181,4311,143

Wilson

8,994781

Winkler

3,5421,342

Wise

20,901911

Wood

10,450734

Yoakum

3,6231,225

Young

6,717799

Zapata

3,4221,007

Zavala

2,331782

(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 2019
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,556.51.1$1,093--3.6--

Alabama

1,989.51.1919363.818

Alaska

338.01.21,105143.721

Arizona

2,913.42.61,018224.54

Arkansas

1,222.80.0841493.818

California

17,713.11.41,30953.818

Colorado

2,749.02.41,17086.11

Connecticut

1,676.6-0.31,23662.350

Delaware

453.21.11,078153.332

District of Columbia

776.40.61,85112.549

Florida

8,838.21.7955293.427

Georgia

4,509.71.41,026203.427

Hawaii

654.1-0.31,012233.915

Idaho

765.22.9838504.110

Illinois

6,023.10.01,125103.623

Indiana

3,083.50.3914373.526

Iowa

1,556.90.1914373.039

Kansas

1,395.90.4893432.943

Kentucky

1,910.80.7884453.427

Louisiana

1,913.5-0.3923352.647

Maine

632.60.9887444.27

Maryland

2,696.90.21,16993.623

Massachusetts

3,642.50.91,35924.27

Michigan

4,375.80.21,021213.039

Minnesota

2,917.80.41,107133.039

Mississippi

1,135.80.1768512.746

Missouri

2,826.50.6942313.915

Montana

478.91.2848483.915

Nebraska

984.70.3908394.013

Nevada

1,412.22.1973264.110

New Hampshire

667.90.81,075163.427

New Jersey

4,104.00.91,21773.039

New Mexico

842.11.7899405.12

New York

9,575.41.11,31443.332

North Carolina

4,501.32.2972273.623

North Dakota

428.40.91,028193.332

Ohio

5,443.30.3976253.137

Oklahoma

1,628.80.5897412.647

Oregon

1,970.71.41,037183.235

Pennsylvania

5,947.90.81,064173.235

Rhode Island

491.30.6991242.844

South Carolina

2,132.42.2866463.721

South Dakota

433.40.4855473.427

Tennessee

3,060.81.9966282.844

Texas

12,603.22.11,109124.110

Utah

1,535.22.8954304.83

Vermont

311.00.0927344.35

Virginia

3,931.41.01,125104.013

Washington

3,489.82.11,33534.35

West Virginia

694.4-1.8897410.351

Wisconsin

2,893.80.1929333.137

Wyoming

283.11.5942314.27

Puerto Rico

878.91.9528(3)-0.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.89.61,012(3)12.8(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: Thursday, March 12, 2020