Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

21-199-DAL
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2020

Employment fell in the 27 largest counties in Texas from September 2019 to September 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that Ector County (-20.8 percent) and Midland County (-20.1 percent) had the largest over-the-year declines in Texas employment. The Ector and Midland rates of job loss ranked 355th and 353rd, respectively, among the 357 large U.S. counties. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

  Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in covered employment among selected large counties in Texas, September 2020

National employment decreased 6.8 percent over the year, with 355 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Maui + Kalawao, HI, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 35.4 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 1.9 percent.

Among the 27 largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,171,800) in September 2020, followed by Dallas County (1,653,800). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 700,000. Together, the 27 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 227 counties in Texas with employment below 75,000 in 2019. Wage levels in 218 of the 227 smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Among the 27 large Texas counties, 24 reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter 2019 to the third quarter 2020. (See chart 2.) Three counties had wage gains that were above the national rate of 7.4 percent. Williamson County had the largest gain (+8.4 percent), followed by Travis County (+8.3 percent), and Bexar County (+7.5 percent). Three large Texas counties had loses during the period: Ector (-11.0 percent), Midland (-7.4 percent), and Gregg (-3.7 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among the other 21 large Texas counties ranged from 6.8 percent to 0.8 percent.

  Chart 2. Over-the-year percent change in covered average weekly wages among selected large counties in Texas, third quarter 2020

Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 350 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, the increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Employment declines occurring in some higher-paid industries also feature significant wage increases. San Mateo, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+23.2 percent). Seven large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-11.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in 6 of the 27 largest counties in Texas were above the national average of $1,173 in the third quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in five of these counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Travis ($1,427, 28th), Collin and Midland (each at $1,358, 38th), Dallas ($1,355, 40th), and Harris ($1,336, 43rd). Rounding out the top six Texas counties was Williamson ($1,236, 76th.)

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 ($697, 357th), Hidalgo ($713, 356th), and Webb ($742, 354th). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($814, 348th), Brazos ($864, 339th), Gregg ($882, 329th), and Lubbock ($892, 325th).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 96 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2020. San Mateo, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,922. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 261 counties. At $697 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Among the 227 smaller counties in Texas—those with employment below 75,000—only Carson ($1,704) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,173. Delta County ($519) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 15 had wages below the national average. Eighteen counties reported average weekly wages under $700, 116 registered wages from $700 to $849, 75 had wages from $850 to $999, 27 had wages from $1,000 to $1,149, and 18 had wages of $1,150 or higher. (See chart 3.) 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 2019 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm. The 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.


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 individuals with sensory impairments 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 27 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2020
Area Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 -- $1,173 -- 7.4 --

Texas

733.1 11,926.8 -5.5 -- 1,150 15 3.8 47

Bell

5.9 117.5 -3.3 39 955 271 4.1 321

Bexar

43.8 824.8 -6.2 169 1,036 194 7.5 156

Brazoria

6.3 108.8 -7.4 217 1,100 151 0.8 348

Brazos

4.9 103.6 -4.8 84 864 339 5.9 254

Cameron

6.6 135.5 -4.3 68 697 357 5.4 276

Collin

29.0 423.0 -4.4 71 1,358 38 6.4 227

Dallas

80.6 1,653.8 -4.6 78 1,355 40 4.1 321

Denton

17.0 257.3 -3.0 35 1,026 203 6.3 233

Ector

4.2 65.2 -20.8 355 1,094 157 -11.0 357

El Paso

15.7 299.5 -5.0 94 814 348 6.8 202

Fort Bend

15.4 187.8 -4.7 82 995 233 1.8 345

Galveston

6.5 104.7 -5.2 105 1,010 219 5.0 294

Gregg

4.3 68.9 -9.9 320 882 329 -3.7 352

Harris

119.8 2,171.8 -7.7 226 1,336 43 1.4 346

Hidalgo

12.9 253.4 -4.1 58 713 356 4.2 316

Jefferson

5.8 111.2 -9.7 313 1,096 155 3.4 331

Lubbock

8.0 136.6 -3.7 48 892 325 3.7 327

McLennan

5.6 112.1 -1.6 8 947 280 6.2 240

Midland

6.2 87.5 -20.1 353 1,358 38 -7.4 356

Montgomery

12.9 184.5 -5.5 125 1,113 142 3.3 332

Nueces

8.4 149.4 -8.6 276 950 277 1.2 347

Potter

4.0 74.4 -3.4 43 944 286 6.2 240

Smith

6.5 101.0 -4.0 55 928 302 4.3 314

Tarrant

46.6 877.1 -5.6 127 1,116 136 4.3 314

Travis

45.6 745.6 -4.6 78 1,427 28 8.3 111

Webb

5.6 95.4 -7.1 208 742 354 3.9 324

Williamson

12.6 179.0 -2.4 21 1,236 76 8.4 103

(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 2020
Area Employment
September
2020
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503 $1,173

Texas

11,926,833 1,150

Anderson

19,620 898

Andrews

6,759 1,262

Angelina

33,587 808

Aransas

5,292 779

Archer

1,578 756

Armstrong

414 751

Atascosa

12,119 904

Austin

10,573 959

Bailey

2,486 787

Bandera

3,292 736

Bastrop

18,457 819

Baylor

1,427 730

Bee

8,284 729

Bell

117,495 955

Bexar

824,842 1,036

Blanco

3,471 1,006

Borden

299 806

Bosque

3,720 833

Bowie

40,419 827

Brazoria

108,788 1,100

Brazos

103,645 864

Brewster

3,813 867

Briscoe

323 638

Brooks

2,490 844

Brown

14,760 754

Burleson

4,324 942

Burnet

14,845 880

Caldwell

8,707 779

Calhoun

12,717 1,422

Callahan

2,428 847

Cameron

135,498 697

Camp

3,736 798

Carson

5,171 1,704

Cass

7,510 759

Castro

2,537 756

Chambers

16,058 1,201

Cherokee

14,186 722

Childress

2,686 713

Clay

1,517 768

Cochran

667 798

Coke

656 897

Coleman

1,968 655

Collin

422,961 1,358

Collingsworth

764 812

Colorado

6,714 839

Comal

57,977 915

Comanche

3,871 734

Concho

881 833

Cooke

13,587 875

Coryell

15,270 846

Cottle

457 845

Crane

1,079 1,030

Crockett

1,320 822

Crosby

1,192 714

Culberson

1,295 1,132

Dallam

4,364 909

Dallas

1,653,775 1,355

Dawson

4,007 793

De Witt

7,093 823

Deaf Smith

7,836 885

Delta

1,015 519

Denton

257,341 1,026

Dickens

440 715

Dimmit

5,225 1,010

Donley

857 684

Duval

3,196 713

Eastland

6,462 875

Ector

65,166 1,094

Edwards

683 985

El Paso

299,513 814

Ellis

52,456 907

Erath

15,809 747

Falls

3,040 771

Fannin

8,012 790

Fayette

8,585 850

Fisher

789 859

Floyd

1,500 713

Foard

364 608

Fort Bend

187,797 995

Franklin

3,325 923

Freestone

4,393 803

Frio

6,554 919

Gaines

6,138 965

Galveston

104,691 1,010

Garza

1,637 786

Gillespie

10,493 805

Glasscock

568 951

Goliad

1,254 834

Gonzales

7,323 852

Gray

6,972 940

Grayson

46,616 881

Gregg

68,921 882

Grimes

6,868 989

Guadalupe

41,897 889

Hale

11,074 779

Hall

769 584

Hamilton

2,694 761

Hansford

1,932 863

Hardeman

1,274 747

Hardin

12,653 868

Harris

2,171,804 1,336

Harrison

21,995 939

Hartley

2,650 832

Haskell

1,915 732

Hays

71,489 856

Hemphill

1,648 999

Henderson

17,593 753

Hidalgo

253,447 713

Hill

9,692 847

Hockley

8,187 963

Hood

15,322 821

Hopkins

12,693 785

Houston

6,676 993

Howard

12,043 970

Hudspeth

1,441 1,155

Hunt

27,386 921

Hutchinson

7,698 1,159

Irion

800 1,017

Jack

2,348 971

Jackson

5,618 878

Jasper

9,033 797

Jeff Davis

803 780

Jefferson

111,232 1,096

Jim Hogg

1,584 776

Jim Wells

13,416 748

Johnson

48,566 925

Jones

3,019 770

Karnes

5,868 1,057

Kaufman

32,342 876

Kendall

16,453 1,015

Kenedy

354 1,298

Kent

279 746

Kerr

17,346 867

Kimble

1,212 690

King

161 830

Kinney

947 916

Kleberg

11,292 787

Knox

1,075 830

La Salle

2,675 1,071

Lamar

21,099 848

Lamb

3,973 833

Lampasas

4,590 732

Lavaca

5,247 800

Lee

6,696 990

Leon

4,700 998

Liberty

17,405 878

Limestone

7,447 820

Lipscomb

1,254 961

Live Oak

3,469 1,091

Llano

4,649 784

Loving

144 1,203

Lubbock

136,585 892

Lynn

1,446 937

Madison

4,129 799

Marion

1,973 658

Martin

1,990 1,016

Mason

999 687

Matagorda

9,989 1,021

Maverick

17,028 688

McCulloch

2,371 742

McLennan

112,140 947

McMullen

454 1,068

Medina

10,040 764

Menard

440 549

Midland

87,473 1,358

Milam

5,173 795

Mills

1,310 712

Mitchell

1,926 787

Montague

4,488 736

Montgomery

184,456 1,113

Moore

11,127 940

Morris

3,139 813

Motley

280 624

Nacogdoches

21,640 782

Navarro

16,204 786

Newton

1,230 774

Nolan

6,349 869

Nueces

149,412 950

Ochiltree

4,035 835

Oldham

935 883

Orange

21,155 1,064

Palo Pinto

7,923 864

Panola

7,222 855

Parker

33,227 910

Parmer

6,037 995

Pecos

5,695 922

Polk

11,519 824

Potter

74,383 944

Presidio

1,997 845

Rains

2,041 673

Randall

32,886 850

Reagan

1,712 1,252

Real

761 546

Red River

2,778 748

Reeves

5,973 1,165

Refugio

2,159 760

Roberts

263 906

Robertson

4,264 898

Rockwall

32,130 885

Runnels

2,783 754

Rusk

12,341 832

Sabine

2,508 751

San Augustine

1,693 823

San Jacinto

2,161 720

San Patricio

18,839 1,001

San Saba

1,441 714

Schleicher

657 951

Scurry

5,564 1,036

Shackelford

1,136 973

Shelby

8,398 797

Sherman

1,049 901

Smith

101,041 928

Somervell

3,256 1,145

Starr

14,340 626

Stephens

3,151 786

Sterling

489 834

Stonewall

481 776

Sutton

1,361 1,033

Swisher

1,803 727

Tarrant

877,059 1,116

Taylor

61,820 871

Terrell

281 886

Terry

3,220 773

Throckmorton

379 604

Titus

16,397 768

Tom Green

45,225 878

Travis

745,581 1,427

Trinity

2,243 694

Tyler

3,993 746

Upshur

7,139 768

Upton

1,796 1,380

Uvalde

9,389 740

Val Verde

17,797 743

Van Zandt

11,221 714

Victoria

35,264 885

Walker

24,508 835

Waller

21,042 863

Ward

4,429 1,084

Washington

15,165 815

Webb

95,391 742

Wharton

15,408 832

Wheeler

1,892 849

Wichita

51,299 816

Wilbarger

5,746 745

Willacy

3,630 785

Williamson

179,037 1,236

Wilson

8,497 794

Winkler

3,039 1,307

Wise

19,344 912

Wood

10,397 755

Yoakum

2,909 1,093

Young

6,386 819

Zapata

2,537 831

Zavala

2,212 778

(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 2020
State Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 $1,173 -- 7.4 --

Alabama

132.2 1,902.4 -4.5 978 33 6.4 27

Alaska

22.9 302.6 -10.7 1,165 14 5.4 42

Arizona

174.1 2,797.1 -4.2 1,091 22 7.3 17

Arkansas

93.6 1,180.1 -3.4 892 49 6.1 31

California

1,643.8 16,096.8 -9.2 1,466 4 12.0 1

Colorado

220.1 2,597.2 -5.6 1,235 9 5.6 38

Connecticut

125.4 1,555.6 -7.3 1,328 7 7.4 15

Delaware

34.9 428.8 -5.6 1,150 15 6.8 21

District of Columbia

43.3 713.7 -8.1 1,962 1 6.1 31

Florida

749.1 8,329.7 -5.8 1,029 27 8.0 11

Georgia

313.0 4,282.1 -5.2 1,084 23 5.8 35

Hawaii

46.5 507.5 -22.9 1,114 18 10.3 4

Idaho

70.7 763.7 -0.2 884 50 5.5 41

Illinois

385.9 5,558.5 -7.8 1,199 11 6.8 21

Indiana

172.4 2,941.8 -4.7 961 39 5.3 43

Iowa

105.1 1,475.0 -5.2 969 36 6.0 34

Kansas

89.2 1,325.4 -5.0 952 40 6.6 24

Kentucky

128.0 1,807.1 -5.5 935 43 5.8 35

Louisiana

139.5 1,734.6 -9.6 970 35 5.2 45

Maine

54.4 597.3 -5.9 966 37 9.0 9

Maryland

172.4 2,496.6 -7.6 1,277 8 9.5 7

Massachusetts

265.1 3,314.8 -9.4 1,488 2 9.7 6

Michigan

266.9 4,035.9 -7.9 1,096 20 7.5 14

Minnesota

183.1 2,703.3 -7.4 1,178 12 6.4 27

Mississippi

74.9 1,092.4 -4.0 810 51 5.6 38

Missouri

218.8 2,681.7 -5.1 995 32 5.6 38

Montana

53.0 466.9 -2.5 904 48 6.6 24

Nebraska

73.7 949.9 -3.8 964 38 6.4 27

Nevada

87.9 1,251.0 -11.6 1,048 24 7.8 13

New Hampshire

56.1 634.2 -5.2 1,171 13 8.9 10

New Jersey

289.3 3,778.4 -8.0 1,331 6 9.5 7

New Mexico

63.1 771.9 -8.6 944 41 5.1 46

New York

657.6 8,547.7 -10.8 1,446 5 10.0 5

North Carolina

301.4 4,308.2 -4.4 1,039 26 6.9 20

North Dakota

32.5 398.2 -7.0 1,025 28 -0.3 50

Ohio

305.7 5,136.8 -5.6 1,040 25 6.6 24

Oklahoma

112.4 1,538.5 -5.7 917 46 2.3 48

Oregon

164.6 1,837.3 -7.0 1,113 19 7.4 15

Pennsylvania

366.5 5,501.0 -7.6 1,139 17 7.0 19

Rhode Island

40.1 452.5 -8.0 1,092 21 10.4 3

South Carolina

146.6 2,022.9 -5.2 924 44 6.7 23

South Dakota

35.2 422.3 -2.6 918 45 7.2 18

Tennessee

173.6 2,918.1 -4.6 1,022 29 5.8 35

Texas

733.1 11,926.8 -5.5 1,150 15 3.8 47

Utah

114.3 1,518.2 -1.0 1,015 30 6.1 31

Vermont

26.4 283.9 -8.6 1,001 31 7.9 12

Virginia

285.7 3,737.0 -5.0 1,201 10 6.4 27

Washington

256.6 3,266.2 -6.3 1,482 3 11.0 2

West Virginia

51.7 649.1 -6.7 913 47 1.8 49

Wisconsin

181.2 2,746.6 -5.2 977 34 5.3 43

Wyoming

27.5 264.0 -6.8 939 42 -0.4 51

Puerto Rico

45.7 831.6 -5.3 547 (3) 3.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.4 33.9 -13.0 1,019 (3) -0.5 (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.

  Chart 3. Average weekly wages by county in Texas, third quarter 2020

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021