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News Release Information

20-1173-DAL
Tuesday, June 09, 2020

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

County Employment and Wages in Arkansas – Fourth Quarter 2019

Employment rose in two of the three large Arkansas counties from December 2018 to December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2018 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Acting Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted Benton County’s 3.0-percent rate of job growth ranked 20th and Washington County’s 1.8-percent job gain ranked 86th among the 355 large counties nationwide. Pulaski County’s employment fell 0.5 percent over the year, ranking 314th. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.2 percent over the year with 285 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. Cleveland, OK, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.2 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Arkansas, employment was highest in Pulaski County (253,300) in December 2019. Benton and Washington Counties had employment levels of 125,500 and 111,600, respectively. Together, the three largest Arkansas counties accounted for 39.8 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019, Benton County had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages among Arkansas’s large counties, up 4.0 percent. (See table 1.) Benton also recorded the highest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties at $1,113. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.5 percent from a year ago to $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 72 counties in Arkansas with employment levels below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2019. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages in Benton County increased 4.0 percent, which ranked 109th among the 355 largest U.S. counties. Both Pulaski and Washington County had a 3.0-percent increase in average weekly wages, each ranking 203rd.

Nationally, 341 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Santa Cruz, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (20.7 percent). The remaining 14 large counties had wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wage levels in the state’s three large counties were below the nationwide average ($1,185) in the fourth quarter of 2019. Benton County's average weekly wage of $1,113 ranked 139th among the 355 large U.S. counties. Weekly wages in Pulaski ($1,010) and Washington Counties ($1,009) ranked 219th and 220th, respectively.

Of the 355 large U.S. counties, 262 reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,185. Cameron, TX, reported the lowest weekly wage ($701), followed by Hidalgo, TX ($705) and Horry, SC ($721).

Nationally, 93 large counties registered average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,825. Santa Clara’s average weekly wage was more than four times the average weekly wage in the lowest-ranked county, Cameron, TX ($701).

Average weekly wages in Arkansas’s smaller counties

All 72 of Arkansas’s smaller counties – those with employment of less than 75,000 – reported weekly wages below the national average of $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Among these smaller counties, two had average weekly wages greater than $1,000: Calhoun ($1,130) and Mississippi ($1,090). The lowest weekly wage was in Searcy ($546).

When all 75 counties in Arkansas were considered, 10 reported average weekly wages under $650, 39 reported wages from $650 to $749, 14 had wages from $750 to $849, and 12 averaged $850 or more per week. (See chart 1.) Higher-paying counties were generally located around the metropolitan areas of Blytheville, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Texarkana, and along the southern border of the state. The lowest-paying counties were primarily concentrated along or near the northern border of the state.

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 first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 2, 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 3 largest counties in Arkansas, fourth quarter 2019
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2019 (thousands) Percent change, December
2018-19 (2)
National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter
2018-19 (2)
National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

149,857.1 1.2 -- $1,185 -- 3.5 --

Arkansas

1,232.9 0.5 -- 898 50 3.2 27

Benton

125.5 3.0 20 1,113 139 4.0 109

Pulaski

253.3 -0.5 314 1,010 219 3.0 203

Washington

111.6 1.8 86 1,009 220 3.0 203

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 Arkansas, fourth quarter 2019
Area Employment
December
2019
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

149,857,130 $1,185

Arkansas

1,232,878 898

Arkansas

10,571 865

Ashley

6,114 939

Baxter

14,958 736

Benton

125,453 1,113

Boone

14,426 783

Bradley

3,882 720

Calhoun

3,278 1,130

Carroll

10,872 639

Chicot

2,926 696

Clark

9,392 701

Clay

3,102 654

Cleburne

6,308 693

Cleveland

1,047 701

Columbia

8,334 801

Conway

6,719 799

Craighead

53,575 807

Crawford

19,879 743

Crittenden

16,435 755

Cross

4,821 678

Dallas

2,643 682

Desha

4,776 730

Drew

6,538 720

Faulkner

41,947 816

Franklin

4,832 715

Fulton

2,140 639

Garland

38,009 743

Grant

4,192 823

Greene

15,537 761

Hempstead

7,752 731

Hot Spring

8,331 737

Howard

6,581 672

Independence

16,589 929

Izard

3,067 642

Jackson

5,089 747

Jefferson

27,261 841

Johnson

8,555 673

Lafayette

1,125 648

Lawrence

3,988 676

Lee

1,855 725

Lincoln

2,775 686

Little River

3,431 989

Logan

5,030 655

Lonoke

13,659 730

Madison

3,467 731

Marion

3,845 668

Miller

13,548 814

Mississippi

18,018 1,090

Monroe

1,978 657

Montgomery

1,210 571

Nevada

2,474 753

Newton

1,030 571

Ouachita

6,788 726

Perry

1,132 690

Phillips

5,278 689

Pike

2,621 671

Poinsett

5,236 782

Polk

5,910 656

Pope

26,396 893

Prairie

1,478 677

Pulaski

253,285 1,010

Randolph

5,986 655

Saline

25,206 742

Scott

3,126 628

Searcy

1,467 546

Sebastian

65,153 856

Sevier

4,906 674

Sharp

3,516 571

St. Francis

7,306 759

Stone

2,607 627

Union

17,233 947

Van Buren

3,406 703

Washington

111,619 1,009

White

24,322 770

Woodruff

1,727 725

Yell

6,566 655

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, fourth quarter 2019
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2019 (thousands) Percent change, December 2018-19 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change,
fourth quarter
2018-19
National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

149,857.1 1.2 $1,185 -- 3.5 --

Alabama

2,007.9 1.0 985 36 2.6 39

Alaska

309.9 0.6 1,139 16 3.2 27

Arizona

2,999.8 2.7 1,059 23 4.1 7

Arkansas

1,232.9 0.5 898 50 3.2 27

California

17,836.3 1.5 1,457 4 4.7 4

Colorado

2,772.6 2.2 1,227 9 4.0 8

Connecticut

1,687.4 -0.7 1,383 5 3.8 11

Delaware

455.3 0.8 1,136 17 2.6 39

District of Columbia

782.5 0.8 1,992 1 2.5 42

Florida

9,085.5 2.0 1,044 26 3.6 14

Georgia

4,576.1 1.7 1,090 21 3.6 14

Hawaii

665.1 -0.8 1,053 24 3.5 17

Idaho

756.9 3.1 918 46 3.1 32

Illinois

6,043.5 0.2 1,221 10 2.7 38

Indiana

3,106.0 0.6 969 38 3.0 34

Iowa

1,560.4 0.1 984 37 1.9 47

Kansas

1,410.7 0.6 959 40 3.5 17

Kentucky

1,928.3 0.8 955 41 3.2 27

Louisiana

1,927.7 -0.5 993 34 2.5 42

Maine

620.2 0.7 955 41 5.3 2

Maryland

2,728.1 0.9 1,271 8 3.5 17

Massachusetts

3,660.8 0.9 1,511 2 3.8 11

Michigan

4,385.3 0.4 1,115 18 3.4 22

Minnesota

2,912.8 0.4 1,177 14 3.2 27

Mississippi

1,145.0 0.0 818 51 3.2 27

Missouri

2,846.2 0.9 1,010 32 3.0 34

Montana

474.1 1.1 918 46 3.4 22

Nebraska

990.9 0.7 969 38 4.2 6

Nevada

1,435.5 2.7 1,030 29 2.4 45

New Hampshire

671.3 0.8 1,192 12 2.9 37

New Jersey

4,157.4 0.8 1,332 7 2.5 42

New Mexico

844.0 1.5 942 44 4.0 8

New York

9,691.0 0.8 1,499 3 3.7 13

North Carolina

4,546.9 1.9 1,036 28 2.4 45

North Dakota

424.6 0.5 1,085 22 2.6 39

Ohio

5,477.2 0.5 1,037 27 3.1 32

Oklahoma

1,639.4 0.3 945 43 1.4 49

Oregon

1,969.3 1.6 1,100 19 4.6 5

Pennsylvania

5,985.9 0.8 1,143 15 3.6 14

Rhode Island

489.8 0.6 1,099 20 1.1 50

South Carolina

2,144.8 1.2 931 45 4.0 8

South Dakota

430.7 0.6 916 48 3.5 17

Tennessee

3,085.4 1.6 1,047 25 1.6 48

Texas

12,793.0 2.0 1,187 13 3.4 22

Utah

1,547.8 2.5 1,022 30 5.0 3

Vermont

314.0 -0.4 987 35 3.5 17

Virginia

3,978.7 1.2 1,204 11 3.4 22

Washington

3,457.7 2.2 1,370 6 6.4 1

West Virginia

690.3 -2.0 904 49 -1.4 51

Wisconsin

2,898.0 0.2 1,022 30 3.3 26

Wyoming

276.3 1.4 1,007 33 3.0 34

Puerto Rico

910.7 1.5 575 (3) -0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

39.2 10.8 1,065 (3) 13.5 (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. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 09, 2020