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News Release Information

21-789-DAL
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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

County Employment and Wages in New Mexico – Fourth Quarter 2020

Employment fell 8.5 percent in Bernalillo, New Mexico’s only large county, from December 2019 to December 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 the rate of employment growth in Bernalillo County ranked 284th among the 357 largest U.S. counties. (See table 1.)

National employment decreased 6.1 percent over the year, with 352 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 22.8 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 3.8 percent.

Employment in Bernalillo County stood at 310,000 in December 2020, accounting for 40.4 percent of total employment in New Mexico. Within Bernalillo County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 32 counties in New Mexico with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 31 of the 32 smaller counties were below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2020.(See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The average weekly wage in Bernalillo County increased 15.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020, ranking 52nd among the largest U.S. counties. Nationally, average weekly wages rose 13.0 percent over the year.

Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 356 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, across most industries, increases in average weekly wages reflect substantial employment declines combined with wage increases. The lowest paying industry, leisure and hospitality, had the largest employment loss, which results in higher average weekly wages for the industry and the nation. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+44.3 percent). Ector, TX, had the only over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

The average weekly wage in Bernalillo County was $1,129 in the fourth quarter of 2020, ranking it 226th. Among the largest U.S. counties, 89 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,339 in the fourth quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,690. Average weekly wages were below the national average in the remaining 268 counties. At $760 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in New Mexico’s smaller counties

Among the 32 smaller counties in New Mexico—those with employment below 75,000—Los Alamos ($1,915) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,339. Guadalupe and Catron Counties (both at $674) reported the lowest average weekly wages in the state.

When all 33 counties in New Mexico were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages of less than $800, 13 registered wages from $800 to $899, 3 had wages from $900 to $999, and 5 had average weekly wages of $1,000 or higher. (See chart 1.) The higher-paying counties were located in and around the metropolitan areas Albuquerque, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe.

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 first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

QCEW Imputation Issue Caused by Pandemic-Related Challenges

In the spring of 2020, BLS modified its imputation process for QCEW to be more responsive to current economic conditions. While continuing work to improve this process, BLS made an unintended data processing error. This error affected data for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020. BLS has analyzed this issue and has determined that the impact on QCEW employment was negligible at the statewide level. In smaller areas and industries, revisions may be larger than usual. Wage data were not affected. Following the usual QCEW practice, these data will be revised and corrected with the full data update on September 1, 2021.

For more information on QCEW imputation methodology, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.


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 largest county in New Mexico, fourth quarter 2020
Area Establishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,675.8 140,881.3 -6.1 -- $1,339 -- 13.0 --

New Mexico

64.8 767.1 -9.5 -- 1,052 43 11.8 29

Bernalillo

21.0 310.0 -8.5 284 1,129 226 15.0 52

(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from 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 New Mexico, fourth quarter 2020
Area Employment
December
2020
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

140,881,253 $1,339

New Mexico

767,120 1,052

Bernalillo

310,029 1,129

Catron

640 674

Chaves

20,253 829

Cibola

7,172 823

Colfax

3,970 747

Curry

16,832 844

De Baca

417 791

Dona Ana

69,389 882

Eddy

27,869 1,332

Grant

8,505 838

Guadalupe

1,299 674

Harding

158 787

Hidalgo

1,406 948

Lea

25,849 1,050

Lincoln

5,546 758

Los Alamos

17,547 1,915

Luna

6,935 822

McKinley

18,886 866

Mora

636 732

Otero

16,386 892

Quay

2,352 728

Rio Arriba

8,815 864

Roosevelt

5,831 788

Sandoval

29,237 973

San Juan

40,660 979

San Miguel

7,398 708

Santa Fe

54,792 1,082

Sierra

3,393 800

Socorro

4,768 877

Taos

9,389 771

Torrance

3,194 842

Union

1,193 803

Valencia

14,988 790

(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 2020
State Establishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,675.8 140,881.3 -6.1 $1,339 -- 13.0 --

Alabama

134.6 1,951.2 -2.9 1,096 35 11.4 36

Alaska

23.1 290.1 -6.4 1,260 17 10.6 44

Arizona

173.9 2,908.7 -3.3 1,214 22 14.6 9

Arkansas

94.6 1,194.8 -3.2 999 49 11.4 36

California

1,660.2 16,380.1 -8.3 1,724 3 18.5 1

Colorado

219.6 2,613.7 -5.7 1,378 10 12.3 25

Connecticut

126.8 1,578.4 -6.5 1,551 6 12.2 27

Delaware

35.1 432.9 -5.2 1,262 16 11.3 38

District of Columbia

43.8 713.0 -8.9 2,293 1 15.2 6

Florida

765.4 8,642.8 -5.0 1,180 24 13.1 17

Georgia

319.7 4,405.9 -4.0 1,208 23 10.9 42

Hawaii

47.3 561.1 -16.1 1,219 21 16.0 4

Idaho

71.8 763.5 0.8 1,034 47 12.8 21

Illinois

386.3 5,573.8 -7.8 1,378 10 13.0 18

Indiana

173.1 2,985.1 -4.0 1,076 39 11.2 39

Iowa

105.6 1,494.3 -4.3 1,099 34 11.6 32

Kansas

89.9 1,346.9 -4.5 1,070 40 11.5 34

Kentucky

130.4 1,839.6 -4.8 1,057 42 10.8 43

Louisiana

140.8 1,796.9 -7.0 1,078 38 8.6 48

Maine

55.4 594.3 -4.3 1,092 36 14.5 10

Maryland

174.5 2,546.1 -6.7 1,445 8 13.6 16

Massachusetts

266.7 3,365.8 -8.3 1,766 2 17.0 3

Michigan

265.3 3,998.2 -8.9 1,257 19 12.8 21

Minnesota

186.4 2,684.1 -7.9 1,322 13 12.3 25

Mississippi

76.1 1,119.1 -2.4 901 51 10.4 45

Missouri

221.5 2,724.4 -4.3 1,127 33 11.6 32

Montana

54.6 467.4 -1.4 1,035 45 12.7 23

Nebraska

72.5 962.7 -2.9 1,079 37 11.5 34

Nevada

90.2 1,283.1 -10.7 1,178 25 14.4 11

New Hampshire

57.1 637.3 -5.2 1,406 9 17.9 2

New Jersey

291.0 3,860.5 -7.2 1,517 7 13.9 15

New Mexico

64.8 767.1 -9.5 1,052 43 11.8 29

New York

662.4 8,693.4 -10.3 1,712 4 14.2 13

North Carolina

301.7 4,431.0 -2.7 1,152 29 11.2 39

North Dakota

32.6 394.4 -7.1 1,136 31 4.7 50

Ohio

307.3 5,199.9 -5.1 1,161 27 12.0 28

Oklahoma

113.6 1,569.1 -4.4 1,013 48 7.3 49

Oregon

167.3 1,824.3 -7.5 1,256 20 14.2 13

Pennsylvania

370.5 5,549.4 -7.4 1,287 15 12.6 24

Rhode Island

40.7 449.6 -8.3 1,259 18 14.7 7

South Carolina

149.2 2,074.4 -3.5 1,035 45 11.1 41

South Dakota

35.5 422.8 -1.9 1,048 44 14.4 11

Tennessee

176.2 3,002.5 -2.7 1,172 26 11.7 30

Texas

743.1 12,251.1 -4.3 1,294 14 9.0 47

Utah

117.9 1,557.8 0.6 1,154 28 12.9 20

Vermont

26.6 286.1 -8.9 1,133 32 14.7 7

Virginia

289.8 3,796.1 -4.7 1,360 12 13.0 18

Washington

259.7 3,219.7 -6.8 1,589 5 16.0 4

West Virginia

51.9 654.1 -5.3 997 50 10.3 46

Wisconsin

184.2 2,762.5 -4.8 1,140 30 11.7 30

Wyoming

27.7 260.2 -5.3 1,061 41 4.6 51

Puerto Rico

46.0 873.8 -4.0 621 (3) 8.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.5 35.3 -11.5 1,057 (3) -1.3 (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: Tuesday, June 22, 2021