News Release Information

18-348-DAL
Friday, March 16, 2018

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2017

Employment rose in 20 of the 25 largest counties in Texas from September 2016 to September 2017, 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 2016 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that Midland and Montgomery Counties ranked among the top 10 nationwide for job growth. The 10.4-percent employment gain in Midland County ranked first and the 4.0-percent gain in Montgomery County ranked eighth. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.0 percent from September 2016 to September 2017 as 283 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registered increases. As noted, Midland County, Texas, had the fastest employment gain in the nation (10.4 percent). Within Midland, the largest employment increase was in natural resources and mining, which gained 4,526 jobs over the year (24.4 percent). Collier, Fla., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, down 5.2 percent. Within Collier, construction had the largest employment decrease, with a loss of 1,879 jobs (-12.8 percent).

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,261,300) in September 2017, followed by Dallas County (1,691,100). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 700,000. Together, the 25 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, average weekly wages nationwide decreased 0.6 percent to $1,021. Among the large counties in Texas, Midland had the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 8.4 percent, which also ranked first in the nation in terms of percentage increase. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2017, Midland had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,283.

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 2016. Among these smaller counties, 213 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2017. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Among Texas’s 25 large counties, 5 recorded wage gains from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. Midland County’s 8.4-percent wage increase was the highest in the nation and Brazos (1.3 percent), Travis (0.9 percent), and Smith (0.6 percent) ranked among the top 50 nationwide. (See table 1.) McLennan County ranked 52nd with a 0.5-percent wage gain. Twenty large Texas counties had over-the-year wage decreases. Cameron County had the largest decrease, down 3.0 percent, followed by Tarrant (-2.9 percent) and Lubbock (-2.7 percent). Nationally, average weekly wages declined 0.6 percent over the year.

Nationwide, 265 of the 346 largest counties had over-the-year wage decreases. Mercer, N.J., had the largest wage decline in the nation, down 8.8 percent. The Mercer, N.J., decrease was followed by Wyandotte, Kan. (-6.0 percent); Clark, Nev. (-5.3 percent); and Somerset, N.J. (-5.0 percent).

Of the 346 largest counties nationwide, 71 experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. The 8.4-percent increase in Midland, Texas, was followed by Union, N.J. (+8.2 percent); Elkhart, Ind. (+6.5 percent); Forsyth, N.C. (+5.3 percent); and Maui + Kalawao, Hawaii (+4.6 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 $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017. Midland County led at $1,283 per week and ranked 21st among the 346 large U.S. counties. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,247, 25th), Dallas ($1,213, 34th), Collin ($1,190, 39th), and Travis ($1,188, 40th). Two additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Brazoria ($1,074, 73rd), and Jefferson ($1,052, 84th).

Texas 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 ($612, 346th), Hidalgo ($649, 344th), and Webb ($672, 343rd). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($717, 337th), Brazos ($775, 325th), and Lubbock ($790, 313th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 96 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,320. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $2,123, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,954), and New York, N.Y. ($1,889).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (250) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wage was reported in Cameron, Texas ($612), followed by Horry, S.C. ($633), and the Texas counties of Hidalgo ($649) and Webb ($672). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than 30 percent of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Sixteen of the 229 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,021. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,465) and Upton ($1,295). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $444 in the third quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 23 had wages below the national average. Thirty-one counties reported average weekly wages under $650, 83 registered wages from $650 to $749, 61 had wages from $750 to $849, 41 had wages from $850 to $949, and 38 had wages of $950 or higher. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average weekly wages were located around the larger metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as the smaller areas of Midland, Odessa, and Amarillo. Lower-paying counties were concentrated 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 2016 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 2017 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/cewbultn16.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process is accelerating for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data will be published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data will be accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release will occur two weeks later, accompanied by a data release notice.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 144.5 million full- and part-time workers. 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 2017
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)

September
2017
(thousands)

Percent
change,
September
2016-17 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent
change,
third quarter
2016-17 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)

United States (4)

144,464.4 1.0 -- $1,021 -- -0.6 --

Texas

12,008.9 1.4 -- 1,032 12 -1.0 29

Bell, Texas

117.5 0.3 244 863 248 -0.3 98

Bexar, Texas

857.8 1.3 114 905 194 -0.7 133

Brazoria, Texas

107.2 -1.9 342 1,074 73 -0.9 150

Brazos, Texas

102.9 1.4 104 775 325 1.3 27

Cameron, Texas

138.2 0.4 233 612 346 -3.0 311

Collin, Texas

398.0 3.3 16 1,190 39 -0.7 133

Dallas, Texas

1,691.1 1.9 67 1,213 34 -1.9 245

Denton, Texas

239.6 3.0 24 929 180 -2.5 285

El Paso, Texas

300.9 0.8 182 717 337 -1.5 208

Fort Bend, Texas

177.3 0.9 167 942 167 -2.0 256

Galveston, Texas

108.5 -0.1 287 886 216 -1.3 186

Harris, Texas

2,261.3 0.1 270 1,247 25 -1.7 231

Hidalgo, Texas

252.7 1.6 80 649 344 -0.6 121

Jefferson, Texas

119.7 -2.3 344 1,052 84 -1.4 195

Lubbock, Texas

139.1 1.3 114 790 313 -2.7 300

McLennan, Texas

112.5 0.4 233 841 275 0.5 52

Midland, Texas

91.4 10.4 1 1,283 21 8.4 1

Montgomery, Texas

176.4 4.0 8 1,003 112 -0.5 111

Nueces, Texas

160.5 -0.7 314 883 223 -0.2 90

Potter, Texas

78.0 -0.8 321 821 289 -1.0 156

Smith, Texas

102.4 0.9 167 843 272 0.6 49

Tarrant, Texas

877.8 2.3 48 1,000 113 -2.9 307

Travis, Texas

728.0 2.6 32 1,188 40 0.9 37

Webb, Texas

100.1 1.2 132 672 343 -1.0 156

Williamson, Texas

164.6 2.9 27 1,010 108 -1.3 186

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, 3rd quarter 2017
Area Employment
September
2017
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

144,464,425 $1,021

Texas

12,008,941 1,032

Anderson

20,134 792

Andrews

7,307 1,167

Angelina

35,386 742

Aransas

4,935 741

Archer

1,764 691

Armstrong

363 696

Atascosa

12,551 902

Austin

9,946 857

Bailey

2,628 708

Bandera

3,081 671

Bastrop

17,886 706

Baylor

1,222 658

Bee

8,677 688

Bell

117,456 863

Bexar

857,771 905

Blanco

3,207 927

Borden

179 671

Bosque

3,680 695

Bowie

41,180 761

Brazoria

107,193 1,074

Brazos

102,944 775

Brewster

3,740 749

Briscoe

307 553

Brooks

2,440 803

Brown

15,863 703

Burleson

4,225 797

Burnet

13,805 784

Caldwell

8,503 727

Calhoun

10,788 1,203

Callahan

2,273 746

Cameron

138,203 612

Camp

3,867 692

Carson

4,737 1,465

Cass

7,417 704

Castro

2,514 687

Chambers

14,379 1,145

Cherokee

14,116 673

Childress

2,478 690

Clay

1,351 665

Cochran

639 719

Coke

689 656

Coleman

2,136 576

Collin

398,037 1,190

Collingsworth

812 767

Colorado

6,902 764

Comal

54,779 782

Comanche

3,572 629

Concho

630 862

Cooke

14,036 841

Coryell

17,507 768

Cottle

385 712

Crane

1,125 965

Crockett

1,560 745

Crosby

1,429 635

Culberson

1,027 937

Dallam

4,633 776

Dallas

1,691,095 1,213

Dawson

4,210 724

De Witt

7,614 874

Deaf Smith

7,409 774

Delta

1,111 444

Denton

239,647 929

Dickens

451 634

Dimmit

5,987 987

Donley

909 586

Duval

3,288 737

Eastland

7,303 906

Ector

72,681 1,081

Edwards

413 613

El Paso

300,882 717

Ellis

49,417 807

Erath

16,824 667

Falls

3,165 648

Fannin

7,424 744

Fayette

9,337 749

Fisher

892 782

Floyd

1,641 676

Foard

399 551

Fort Bend

177,290 942

Franklin

2,978 802

Freestone

4,857 778

Frio

6,733 931

Gaines

6,388 888

Galveston

108,472 886

Garza

1,823 723

Gillespie

10,594 694

Glasscock

522 719

Goliad

1,279 685

Gonzales

6,983 783

Gray

7,647 916

Grayson

45,830 792

Gregg

73,711 866

Grimes

7,053 870

Guadalupe

41,873 797

Hale

11,860 693

Hall

776 544

Hamilton

2,474 685

Hansford

2,166 937

Hardeman

1,226 659

Hardin

12,344 771

Harris

2,261,291 1,247

Harrison

22,794 880

Hartley

2,663 738

Haskell

1,590 640

Hays

66,949 751

Hemphill

2,395 994

Henderson

16,841 676

Hidalgo

252,686 649

Hill

10,146 752

Hockley

9,730 946

Hood

15,771 780

Hopkins

12,521 739

Houston

7,303 865

Howard

12,653 910

Hudspeth

1,028 1,123

Hunt

29,440 1,007

Hutchinson

8,199 1,085

Irion

742 1,216

Jack

3,094 888

Jackson

5,827 798

Jasper

9,900 757

Jeff Davis

895 649

Jefferson

119,748 1,052

Jim Hogg

1,690 736

Jim Wells

15,645 840

Johnson

46,742 820

Jones

3,102 711

Karnes

5,791 940

Kaufman

31,645 783

Kendall

15,511 909

Kenedy

585 1,060

Kent

283 633

Kerr

17,683 789

Kimble

1,285 577

King

81 735

Kinney

778 895

Kleberg

11,354 744

Knox

1,115 857

La Salle

3,421 1,162

Lamar

21,395 820

Lamb

3,943 721

Lampasas

4,438 634

Lavaca

5,496 702

Lee

7,375 998

Leon

4,738 908

Liberty

16,817 815

Limestone

7,639 741

Lipscomb

1,281 784

Live Oak

4,020 993

Llano

4,658 702

Loving

87 862

Lubbock

139,141 790

Lynn

1,567 811

Madison

4,601 720

Marion

2,109 626

Martin

1,977 927

Mason

1,074 615

Matagorda

10,743 950

Maverick

17,504 630

McCulloch

2,923 756

McLennan

112,489 841

McMullen

492 1,006

Medina

9,779 677

Menard

401 515

Midland

91,435 1,283

Milam

5,516 788

Mills

1,305 610

Mitchell

2,061 747

Montague

4,803 769

Montgomery

176,379 1,003

Moore

10,764 826

Morris

3,514 881

Motley

325 496

Nacogdoches

22,361 697

Navarro

16,303 716

Newton

1,240 686

Nolan

5,939 793

Nueces

160,506 883

Ochiltree

4,503 869

Oldham

905 722

Orange

20,947 987

Palo Pinto

8,826 793

Panola

8,643 876

Parker

32,267 857

Parmer

5,850 785

Pecos

5,545 854

Polk

10,880 731

Potter

78,011 821

Presidio

2,050 834

Rains

1,843 593

Randall

30,257 780

Reagan

1,916 1,181

Real

711 464

Red River

2,705 652

Reeves

5,840 956

Refugio

2,345 696

Roberts

253 898

Robertson

4,139 827

Rockwall

29,590 789

Runnels

2,803 663

Rusk

13,165 808

Sabine

2,298 696

San Augustine

1,750 699

San Jacinto

2,081 655

San Patricio

18,566 888

San Saba

1,718 677

Schleicher

722 827

Scurry

6,494 1,000

Shackelford

1,269 900

Shelby

8,068 691

Sherman

989 790

Smith

102,424 843

Somervell

3,797 1,008

Starr

15,220 565

Stephens

3,198 682

Sterling

529 801

Stonewall

509 742

Sutton

1,891 1,202

Swisher

1,901 638

Tarrant

877,755 1,000

Taylor

61,045 772

Terrell

280 825

Terry

3,758 874

Throckmorton

422 549

Titus

15,874 697

Tom Green

47,287 762

Travis

727,953 1,188

Trinity

2,262 650

Tyler

3,646 667

Upshur

6,687 675

Upton

1,522 1,295

Uvalde

9,904 627

Val Verde

17,427 697

Van Zandt

10,920 630

Victoria

37,841 843

Walker

24,449 756

Waller

15,813 845

Ward

4,595 1,087

Washington

14,676 746

Webb

100,130 672

Wharton

15,648 733

Wheeler

2,000 749

Wichita

53,833 735

Wilbarger

5,798 695

Willacy

3,456 665

Williamson

164,589 1,010

Wilson

8,135 702

Winkler

2,745 1,119

Wise

19,403 835

Wood

9,962 684

Yoakum

3,831 1,070

Young

6,719 777

Zapata

3,573 894

Zavala

2,408 663

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 2017
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September
2017
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2016-17
Average
weekly wage
National
ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter
2016-17
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

144,464.4 1.0 $1,021 -- -0.6 --

Alabama

1,941.1 0.8 859 37 -1.3 38

Alaska

335.4 -0.7 1,025 15 -2.8 50

Arizona

2,760.1 2.4 948 24 -0.2 10

Arkansas

1,213.0 0.6 788 49 -0.6 19

California

17,153.4 1.7 1,215 4 0.5 4

Colorado

2,625.9 1.9 1,067 9 0.5 4

Connecticut

1,676.3 0.1 1,179 6 -2.2 47

Delaware

443.0 0.4 1,026 14 0.4 6

District of Columbia

764.7 0.7 1,759 1 1.3 2

Florida

8,305.8 -0.2 896 29 -1.1 31

Georgia

4,343.5 1.3 961 21 -0.9 27

Hawaii

652.5 0.4 953 22 -0.3 13

Idaho

722.3 2.7 778 50 -0.5 16

Illinois

5,969.6 0.5 1,057 10 -0.3 13

Indiana

3,044.0 0.6 861 36 -0.6 19

Iowa

1,546.1 -0.2 855 38 -2.2 47

Kansas

1,376.4 -0.1 839 41 -2.1 46

Kentucky

1,890.4 0.5 837 42 -2.4 49

Louisiana

1,904.3 -0.1 869 33 -1.7 42

Maine

621.9 0.7 821 46 -0.5 16

Maryland

2,661.8 0.5 1,105 8 -1.7 42

Massachusetts

3,568.0 0.9 1,265 2 -0.9 27

Michigan

4,334.3 0.9 964 20 -1.1 31

Minnesota

2,883.0 1.1 1,030 13 -2.0 45

Mississippi

1,129.1 -0.1 729 51 -1.4 39

Missouri

2,805.8 0.9 878 31 -1.2 34

Montana

468.6 0.9 793 48 0.1 8

Nebraska

973.3 -0.2 850 39 -0.8 23

Nevada

1,337.7 2.9 914 26 -3.8 51

New Hampshire

659.1 0.6 1,022 16 -0.4 15

New Jersey

4,043.6 1.1 1,156 7 -1.5 41

New Mexico

816.0 0.3 823 45 -0.8 23

New York

9,329.8 1.2 1,219 3 -0.2 10

North Carolina

4,348.0 1.3 904 27 -0.7 21

North Dakota

419.2 -1.0 953 22 -1.2 34

Ohio

5,383.6 0.6 920 25 -0.8 23

Oklahoma

1,593.3 0.7 843 40 -1.2 34

Oregon

1,905.3 1.8 969 19 -0.1 9

Pennsylvania

5,836.5 1.0 1,002 17 -1.1 31

Rhode Island

484.5 0.8 973 18 -1.8 44

South Carolina

2,027.2 0.8 828 43 -0.5 16

South Dakota

426.2 0.4 803 47 -0.7 21

Tennessee

2,953.3 1.1 903 28 -1.2 34

Texas

12,008.9 1.4 1,032 12 -1.0 29

Utah

1,444.1 2.6 879 30 -0.2 10

Vermont

310.3 0.1 869 33 -1.4 39

Virginia

3,843.6 1.0 1,053 11 -0.8 23

Washington

3,343.4 2.0 1,208 5 1.7 1

West Virginia

694.0 0.2 826 44 1.1 3

Wisconsin

2,866.9 0.5 876 32 -1.0 29

Wyoming

276.2 0.3 868 35 0.3 7

Puerto Rico

862.8 -3.1 509 (3) -2.7 (3)

Virgin Islands

36.9 -1.1 763 (3) -1.9 (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: Friday, March 16, 2018