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19-219-DAL
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2018

Employment rose in 24 of the 25 largest counties in Texas from September 2017 to September 2018, 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 2017 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that job growth in Midland, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties ranked among the top 10 nationwide. Midland County ranked first with an increase of 11.9 percent, Fort Bend ranked fifth (6.5 percent), and Brazoria ranked seventh (5.5 percent). (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.6 percent from September 2017 to September 2018 as 295 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. As noted, Midland County had the fastest employment gain in the nation (11.9 percent). Within Midland, the largest employment increase was in natural resources and mining, which gained 5,824 jobs over the year (23.7 percent). New Hanover, NC, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, down 2.0 percent. Within New Hanover, leisure and hospitality had the largest employment decrease, with a loss of 1,466 jobs (-8.0 percent).

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,307,600) in September 2018, followed by Dallas County (1,711,900). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 750,000. Together, the 25 largest Texas counties accounted for 79.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, average weekly wages nationwide increased 3.3 percent to $1,055. Among the large counties in Texas, Midland had the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 7.4 percent, which ranked seventh in the nation in terms of percentage increase. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2018, Midland also had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,401.

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 2017. Among these smaller counties, 207 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2018. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of the 25 large Texas counties recorded wage gains from the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018. Over-the-year wage growth in three large Texas counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Midland (7.4 percent, 7th), Travis (4.4 percent, 44th), and Lubbock (4.3 percent, 49th). (See table 1.) Webb County, one of the lowest-paying counties in the nation, ranked 52nd in wage growth with a 4.2-percent gain. Montgomery County (0.9 percent) had the smallest over-the-year wage increase among the state’s large counties. Nationally, average weekly wages rose 3.3 percent.

Nationwide, 336 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Chatham, GA, had the largest third quarter over-the-year wage gain at 8.5 percent. Chatham was followed by King County, WA (7.9 percent), and Santa Clara and Stanislaus, CA (each at 7.8 percent).

Of the 349 largest counties nationwide, 11 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Elkhart, IN, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 4.2 percent. Elkhart was followed by Union, NJ (-3.7 percent) and Providence, RI (-3.4 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 $1,055 in the third quarter of 2018. Midland County led at $1,401 per week and ranked 16th among the 349 large U.S. counties. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,271, 29th), Travis ($1,247, 34th), Dallas ($1,245, 36th), and Collin ($1,244, 37th). Two additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Brazoria ($1,101, 76th) and Jefferson ($1,060, 93rd).

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 ($632, 349th), Hidalgo ($662, 347th), and Webb ($698, 346th). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($735, 340th), Brazos ($785, 331st), and Lubbock ($825, 309th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 94 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,460. San Mateo, CA, was second at $2,363, followed by San Francisco, CA. ($2,097).

Among the largest U.S. counties, nearly three-fourths (255) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2018. The lowest weekly wage was reported in Cameron, TX ($632), followed by Horry, SC ($635), and the Texas counties of Hidalgo ($662) and Webb ($698). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than 30 percent of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Of the 229 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – 22 reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,055. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,661) and La Salle ($1,410). Real County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $489 in the third quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 29 had wages below the national average. Forty-three counties reported average weekly wages under $700, 85 registered wages from $700 to $799, 57 had wages from $800 to $899, 27 had wages from $900 to $999, and 42 had wages of $1,000 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 2017 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 2018 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/cewbultn17.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.


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 (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 2018
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)

September
2018
(thousands)

Percent
change,
September
2017-18 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent
change,
third quarter
2017-18 (2)
National
ranking by
percent
change (3)

United States (4)

146,824.1 1.6 -- $1,055 -- 3.3 --

Texas

12,327.0 2.6 -- 1,064 14 3.1 25

Bell, Texas

118.0 0.6 219 882 256 2.2 259

Bexar, Texas

867.5 1.2 161 930 195 2.9 169

Brazoria, Texas

113.5 5.5 7 1,101 76 2.8 186

Brazos, Texas

107.0 3.7 28 785 331 1.7 290

Cameron, Texas

138.3 1.4 139 632 349 2.6 208

Collin, Texas

416.1 3.7 28 1,244 37 4.1 59

Dallas, Texas

1,711.9 1.6 123 1,245 36 2.6 208

Denton, Texas

246.5 2.2 78 946 186 2.3 241

El Paso, Texas

306.9 1.6 123 735 340 2.7 196

Fort Bend, Texas

190.8 6.5 5 953 183 1.4 309

Galveston, Texas

108.5 1.8 104 912 220 2.1 267

Harris, Texas

2,307.6 2.1 85 1,271 29 2.1 267

Hidalgo, Texas

258.9 2.3 72 662 347 2.0 272

Jefferson, Texas

123.0 3.3 40 1,060 93 1.6 299

Lubbock, Texas

139.7 1.0 179 825 309 4.3 49

McLennan, Texas

113.8 1.3 148 871 269 3.2 141

Midland, Texas

105.7 11.9 1 1,401 16 7.4 7

Montgomery, Texas

185.9 3.8 26 1,007 134 0.9 323

Nueces, Texas

162.0 0.5 235 906 230 2.6 208

Potter, Texas

77.3 0.0 296 851 284 3.8 86

Smith, Texas

103.7 1.3 148 849 288 2.4 232

Tarrant, Texas

900.5 2.1 85 1,029 116 3.3 128

Travis, Texas

753.0 3.3 40 1,247 34 4.4 44

Webb, Texas

100.9 0.3 262 698 346 4.2 52

Williamson, Texas

172.9 4.6 15 1,016 127 1.7 290

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, third quarter 2018
Area Employment
September
2018
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

146,824,093 $1,055

Texas

12,326,987 1,064

Anderson

20,390 825

Andrews

7,754 1,290

Angelina

35,318 769

Aransas

5,283 740

Archer

1,784 728

Armstrong

403 722

Atascosa

13,554 999

Austin

10,417 885

Bailey

2,630 738

Bandera

3,314 686

Bastrop

18,255 751

Baylor

1,208 685

Bee

8,870 706

Bell

118,046 882

Bexar

867,478 930

Blanco

3,172 916

Borden

204 703

Bosque

3,628 722

Bowie

41,193 768

Brazoria

113,527 1,101

Brazos

106,972 785

Brewster

3,941 756

Briscoe

318 571

Brooks

2,565 844

Brown

15,905 705

Burleson

4,562 850

Burnet

14,312 802

Caldwell

9,039 799

Calhoun

11,953 1,243

Callahan

2,568 817

Cameron

138,314 632

Camp

3,756 747

Carson

4,916 1,661

Cass

7,712 718

Castro

2,577 682

Chambers

15,791 1,177

Cherokee

14,478 694

Childress

2,557 705

Clay

1,502 675

Cochran

642 740

Coke

726 801

Coleman

1,983 592

Collin

416,145 1,244

Collingsworth

851 758

Colorado

6,752 783

Comal

57,366 804

Comanche

3,695 652

Concho

612 706

Cooke

14,591 892

Coryell

16,596 789

Cottle

400 703

Crane

1,495 1,222

Crockett

1,547 776

Crosby

1,320 667

Culberson

1,122 984

Dallam

4,774 836

Dallas

1,711,908 1,245

Dawson

4,137 758

De Witt

7,746 844

Deaf Smith

7,582 793

Delta

1,032 502

Denton

246,546 946

Dickens

436 643

Dimmit

6,810 1,051

Donley

949 751

Duval

3,614 742

Eastland

8,271 1,067

Ector

80,212 1,172

Edwards

401 664

El Paso

306,862 735

Ellis

52,304 833

Erath

16,951 697

Falls

3,189 712

Fannin

8,008 764

Fayette

9,374 775

Fisher

830 790

Floyd

1,573 672

Foard

345 588

Fort Bend

190,756 953

Franklin

3,039 803

Freestone

4,657 792

Frio

7,728 957

Gaines

6,333 919

Galveston

108,520 912

Garza

1,798 740

Gillespie

10,683 718

Glasscock

699 1,099

Goliad

1,331 695

Gonzales

7,330 823

Gray

7,714 939

Grayson

46,929 818

Gregg

74,358 899

Grimes

7,283 934

Guadalupe

41,448 830

Hale

11,822 703

Hall

806 539

Hamilton

2,588 700

Hansford

2,197 1,052

Hardeman

1,247 715

Hardin

13,073 807

Harris

2,307,566 1,271

Harrison

23,627 930

Hartley

2,604 771

Haskell

1,507 679

Hays

69,854 773

Hemphill

2,296 1,051

Henderson

17,142 700

Hidalgo

258,867 662

Hill

10,093 779

Hockley

9,993 1,043

Hood

16,419 839

Hopkins

12,740 742

Houston

6,866 900

Howard

13,303 958

Hudspeth

1,333 1,136

Hunt

29,887 1,008

Hutchinson

8,179 1,119

Irion

931 1,024

Jack

3,646 1,154

Jackson

5,870 837

Jasper

9,852 755

Jeff Davis

942 602

Jefferson

123,028 1,060

Jim Hogg

1,658 756

Jim Wells

16,733 893

Johnson

47,233 857

Jones

2,889 730

Karnes

6,394 1,024

Kaufman

31,193 806

Kendall

16,182 951

Kenedy

573 1,218

Kent

273 715

Kerr

18,084 792

Kimble

1,248 589

King

116 785

Kinney

988 883

Kleberg

11,398 738

Knox

1,074 783

La Salle

3,816 1,410

Lamar

21,589 776

Lamb

3,918 773

Lampasas

4,549 657

Lavaca

5,649 724

Lee

7,150 949

Leon

4,855 984

Liberty

18,208 870

Limestone

7,657 825

Lipscomb

1,314 848

Live Oak

3,700 1,054

Llano

4,735 704

Loving

117 899

Lubbock

139,707 825

Lynn

1,588 916

Madison

4,504 763

Marion

1,908 627

Martin

2,437 1,028

Mason

1,028 654

Matagorda

10,863 962

Maverick

17,929 650

McCulloch

2,918 743

McLennan

113,826 871

McMullen

490 963

Medina

9,708 708

Menard

430 518

Midland

105,749 1,401

Milam

5,290 779

Mills

1,242 633

Mitchell

1,924 792

Montague

4,813 768

Montgomery

185,851 1,007

Moore

11,246 857

Morris

3,636 912

Motley

306 545

Nacogdoches

22,635 708

Navarro

17,360 744

Newton

1,301 712

Nolan

5,985 811

Nueces

161,976 906

Ochiltree

4,578 917

Oldham

1,004 775

Orange

22,902 993

Palo Pinto

8,791 843

Panola

8,916 901

Parker

33,897 856

Parmer

5,779 839

Pecos

5,826 884

Polk

11,393 774

Potter

77,293 851

Presidio

2,107 808

Rains

1,918 656

Randall

31,636 806

Reagan

2,070 1,237

Real

706 489

Red River

2,589 677

Reeves

7,520 1,138

Refugio

2,316 806

Roberts

243 869

Robertson

4,144 845

Rockwall

30,924 814

Runnels

2,830 682

Rusk

13,654 819

Sabine

2,249 718

San Augustine

1,832 728

San Jacinto

2,033 683

San Patricio

18,548 913

San Saba

1,878 774

Schleicher

797 881

Scurry

6,587 1,058

Shackelford

1,371 1,057

Shelby

8,435 736

Sherman

1,020 819

Smith

103,725 849

Somervell

3,938 1,054

Starr

14,811 578

Stephens

3,136 716

Sterling

520 821

Stonewall

490 743

Sutton

1,851 1,222

Swisher

1,875 698

Tarrant

900,510 1,029

Taylor

62,365 804

Terrell

270 815

Terry

3,777 859

Throckmorton

461 521

Titus

15,793 730

Tom Green

48,003 817

Travis

753,044 1,247

Trinity

2,249 642

Tyler

3,823 687

Upshur

6,950 714

Upton

1,557 1,200

Uvalde

9,575 657

Val Verde

17,904 711

Van Zandt

11,271 663

Victoria

39,253 871

Walker

25,318 774

Waller

16,969 893

Ward

5,842 1,193

Washington

14,863 751

Webb

100,913 698

Wharton

16,180 764

Wheeler

2,112 811

Wichita

54,550 768

Wilbarger

5,988 706

Willacy

3,584 679

Williamson

172,921 1,016

Wilson

8,656 734

Winkler

3,605 1,263

Wise

20,603 859

Wood

9,961 724

Yoakum

3,607 1,203

Young

6,879 779

Zapata

3,592 945

Zavala

2,394 721

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 2018
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2018 (thousands) Percent change, September 2017-18 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2017-18 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

146,824.1 1.6 $1,055 -- 3.3 --

Alabama

1,966.0 1.2 885 38 3.1 25

Alaska

334.0 -0.4 1,065 13 3.7 12

Arizona

2,838.6 2.8 974 23 2.9 31

Arkansas

1,222.1 0.7 811 49 2.9 31

California

17,457.5 1.8 1,260 5 3.8 9

Colorado

2,684.0 2.1 1,104 9 3.5 18

Connecticut

1,681.5 0.3 1,209 6 2.5 41

Delaware

447.8 0.6 1,046 15 2.4 42

District of Columbia

770.7 0.7 1,807 1 2.8 36

Florida

8,690.7 4.6 924 29 3.1 25

Georgia

4,448.8 2.3 993 20 3.3 21

Hawaii

654.7 0.0 975 22 2.4 42

Idaho

743.5 3.0 805 50 3.2 23

Illinois

6,029.2 0.8 1,087 10 3.0 28

Indiana

3,072.3 0.9 883 39 2.4 42

Iowa

1,555.0 0.6 887 37 3.7 12

Kansas

1,390.4 1.0 867 42 3.5 18

Kentucky

1,898.7 0.5 855 43 2.2 47

Louisiana

1,915.4 0.5 901 33 3.7 12

Maine

626.5 0.6 851 45 3.7 12

Maryland

2,683.9 0.7 1,130 8 2.4 42

Massachusetts

3,598.1 0.7 1,305 2 3.2 23

Michigan

4,366.5 0.8 991 21 2.8 36

Minnesota

2,904.3 0.8 1,074 12 4.2 5

Mississippi

1,133.7 0.2 754 51 3.4 20

Missouri

2,812.0 0.4 907 31 3.3 21

Montana

473.3 1.0 815 48 2.8 36

Nebraska

980.3 0.6 873 41 2.8 36

Nevada

1,382.9 3.4 936 28 2.4 42

New Hampshire

662.3 0.5 1,040 16 1.7 49

New Jersey

4,072.6 0.8 1,181 7 2.1 48

New Mexico

826.2 1.2 855 43 3.9 7

New York

9,467.5 1.4 1,272 4 4.2 5

North Carolina

4,398.0 1.1 938 26 3.8 9

North Dakota

424.3 1.1 995 19 4.4 3

Ohio

5,424.4 0.7 947 25 2.9 31

Oklahoma

1,616.8 1.2 874 40 3.6 16

Oregon

1,939.8 1.5 1,005 18 3.8 9

Pennsylvania

5,894.8 1.0 1,031 17 3.0 28

Rhode Island

489.4 1.0 963 24 -1.3 51

South Carolina

2,088.2 2.8 834 46 0.8 50

South Dakota

431.5 1.3 827 47 3.0 28

Tennessee

3,005.6 1.7 938 26 3.9 7

Texas

12,327.0 2.6 1,064 14 3.1 25

Utah

1,494.4 3.4 911 30 3.6 16

Vermont

310.9 0.0 892 36 2.6 40

Virginia

3,889.6 1.1 1,082 11 2.9 31

Washington

3,425.6 2.4 1,280 3 6.2 2

West Virginia

706.0 1.7 894 35 8.1 1

Wisconsin

2,888.9 0.7 901 33 2.9 31

Wyoming

278.2 0.6 905 32 4.3 4

Puerto Rico

862.5 0.2 534 (3) 5.3 (3)

Virgin Islands

33.4 -8.0 888 (3) 18.6 (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: Tuesday, March 26, 2019