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News Release Information

20-210-DAL
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2019

Employment rose in 25 of the 26 largest counties in Texas from September 2018 to September 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that job growth in Williamson and Denton Counties ranked among the top 10 nationwide. Williamson County ranked sixth with an employment increase of 3.9 percent, and Denton ranked 10th (3.5 percent). Ector was the only large Texas county to record a job loss (-1.3 percent) during the period. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.1 percent over the year with 283 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year.  Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,350,400) in September 2019, followed by Dallas County (1,750,700). Three other counties (Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis) had employment levels exceeding 750,000. Together, the 26 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

All large counties in Texas experienced average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Among the large counties in Texas, Williamson had the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 12.3 percent, which ranked third in the nation. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.6 percent from a year ago to $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. 

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 228 counties in Texas with annual average employment levels below 75,000 in 2018. Among these smaller counties, 204 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2019. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of the 26 large Texas counties recorded wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Over-the-year wage growth in six large Texas counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Williamson (12.3 percent, 3rd), Smith (5.1 percent, 31st), Cameron, Dallas and Tarrant (4.9 percent, tied for 42nd), and Travis (4.8 percent, 47th). Brazoria County had the smallest over-the-year wage increase (0.9 percent, 339th) among the state’s large counties. Nationally, average weekly wages rose 3.6 percent.

Nationally, 350 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Boulder, CO, had the largest percentage wage increase (+18.4 percent). The remaining five large counties registered wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 26 large Texas counties were more than 15 percent above the national average of $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. Midland County led at $1,459 per week and ranked 17th among the 355 large U.S. counties. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,315, 28th), Travis ($1,312, 29th), Dallas ($1,303, 32nd), and Collin ($1,278, 39th). Three additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Ector ($1,227, 49th), Williamson ($1,143, 82nd), and Brazoria ($1,095, 97th).

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 ($659, 355th), Hidalgo ($683, 353rd), and Webb ($712, 352nd). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($765, 346th), Brazos ($815, 334th), and Lubbock ($861, 304th).

Nationally, 98 large counties reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,447. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 257 counties. At $659 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Of the 228 smaller Texas counties–those with employment below 75,000–24 reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,093. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,711) and Loving ($1,561). Real County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $511 in the third quarter of 2019.

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 32 had wages below the national average. Thirty-three counties reported average weekly wages under $700, 110 registered wages from $700 to $849, 64 had wages from $850 to $999, 23 had wages from $1,000 to $1,149, and 24 had wages of $1,150 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 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 fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 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 26 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2019
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands) Percent change, September 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.5 1.1 -- $1,093 -- 3.6 --

Texas

12,603.2 2.1 -- 1,109 12 4.1 10

Bell

120.9 1.3 132 916 254 4.2 93

Bexar

878.4 1.2 142 965 195 3.8 132

Brazoria

116.6 2.0 69 1,095 97 0.9 339

Brazos

109.2 2.2 60 815 334 3.6 157

Cameron

141.5 1.5 110 659 355 4.9 42

Collin

432.0 3.0 25 1,278 39 3.1 212

Dallas

1,750.7 2.7 37 1,303 32 4.9 42

Denton

260.9 3.5 10 962 198 3.0 227

Ector

81.1 -1.3 344 1,227 49 2.4 276

El Paso

312.9 1.4 122 765 346 4.2 93

Fort Bend

195.8 2.2 60 977 187 3.5 168

Galveston

110.1 0.9 186 959 202 4.1 103

Harris

2,350.4 1.9 76 1,315 28 3.1 212

Hidalgo

265.0 2.3 54 683 353 3.6 157

Jefferson

123.1 1.9 76 1,084 102 3.5 168

Lubbock

141.6 1.1 153 861 304 4.1 103

McLennan

114.4 1.4 122 892 281 4.4 78

Midland

107.7 0.5 226 1,459 17 3.4 182

Montgomery

192.0 2.6 43 1,061 119 4.2 93

Nueces

163.4 1.1 153 937 225 2.9 238

Potter

77.1 1.6 102 888 289 3.3 195

Smith

103.4 0.4 238 893 280 5.1 31

Tarrant

923.3 1.6 102 1,079 106 4.9 42

Travis

779.9 3.1 21 1,312 29 4.8 47

Webb

103.0 0.8 196 712 352 2.2 288

Williamson

181.4 3.9 6 1,143 82 12.3 3

(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 2019
Area Employment
September
2019
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525 $1,093

Texas

12,603,160 1,109

Anderson

20,912 853

Andrews

7,999 1,328

Angelina

35,427 784

Aransas

5,564 769

Archer

1,787 731

Armstrong

390 757

Atascosa

14,283 1,046

Austin

10,765 933

Bailey

2,497 773

Bandera

3,343 711

Bastrop

18,681 776

Baylor

1,417 666

Bee

8,886 716

Bell

120,913 916

Bexar

878,443 965

Blanco

3,361 983

Borden

261 776

Bosque

3,707 776

Bowie

41,808 784

Brazoria

116,600 1,095

Brazos

109,181 815

Brewster

4,096 787

Briscoe

323 598

Brooks

2,749 852

Brown

15,341 735

Burleson

4,555 902

Burnet

14,824 821

Caldwell

8,899 746

Calhoun

12,873 1,314

Callahan

2,510 802

Cameron

141,467 659

Camp

3,846 759

Carson

5,037 1,711

Cass

7,818 731

Castro

2,517 721

Chambers

18,138 1,269

Cherokee

14,501 717

Childress

2,525 737

Clay

1,497 703

Cochran

657 812

Coke

736 761

Coleman

1,962 614

Collin

431,973 1,278

Collingsworth

821 779

Colorado

7,020 822

Comal

60,194 843

Comanche

3,847 675

Concho

926 782

Cooke

14,907 902

Coryell

16,059 818

Cottle

415 895

Crane

1,148 1,119

Crockett

1,458 823

Crosby

1,265 728

Culberson

1,221 1,050

Dallam

4,484 874

Dallas

1,750,722 1,303

Dawson

4,270 789

De Witt

7,938 878

Deaf Smith

7,809 823

Delta

1,004 512

Denton

260,926 962

Dickens

441 659

Dimmit

6,504 1,074

Donley

849 628

Duval

3,534 753

Eastland

7,519 1,037

Ector

81,051 1,227

Edwards

572 808

El Paso

312,881 765

Ellis

52,520 868

Erath

16,906 714

Falls

3,165 721

Fannin

8,525 798

Fayette

8,997 833

Fisher

788 818

Floyd

1,554 672

Foard

378 572

Fort Bend

195,792 977

Franklin

3,127 824

Freestone

4,613 805

Frio

7,617 1,008

Gaines

6,618 986

Galveston

110,078 959

Garza

1,858 834

Gillespie

10,879 751

Glasscock

581 993

Goliad

1,297 835

Gonzales

7,341 844

Gray

7,749 961

Grayson

47,276 851

Gregg

76,321 919

Grimes

7,320 992

Guadalupe

42,137 867

Hale

11,533 726

Hall

758 572

Hamilton

2,596 738

Hansford

2,088 950

Hardeman

1,333 716

Hardin

12,757 836

Harris

2,350,392 1,315

Harrison

23,126 957

Hartley

2,562 787

Haskell

1,451 620

Hays

73,520 815

Hemphill

1,875 1,166

Henderson

17,553 725

Hidalgo

264,971 683

Hill

10,166 809

Hockley

9,677 1,154

Hood

16,906 856

Hopkins

12,989 768

Houston

7,071 944

Howard

13,659 1,003

Hudspeth

1,516 1,171

Hunt

27,705 964

Hutchinson

8,014 1,157

Irion

1,005 1,099

Jack

2,597 928

Jackson

6,165 891

Jasper

9,460 802

Jeff Davis

861 672

Jefferson

123,076 1,084

Jim Hogg

1,686 786

Jim Wells

16,457 936

Johnson

48,726 901

Jones

3,004 746

Karnes

6,752 1,096

Kaufman

32,578 834

Kendall

17,765 962

Kenedy

507 1,358

Kent

297 696

Kerr

18,550 814

Kimble

1,239 605

King

152 743

Kinney

1,055 984

Kleberg

11,720 781

Knox

1,073 862

La Salle

3,526 1,411

Lamar

22,209 819

Lamb

4,057 821

Lampasas

4,655 698

Lavaca

5,484 770

Lee

7,941 1,039

Leon

5,059 1,030

Liberty

18,835 903

Limestone

8,127 859

Lipscomb

1,327 841

Live Oak

4,220 1,135

Llano

4,903 735

Loving

288 1,561

Lubbock

141,585 861

Lynn

1,471 927

Madison

4,330 766

Marion

1,964 626

Martin

2,817 1,165

Mason

1,046 642

Matagorda

10,814 993

Maverick

17,926 674

McCulloch

2,514 804

McLennan

114,375 892

McMullen

622 969

Medina

10,147 740

Menard

456 534

Midland

107,687 1,459

Milam

5,220 793

Mills

1,292 676

Mitchell

1,943 805

Montague

4,958 767

Montgomery

192,011 1,061

Moore

11,367 890

Morris

3,791 937

Motley

326 549

Nacogdoches

22,271 736

Navarro

17,630 758

Newton

1,277 725

Nolan

6,464 850

Nueces

163,358 937

Ochiltree

4,445 919

Oldham

973 796

Orange

22,564 1,025

Palo Pinto

8,715 884

Panola

8,252 930

Parker

34,924 866

Parmer

5,799 863

Pecos

5,632 946

Polk

11,572 799

Potter

77,104 888

Presidio

2,153 863

Rains

1,980 662

Randall

32,531 832

Reagan

2,073 1,362

Real

710 511

Red River

2,682 677

Reeves

9,158 1,319

Refugio

2,336 834

Roberts

260 932

Robertson

4,389 861

Rockwall

32,807 819

Runnels

2,907 718

Rusk

13,737 853

Sabine

2,448 712

San Augustine

2,150 828

San Jacinto

2,156 709

San Patricio

18,657 929

San Saba

1,849 800

Schleicher

758 940

Scurry

6,465 1,077

Shackelford

1,309 1,089

Shelby

8,606 782

Sherman

1,069 813

Smith

103,371 893

Somervell

3,692 1,117

Starr

14,816 613

Stephens

3,267 731

Sterling

522 817

Stonewall

487 786

Sutton

1,610 1,142

Swisher

1,844 680

Tarrant

923,263 1,079

Taylor

65,172 837

Terrell

266 832

Terry

3,502 835

Throckmorton

379 595

Titus

16,347 742

Tom Green

47,773 860

Travis

779,855 1,312

Trinity

2,270 668

Tyler

3,905 688

Upshur

7,249 765

Upton

1,693 1,438

Uvalde

9,883 687

Val Verde

18,492 719

Van Zandt

11,312 691

Victoria

38,722 905

Walker

25,454 797

Waller

18,217 896

Ward

6,267 1,225

Washington

15,406 778

Webb

102,968 712

Wharton

16,378 832

Wheeler

1,951 919

Wichita

54,774 791

Wilbarger

5,890 734

Willacy

3,989 734

Williamson

181,431 1,143

Wilson

8,994 781

Winkler

3,542 1,342

Wise

20,901 911

Wood

10,450 734

Yoakum

3,623 1,225

Young

6,717 799

Zapata

3,422 1,007

Zavala

2,331 782

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

United States (2)

148,556.5 1.1 $1,093 -- 3.6 --

Alabama

1,989.5 1.1 919 36 3.8 18

Alaska

338.0 1.2 1,105 14 3.7 21

Arizona

2,913.4 2.6 1,018 22 4.5 4

Arkansas

1,222.8 0.0 841 49 3.8 18

California

17,713.1 1.4 1,309 5 3.8 18

Colorado

2,749.0 2.4 1,170 8 6.1 1

Connecticut

1,676.6 -0.3 1,236 6 2.3 50

Delaware

453.2 1.1 1,078 15 3.3 32

District of Columbia

776.4 0.6 1,851 1 2.5 49

Florida

8,838.2 1.7 955 29 3.4 27

Georgia

4,509.7 1.4 1,026 20 3.4 27

Hawaii

654.1 -0.3 1,012 23 3.9 15

Idaho

765.2 2.9 838 50 4.1 10

Illinois

6,023.1 0.0 1,125 10 3.6 23

Indiana

3,083.5 0.3 914 37 3.5 26

Iowa

1,556.9 0.1 914 37 3.0 39

Kansas

1,395.9 0.4 893 43 2.9 43

Kentucky

1,910.8 0.7 884 45 3.4 27

Louisiana

1,913.5 -0.3 923 35 2.6 47

Maine

632.6 0.9 887 44 4.2 7

Maryland

2,696.9 0.2 1,169 9 3.6 23

Massachusetts

3,642.5 0.9 1,359 2 4.2 7

Michigan

4,375.8 0.2 1,021 21 3.0 39

Minnesota

2,917.8 0.4 1,107 13 3.0 39

Mississippi

1,135.8 0.1 768 51 2.7 46

Missouri

2,826.5 0.6 942 31 3.9 15

Montana

478.9 1.2 848 48 3.9 15

Nebraska

984.7 0.3 908 39 4.0 13

Nevada

1,412.2 2.1 973 26 4.1 10

New Hampshire

667.9 0.8 1,075 16 3.4 27

New Jersey

4,104.0 0.9 1,217 7 3.0 39

New Mexico

842.1 1.7 899 40 5.1 2

New York

9,575.4 1.1 1,314 4 3.3 32

North Carolina

4,501.3 2.2 972 27 3.6 23

North Dakota

428.4 0.9 1,028 19 3.3 32

Ohio

5,443.3 0.3 976 25 3.1 37

Oklahoma

1,628.8 0.5 897 41 2.6 47

Oregon

1,970.7 1.4 1,037 18 3.2 35

Pennsylvania

5,947.9 0.8 1,064 17 3.2 35

Rhode Island

491.3 0.6 991 24 2.8 44

South Carolina

2,132.4 2.2 866 46 3.7 21

South Dakota

433.4 0.4 855 47 3.4 27

Tennessee

3,060.8 1.9 966 28 2.8 44

Texas

12,603.2 2.1 1,109 12 4.1 10

Utah

1,535.2 2.8 954 30 4.8 3

Vermont

311.0 0.0 927 34 4.3 5

Virginia

3,931.4 1.0 1,125 10 4.0 13

Washington

3,489.8 2.1 1,335 3 4.3 5

West Virginia

694.4 -1.8 897 41 0.3 51

Wisconsin

2,893.8 0.1 929 33 3.1 37

Wyoming

283.1 1.5 942 31 4.2 7

Puerto Rico

878.9 1.9 528 (3) -0.8 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.8 9.6 1,012 (3) 12.8 (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: Thursday, March 12, 2020