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14-1516-SAN
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in California – Fourth Quarter 2013

Employment increased in all 26 large California counties from December 2012 to December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2012 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that Sonoma County had the largest increase, up 5.2 percent, followed by Placer at 4.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.8 percent from December 2012 to December 2013 as 292 of the 334 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Weld, Colo., recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. St. Clair, Ill., registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 3.1 percent.

Among the large counties in California, Los Angeles County had the highest employment, 4,176,800. Orange and San Diego were the only other counties with employment above one million. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, Santa Cruz County recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages among the 26 large counties in California, registering a gain of 6.5 percent. (See table 1.) San Mateo County recorded the highest average weekly wage among these large counties at $2,724 per week. Nationally, the average weekly wage was unchanged from a year ago, remaining at $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 32 counties in California with employment levels below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2013. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Santa Cruz County’s 6.5-percent rise in average weekly wages from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013 ranked first among the nation’s 334 largest counties. (See table 1.) Advancing at a slower pace, but ranking within the top 20 nationwide, were Santa Clara (3.4 percent) and San Francisco (3.0 percent). Over-the-year wage increases in 11 other counties ranged from 2.9 to 0.4 percent, while wages were unchanged in 2 counties. In contrast, 10 counties reported wage decreases, with San Mateo (-15.8 percent) recording the largest decline, followed by Santa Barbara (-3.0 percent).

Nationally, 185 of the 334 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. As mentioned, Santa Cruz (6.5 percent) had the largest wage gain nationwide from the fourth quarter of 2012. Ada, Idaho, was second with a wage increase of 6.4 percent, followed by the counties of Washington, Ore. (5.9 percent), and Union, N.J. (5.2 percent).

Among the large U.S. counties, 140 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Douglas, Colo., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 29.7 percent. San Mateo’s 15.8-percent wage decrease was the second-largest decline nationwide, followed by Virginia Beach City, Va. (-10.0 percent), McHenry, Ill. (-8.8 percent), and Shawnee, Kan. (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in 12 of the state’s 26 large counties were above the national average of $1,000 per week. In the fourth quarter of 2013, average weekly wages in San Mateo County ($2,724), Santa Clara, ($1,972), and San Francisco ($1,753) ranked within the top four nationally. In contrast, at $696 per week, wages in Tulare ranked 324th among the nation’s 334 largest counties.

Nationally, 98 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. As noted, San Mateo, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,041, followed by Santa Clara, Calif.

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (235) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry , S.C., reported the lowest wage ($587), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($598) and Hidalgo ($620). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than a quarter of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, San Mateo, Calif.

Average weekly wages in California’s smaller counties

All 32 of California’s smaller counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported weekly wages below the national average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Among these counties, Alpine ($998), posted the highest weekly wages, followed by Placer and Ventura ($978 each). Mariposa reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state ($624). (See table 2.)

When all 58 counties in California were considered, 11 reported average weekly wages below $700, 16 reported wages from $700 to $799, 12 had wages from $800 to $899, 7 had wages from $900 to $999, and 12 averaged $1,000 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The six highest-paying counties were located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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 2012 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 2013 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2014.


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 9.3 million employer reports cover 136.1 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: 1-800-877-8339.
 

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 26 largest counties in California, fourth quarter 2013
AreaEmploymentAverage Weekly Wage (1)
December 2013 (thousands)Percent change, December 2012-13 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2012-13 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

136,129.41.8--$1,000--0.0--

California

15,650.32.8--1,1756-0.943

Alameda, Calif.

687.32.5901,267250.8120

Contra Costa, Calif.

339.62.4981,191371.954

Fresno, Calif.

348.03.734771302-1.0253

Kern, Calif.

303.92.6888492310.4150

Los Angeles, Calif.

4,176.81.91301,16147-1.9302

Marin, Calif.

112.03.0611,21332-0.7238

Monterey, Calif.

155.61.91308282502.143

Santa Barbara, Calif.

182.42.590936150-3.0321

Santa Clara, Calif.

965.74.1241,97233.417

Santa Cruz, Calif.

92.12.01229071696.51

Solano, Calif.

127.42.01221,015882.922

Sonoma, Calif.

189.55.23913161-0.7238

Stanislaus, Calif.

165.72.4988012781.195

Tulare, Calif.

145.73.5426963240.0186

Ventura, Calif.

314.01.2188978115-0.6232

Yolo, Calif.

91.32.4981,021842.336

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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
 


 
Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in California, fourth quarter 2013
AreaEmployment December 2013Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

136,129,407$1,000

  California

15,650,2831,175

    Alameda

687,3271,267

    Alpine

566998

    Amador

11,164800

    Butte

75,496737

    Calaveras

7,987690

    Colusa

8,066770

    Contra Costa

339,6261,191

    Del Norte

7,878686

    El Dorado

50,089844

    Fresno

347,958771

    Glenn

8,337701

    Humboldt

46,506700

    Imperial

63,916677

    Inyo

7,515757

    Kern

303,943849

    Kings

41,488763

    Lake

14,784643

    Lassen

10,251832

    Los Angeles

4,176,8401,161

    Madera

46,875757

    Marin

111,9901,213

    Mariposa

4,742624

    Mendocino

30,637687

    Merced

70,859716

    Modoc

2,454668

    Mono

6,748687

    Monterey

155,593828

    Napa

68,467971

    Nevada

29,161808

    Orange

1,463,0521,114

    Placer

139,626978

    Plumas

5,593765

    Riverside

613,241773

    Sacramento

610,7061,069

    San Benito

14,835800

    San Bernardino

653,236824

    San Diego

1,330,2301,107

    San Francisco

630,4721,753

    San Joaquin

212,033815

    San Luis Obispo

107,630805

    San Mateo

366,0782,724

    Santa Barbara

182,433936

    Santa Clara

965,7421,972

    Santa Cruz

92,068907

    Shasta

60,592750

    Sierra

556714

    Siskiyou

12,351662

    Solano

127,4131,015

    Sonoma

189,470913

    Stanislaus

165,723801

    Sutter

26,540719

    Tehama

15,862719

    Trinity

2,563643

    Tulare

145,655696

    Tuolumne

16,135753

    Ventura

314,013978

    Yolo

91,3431,021

    Yuba

16,489820

(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: 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 2013
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2013 (thousands)Percent change, December 2012-13Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2012-13National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

136,129.41.8$1,000--0.0--

Alabama

1,866.51.085134-0.539

Alaska

315.10.01,022141.67

Arizona

2,571.02.490623-0.539

Arkansas

1,154.3-0.5771470.422

California

15,650.32.81,1756-0.943

Colorado

2,383.93.11,02313-0.943

Connecticut

1,661.20.31,2384-1.349

Delaware

419.61.81,0359-0.641

District of Columbia

727.30.61,6381-3.951

Florida

7,739.52.7883290.227

Georgia

3,986.92.592421-0.132

Hawaii

632.91.7871300.325

Idaho

634.52.6754503.02

Illinois

5,758.91.01,06080.227

Indiana

2,896.91.681440-0.235

Iowa

1,510.91.4834381.67

Kansas

1,359.51.683239-0.438

Kentucky

1,818.01.2804420.227

Louisiana

1,911.60.9889260.520

Maine

586.80.8786461.75

Maryland

2,555.10.41,0767-0.943

Massachusetts

3,332.91.51,25830.817

Michigan

4,072.42.095220-0.235

Minnesota

2,720.61.7988160.325

Mississippi

1,108.11.1729511.311

Missouri

2,670.41.186132-0.235

Montana

440.01.3760480.422

Nebraska

944.31.479643-0.132

Nevada

1,180.53.0884280.718

New Hampshire

629.31.41,01715-0.842

New Jersey

3,887.51.21,18651.114

New Mexico

796.2-0.1814401.410

New York

8,888.61.71,2662-1.148

North Carolina

4,045.51.9860330.718

North Dakota

435.03.3980173.81

Ohio

5,175.41.4887270.030

Oklahoma

1,581.30.685134-0.132

Oregon

1,699.62.5894252.63

Pennsylvania

5,650.30.4976180.422

Rhode Island

462.71.4960191.59

South Carolina

1,875.82.3793441.015

South Dakota

407.11.3759491.311

Tennessee

2,758.31.889524-0.943

Texas

11,246.32.61,027120.030

Utah

1,284.73.183637-0.943

Vermont

308.50.6848362.34

Virginia

3,670.00.11,02811-1.349

Washington

2,976.02.51,034101.75

West Virginia

710.1-0.6792450.520

Wisconsin

2,751.81.0865311.213

Wyoming

279.20.6917221.015

Puerto Rico

958.3-2.3551(3)0.2(3)

Virgin Islands

38.5-3.6754(3)2.4(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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014