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News Release Information

16-323-SAN
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

County Employment and Wages in Arizona – Second Quarter 2015

Employment increased in Arizona’s two large counties from June 2014 to June 2015, 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 2014 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that Maricopa County experienced a 3.2-percent rate of job growth over the year, exceeding the national job growth of 2.0 percent. In Arizona’s other large county, Pima, job growth edged up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Nationally, employment increased in 319 of the 342 largest counties from June 2014 to June 2015. Utah, Utah, had the largest percentage increase in employment over the year, up 7.5 percent. Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.2 percent.

Of the two large counties in Arizona, employment was higher in Maricopa (1,774,400) in June 2015. Combined, Arizona’s two large counties accounted for 83.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 large counties made up 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment. (See table 1.).

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 13 counties in Arizona with employment below 75,000. Twelve of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages in Maricopa County increased 1.7 percent from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015, placing 252nd in the national ranking. Pima County’s 1.2-percent wage gain ranked 289th. (See table 1.) 

Nationally, 323 large counties registered over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2015. Ventura, Calif., ranked first with an increase of 15.2 percent. Santa Clara, Calif., ranked second with a gain of 11.3 percent, followed by the counties of Forsyth, N.C. (10.9 percent); Riverside, Calif. (8.7 percent); and San Francisco, Calif. (8.6 percent).

Among the 342 largest counties, 16 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Olmstead, Minn., had the largest decrease (-5.2 percent). Ector, Texas, had the second-largest wage decline (-5.1 percent), followed by Midland, Texas (-3.2 percent) and Hillsborough, N.H. (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in both of Arizona’s two large counties were below the national average of $968 per week. Maricopa County’s $948 average weekly wage placed in the top third among the 342 large U.S. counties, ranking 122nd. At $828 per week, Pima County’s average weekly wage placed 234th

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 102 of the 342 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,109. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,863, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,842) and San Francisco, Calif. ($1,730).

Over two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (240) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2015. The lowest average weekly wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($568), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($586), Hidalgo ($615), and Webb ($651). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than one-third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif. ($2,109).

Average weekly wages in Arizona’s smaller counties

Of the 13 counties in Arizona with employment below 75,000, only Greenlee ($1,137) had an average wage above the national average of $968. La Paz County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state with an average of $629 in the second quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 15 counties in Arizona were considered, all but 1 had wages below the national average. Four counties reported average weekly wages of $699 or less, five had wages from $700 to $799, four reported wages from $800 to $899, and two had wages above $900. (See chart 1.)

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 2014 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2015, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.


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 9.4 million employer reports cover 137.8 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 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 2 largest counties in Arizona, second quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage Weekly Wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands)Percent change, June 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,594.92.0--$968--3.0--

Arizona

2,549.92.5--904211.839

Maricopa, Ariz.

1,774.43.2769481221.7252

Pima, Ariz.

347.40.13158282341.2289

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 Arizona, second quarter 2015
AreaEmployment June 2015Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

140,594,927$968

Arizona

2,549,870904

Apache

17,465811

Cochise

34,318831

Coconino

60,895792

Gila

14,907735

Graham

8,321754

Greenlee

4,6861,137

La Paz

5,513629

Maricopa

1,774,425948

Mohave

46,135679

Navajo

26,783735

Pima

347,394828

Pinal

56,519758

Santa Cruz

13,460812

Yavapai

59,149699

Yuma

56,679693

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: 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, second quarter 2015
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands)Percent change, June 2014-15Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2014-15National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

140,594.92.0$968--3.0--

Alabama

1,899.31.3819371.641

Alaska

346.60.41,02882.430

Arizona

2,549.92.5904211.839

Arkansas

1,184.61.7762472.135

California

16,338.92.81,13155.51

Colorado

2,517.13.2989133.013

Connecticut

1,693.10.91,17742.038

Delaware

439.12.2991121.542

District of Columbia

745.11.81,59911.839

Florida

7,907.73.6861282.623

Georgia

4,167.83.4903222.430

Hawaii

635.91.6876243.86

Idaho

678.52.9713502.333

Illinois

5,925.51.51,015102.623

Indiana

2,966.01.7811403.47

Iowa

1,561.20.9802432.818

Kansas

1,382.10.7819372.818

Kentucky

1,850.51.7822353.013

Louisiana

1,930.60.5850300.847

Maine

615.80.8768462.916

Maryland

2,631.31.41,04672.623

Massachusetts

3,488.32.11,21124.72

Michigan

4,225.01.5916202.135

Minnesota

2,826.31.5977153.28

Mississippi

1,114.71.1709510.648

Missouri

2,746.61.7842322.818

Montana

461.51.8754482.721

Nebraska

968.71.2787444.13

Nevada

1,248.13.2855292.623

New Hampshire

647.71.5967161.346

New Jersey

4,000.21.51,12662.623

New Mexico

808.40.8805411.444

New York

9,136.91.91,18033.19

North Carolina

4,185.62.6850303.94

North Dakota

445.0-1.8939180.350

Ohio

5,308.11.4865262.430

Oklahoma

1,591.50.6818390.549

Oregon

1,810.43.4899233.013

Pennsylvania

5,763.90.8958172.721

Rhode Island

480.01.5925192.916

South Carolina

1,963.52.5782452.135

South Dakota

428.61.3740493.94

Tennessee

2,832.12.8863273.19

Texas

11,689.42.4988141.542

Utah

1,345.93.9821363.19

Vermont

309.30.6831342.234

Virginia

3,767.21.71,000112.529

Washington

3,197.63.31,02693.19

West Virginia

706.5-0.8803421.444

Wisconsin

2,839.81.0836332.623

Wyoming

291.5-1.586925-0.151

Puerto Rico

884.6-1.4513(3)2.0(3)

Virgin Islands

37.90.1748(3)2.2(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, February 16, 2016