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News Release Information

18-179-SAN
Friday, February 02, 2018

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County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2017

Employment decreased 1.1 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2016 to June 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 Richard Holden noted that in June 2017, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 151,400 and accounted for 44.7 percent of total employment within the state.

Nationally, employment advanced 1.7 percent from June 2016 to June 2017 as 318 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registered increases.  Midland, Texas, had the largest employment gain in the country, up 7.3 percent. Lucas, Ohio, had the largest over-the-year decrease among these counties with a loss of 1.9 percent.

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,064 in the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 1.0 percent from the second quarter of 2016. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.2 percent over the year to $1,020 in the second quarter of 2017. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 28 boroughs in Alaska with employment below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,794 to $541 during the second quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 1.0-percent wage gain from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter 2017 placed 300th among the nation’s 346 largest counties. (See table 1.) Nationwide, 325 of the 346 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. New Hanover, N.C., had the largest wage gain in the nation (11.9 percent). San Mateo, Calif., and Midland, Texas were second with wage increases of 11.4 percent each. Rounding out the top five were Kitsap, Wash. (11.0 percent) and Clackamas, Ore. (10.0 percent).

Of the 346 largest U.S. counties, 19 had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-20.4 percent), followed by Union, N.J. (-3.7 percent); Warren, Ohio (-3.6 percent); Somerset, N.J. (-3.4 percent); Fairfield, Conn. (-1.9 percent); and Washington, Ore. (-1.9 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,064 average weekly wage placed in the top 25 percent in the nation, ranking 78th in the second quarter of 2017. Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 97 of the 346 large U.S. counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,392. San Mateo, Calif., was second with an average weekly wage of $2,093, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,941) and New York, N.Y. ($1,907).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (249) had average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wage was in Cameron, Texas ($615), followed by Horry, S.C. ($622), and the Texas counties of Hidalgo ($632) and Webb ($667).

Average weekly wages in Alaska’s smaller counties

Alaska consists of 16 smaller boroughs, 11 census areas, and 1 municipality, each of which is considered a county level equivalent. Twenty-four of the 28 counties in Alaska with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,020. The exceptions were Valdez-Cordova Census Area ($1,025), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,228), Northwest Artic Borough ($1,272), and North Slope Borough ($1,794). The Kusilvak Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $541. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 5 had wages below $700. Eight counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, seven had wages from $800 to $899, three had wages from $900 to $999, and six had wages above $1,000. (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 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 third quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Thursday March 8, 2018.


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 145.2 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 sit.

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 largest county in Alaska, second quarter 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2017 (thousands)Percent change, June 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,186.41.7--$1,020--3.2--

Alaska

338.4-0.7--1,00516-0.551

Anchorage, Alaska

151.4-1.13421,064781.0300

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 Alaska, second quarter 2017
AreaEmployment June 2017Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,186,369$1,020

Alaska

338,3941,005

Aleutian East Borough

2,327891

Aleutian West Census Area

3,295988

Anchorage Borough

151,3851,064

Bethel Census Area

7,491775

Bristol Bay Borough

2,418748

Denali Borough

3,813729

Dillingham Census Area

3,391774

Fairbanks North Star Borough

36,907967

Haines Borough

1,222647

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

1,062667

Juneau Borough

18,231960

Kenai Peninsula Borough

22,024885

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,375850

Kodiak Island Borough

6,310817

Kusilvak Census Area

2,425541

Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,181681

Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

24,031812

Nome Census Area

3,8561,005

North Slope Borough

12,1221,794

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,8951,272

Petersburg Census Area

1,354775

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,490804

Sitka Borough

4,413844

Skagway Municipality

1,555635

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,5711,228

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,8141,025

Wrangell City and Borough

899717

Yakutat Borough

275770

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,214734

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 2017
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2017 (thousands)Percent change, June 2016-17Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2016-17National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

145,186.41.7$1,020--3.2--

Alabama

1,946.41.2858382.831

Alaska

338.4-0.71,00516-0.551

Arizona

2,699.62.9943232.535

Arkansas

1,206.00.7810473.222

California

17,150.92.21,21054.73

Colorado

2,638.82.51,042114.25

Connecticut

1,701.20.61,21640.450

Delaware

446.60.61,012152.243

District of Columbia

766.51.01,67513.319

Florida

8,390.62.8905272.535

Georgia

4,357.82.1956212.927

Hawaii

653.01.0935243.513

Idaho

723.53.4765503.416

Illinois

6,006.60.91,06292.439

Indiana

3,041.01.5859373.79

Iowa

1,571.40.4853393.319

Kansas

1,377.8-0.1849402.439

Kentucky

1,889.40.8862352.927

Louisiana

1,907.70.0869342.046

Maine

629.10.9814462.535

Maryland

2,694.81.41,10383.123

Massachusetts

3,604.51.61,27823.611

Michigan

4,365.31.6969192.927

Minnesota

2,902.12.01,037123.96

Mississippi

1,128.90.7732510.849

Missouri

2,818.71.2889303.025

Montana

473.61.3797483.96

Nebraska

984.00.4833433.513

Nevada

1,333.53.4900292.927

New Hampshire

665.41.61,015141.248

New Jersey

4,123.51.81,17362.341

New Mexico

815.40.7823451.547

New York

9,417.41.61,23732.243

North Carolina

4,361.41.8902284.34

North Dakota

422.7-0.2953225.02

Ohio

5,422.81.2912253.319

Oklahoma

1,583.80.8845412.535

Oregon

1,912.62.2967203.88

Pennsylvania

5,859.41.31,000173.025

Rhode Island

487.31.0980182.633

South Carolina

2,053.92.0834423.611

South Dakota

435.50.6785493.416

Tennessee

2,948.11.8906263.513

Texas

12,059.62.11,027132.732

Utah

1,440.33.4862352.633

Vermont

314.21.0870332.145

Virginia

3,886.61.51,047103.79

Washington

3,352.52.21,14175.61

West Virginia

690.9-0.3828443.416

Wisconsin

2,905.31.1876312.341

Wyoming

280.2-0.7875323.123

Puerto Rico

873.6-1.0515(3)1.2(3)

Virgin Islands

38.60.4762(3)2.6(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: Friday, February 02, 2018