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News Release Information

18-1134-SAN
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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

County Employment and Wages in California – Fourth Quarter 2017

Job growth in 19 of the state’s large counties exceeded the national rate of 1.5 percent

Employment increased in all 29 large counties in California from December 2016 to December 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 the annual rates of job growth in 19 large counties in California exceeded the national rate of 1.5 percent in December 2017. Placer County had the largest increase in employment at 4.3 percent, followed by Merced County at 3.8 percent and San Bernardino County at 3.3 percent.

Nationally, employment increased in 316 of the 346 largest U.S. counties from December 2016 to December 2017. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 11.5 percent over the year. Shawnee, Kan. and Caddo, La., had the largest decrease among the largest counties in the U.S., with losses of 1.8 percent each.

Among the 29 largest counties in California, employment was highest in Los Angeles County (4,494,500) in December 2017, while Napa County had the smallest employment level (74,400). Together, California’s large counties accounted for 94.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, average weekly wages increased in all of California’s large counties. Nationally, average weekly wages advanced 3.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 29 counties in California with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,109 in the fourth quarter of 2017. (See table 2).

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in all 29 large California counties increased from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017. San Mateo County’s 11.5-percent wage increase was the largest in the state and ranked 1st among the 346 large U.S. counties. Two other counties’ wage gains ranked in the top 10 nationally: Santa Clara (8.9 percent, 5th) and San Francisco (7.4 percent, 7th). (See table 1.)

Among the 346 largest U.S. counties, 339 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest percentage wage increases among the largest U.S. counties (11.5 percent each). New York, N.Y., followed with an increase of 10.4 percent.

Of the 346 largest counties, 7 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-6.7 percent), followed by Champaign, Ill. (-1.6 percent); and Benton, Ark. (-1.4 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 13 of the 29 large counties in California exceeded the national average of $1,109 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Santa Clara ($2,576, 1st), San Mateo ($2,341, 3rd), and San Francisco ($2,232, 4th) had average weekly wages that ranked in the top five nationwide. Tulare ($812, 327th), Merced ($816, 326th), and Butte ($826, 322nd) had the lowest weekly wages in the state and placed in the bottom fifth of the national ranking.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,109) in 95 of the 346 largest counties in the fourth quarter of 2017. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,576, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,439); San Mateo, Calif. ($2,341); and San Francisco, Calif. ($2,232).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 251 had weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2017. Cameron, Texas ($652) reported the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Hidalgo, Texas ($664); Horry, S.C. ($674); and Webb, Texas ($706).

Average weekly wages in California’s smaller counties

All 29 counties in California with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,109. Among these smaller counties, Yuba had the highest average weekly wage at $997 in the fourth quarter of 2017, while Alpine ($650) had the lowest weekly wage. (See table 2.)

When all 58 counties in California were considered, 12 had wages of $799 or lower. Nineteen counties had average weekly wages ranging from $800 to $899, 10 had wages from $900 to $999, and 17 had wages at or 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 2016 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process has accelerated for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data are now published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data have been accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release, with smaller county data contained in this release, occurs two weeks later.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 145.9 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.

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 29 largest counties in California, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,921.11.5--$1,109--3.9--

California

17,293.02.1--1,34645.74

Alameda, Calif.

785.63.0321,457175.422

Butte, Calif.

83.11.31588263224.838

Contra Costa, Calif.

369.90.72401,344274.085

Fresno, Calif.

380.21.81028882823.6117

Kern, Calif.

313.61.11818882822.5227

Los Angeles, Calif.

4,494.51.61211,343286.411

Marin, Calif.

116.81.51351,400211.8288

Merced, Calif.

79.43.8168163261.0317

Monterey, Calif.

175.00.72409512184.552

Napa, Calif.

74.41.41441,119855.617

Orange, Calif.

1,621.41.71111,234552.8188

Placer, Calif.

164.64.3121,107963.1163

Riverside, Calif.

732.32.8488732954.744

Sacramento, Calif.

656.42.4691,180644.552

San Bernardino, Calif.

754.03.3239062622.0270

San Diego, Calif.

1,462.01.81021,221574.367

San Francisco, Calif.

730.92.9382,23247.47

San Joaquin, Calif.

251.92.4699232413.898

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

115.91.61219292364.647

San Mateo, Calif.

407.51.81022,341311.51

Santa Barbara, Calif.

195.41.61211,0661203.992

Santa Clara, Calif.

1,093.42.5622,57618.95

Santa Cruz, Calif.

100.41.11819702014.178

Solano, Calif.

140.81.31581,115934.178

Sonoma, Calif.

208.32.0901,0701174.838

Stanislaus, Calif.

187.13.0329152533.5122

Tulare, Calif.

159.30.72408123274.935

Ventura, Calif.

326.30.82291,0761133.0171

Yolo, Calif.

101.62.6561,151713.992

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 California, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmployment December 2017Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109$1,109

California

17,292,9741,346

Alameda

785,5701,457

Alpine

1,014650

Amador

12,111883

Butte

83,124826

Calaveras

9,416804

Colusa

9,120844

Contra Costa

369,8861,344

Del Norte

8,035741

El Dorado

57,887983

Fresno

380,167888

Glenn

8,957836

Humboldt

50,107792

Imperial

63,361767

Inyo

7,710837

Kern

313,616888

Kings

47,374838

Lake

16,082751

Lassen

10,174877

Los Angeles

4,494,5261,343

Madera

49,447846

Marin

116,7871,400

Mariposa

5,215780

Mendocino

32,258792

Merced

79,443816

Modoc

2,280745

Mono

7,638749

Monterey

175,020951

Napa

74,4471,119

Nevada

31,760919

Orange

1,621,3981,234

Placer

164,6301,107

Plumas

5,931863

Riverside

732,338873

Sacramento

656,3781,180

San Benito

15,783952

San Bernardino

753,973906

San Diego

1,462,0391,221

San Francisco

730,8612,232

San Joaquin

251,893923

San Luis Obispo

115,929929

San Mateo

407,4962,341

Santa Barbara

195,4151,066

Santa Clara

1,093,3792,576

Santa Cruz

100,415970

Shasta

66,154856

Sierra

460761

Siskiyou

13,438782

Solano

140,8011,115

Sonoma

208,2831,070

Stanislaus

187,061915

Sutter

29,740825

Tehama

18,362854

Trinity

2,582783

Tulare

159,324812

Tuolumne

17,322875

Ventura

326,2921,076

Yolo

101,5521,151

Yuba

17,600997

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

United States (2)

145,921.11.5$1,109--3.9--

Alabama

1,955.31.1928362.932

Alaska

306.7-1.21,052191.551

Arizona

2,834.72.6978253.512

Arkansas

1,217.21.0848482.542

California

17,293.02.11,34645.74

Colorado

2,653.32.51,133104.39

Connecticut

1,689.70.31,31752.246

Delaware

444.90.61,081152.640

District of Columbia

769.00.91,81212.737

Florida

8,712.02.0975263.416

Georgia

4,425.01.81,027203.416

Hawaii

664.50.8984243.126

Idaho

712.43.0857467.11

Illinois

6,001.10.81,15192.640

Indiana

3,057.81.1915383.611

Iowa

1,549.70.4938323.028

Kansas

1,390.30.4894411.949

Kentucky

1,903.80.5892422.147

Louisiana

1,918.80.4933352.147

Maine

610.31.2884433.416

Maryland

2,683.60.51,20783.322

Massachusetts

3,582.21.31,41134.48

Michigan

4,321.80.91,062173.416

Minnesota

2,875.71.31,100143.416

Mississippi

1,140.60.5774512.445

Missouri

2,809.51.0945312.932

Montana

461.41.0843502.737

Nebraska

980.90.9901393.028

Nevada

1,351.93.5955293.225

New Hampshire

661.30.71,132113.710

New Jersey

4,106.91.61,26261.850

New Mexico

816.70.6865452.542

New York

9,465.31.41,42826.42

North Carolina

4,388.61.5964283.322

North Dakota

416.10.41,010223.322

Ohio

5,409.20.8973273.126

Oklahoma

1,607.81.2895403.512

Oregon

1,900.42.01,014214.57

Pennsylvania

5,870.41.21,075163.512

Rhode Island

483.61.11,056182.737

South Carolina

2,058.81.6879442.835

South Dakota

423.80.9856473.416

Tennessee

2,984.81.31,000233.028

Texas

12,207.82.01,109133.512

Utah

1,465.53.6936332.932

Vermont

314.70.5919372.542

Virginia

3,884.21.31,121122.835

Washington

3,305.02.41,21775.83

West Virginia

693.10.1847494.75

Wisconsin

2,872.61.0951303.028

Wyoming

267.50.6935344.66

Puerto Rico

887.0-4.4570(3)2.5(3)

Virgin Islands

34.3-11.1827(3)7.7(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: Thursday, July 19, 2018