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19-94-SAN
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2018

Employment decreased 0.8 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2017 to June 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or greater as measured by 2017 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that in June 2018, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 150,700 and accounted for 44.9 percent of total employment within the state.

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from June 2017 to June 2018 as 309 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Midland, TX, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 11.6 percent over the year. McLean, IL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 2.0 percent.

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,105 in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 3.9 percent from the second quarter of 2017. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.4 percent over the year to $1,055 in the second quarter of 2018. (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 $1,822 to $647 during the second quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 3.9-percent wage gain from the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter 2018 placed 77th among the nation’s 349 largest counties. (See table 1.) Nationally, 340 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Marin, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase in the nation, up 11.7 percent. King, WA, and Lake, IL, tied for the second largest increase, each at 9.3 percent.

Of the 349 largest U.S. counties, 8 counties registered wage declines during the period. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.4 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,105 average weekly wage placed in the top 25 percent in the nation, ranking 76th in the second quarter of 2018. Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 94 of the 349 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,573. San Mateo, CA, was second with an average weekly wage of $2,357, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,083) and New York, NY ($2,025).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than 70 percent (255) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2018. At $625 a week, Horry County, SC, had the lowest average weekly wage among the 349 large counties. The next three lowest-paying large counties were in Texas: Cameron, TX ($642), Hidalgo, TX ($645) and Webb, TX ($687).

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 $1,055. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($1,822), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,359), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,258), and Aleutian West Census Area ($1,116). The Kusilvak Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $647. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 3 had wages below $700. Six counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, nine had wages from $800 to $899, two had wages from $900 to $999, and nine had wages of $1,000 or more. (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 2017 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2018, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2018 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/cewbultn17.htm.

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.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.


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 9.8 million employer reports cover 143.9 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. 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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the largest county in Alaska, second quarter 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2018 (thousands)Percent change, June 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

147,431.21.5--1055--3.4--

Alaska

335.8-0.9--1043153.79

Anchorage, Alaska

150.7-0.83431105763.977

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 2018
AreaEmployment June 2018Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

147,431,154$1,055

Alaska

335,7501,043

Aleutian East Borough

1,9041,016

Aleutian West Census Area

3,1201,116

Anchorage Borough

150,6561,105

Bethel Census Area

7,493809

Bristol Bay Borough

2,187861

Denali Borough

3,667782

Dillingham Census Area

3,410808

Fairbanks North Star Borough

36,8281,003

Haines Borough

1,266676

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

1,087705

Juneau Borough

18,254985

Kenai Peninsula Borough

21,514938

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,291890

Kodiak Island Borough

6,082833

Kusilvak Census Area

2,140647

Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,265737

Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

24,283834

Nome Census Area

3,9341,003

North Slope Borough

11,6841,822

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,7841,359

Petersburg Census Area

1,314780

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,577818

Sitka Borough

4,604876

Skagway Municipality

1,591692

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,6701,258

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,9701,026

Wrangell City and Borough

905781

Yakutat Borough

278807

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,497709

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 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2018 (thousands)Percent change, June 2017-18Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

147,431.21.5$1,055--3.4--

Alabama

1,969.91.2882372.835

Alaska

335.8-0.91,043153.79

Arizona

2,770.82.6973233.319

Arkansas

1,214.60.7824471.747

California

17,473.11.91,26544.63

Colorado

2,704.42.41,075103.227

Connecticut

1,704.50.31,21850.150

Delaware

454.31.31,023171.449

District of Columbia

777.31.31,71312.639

Florida

8,568.92.1931282.932

Georgia

4,440.52.0979222.343

Hawaii

658.30.5956242.541

Idaho

745.33.1794503.88

Illinois

6,061.10.81,09793.414

Indiana

3,075.81.1883362.835

Iowa

1,583.70.8880393.319

Kansas

1,393.31.0879403.414

Kentucky

1,905.90.9882372.343

Louisiana

1,918.60.4901333.79

Maine

636.81.0843453.611

Maryland

2,712.00.71,14183.414

Massachusetts

3,650.11.01,32223.512

Michigan

4,424.71.3997202.932

Minnesota

2,925.60.81,072123.319

Mississippi

1,130.70.2752512.738

Missouri

2,829.00.5924303.97

Montana

478.71.1817482.541

Nebraska

990.80.6859433.129

Nevada

1,372.43.1931283.319

New Hampshire

670.80.81,049143.319

New Jersey

4,157.00.91,20172.343

New Mexico

823.61.0852443.512

New York

9,579.21.71,29734.54

North Carolina

4,450.22.2933253.319

North Dakota

426.10.8986213.414

Ohio

5,461.30.7933252.343

Oklahoma

1,606.41.2875413.227

Oregon

1,947.31.5999183.319

Pennsylvania

5,924.91.11,031163.129

Rhode Island

491.00.7998191.747

South Carolina

2,126.53.4833460.051

South Dakota

439.70.9807492.835

Tennessee

2,994.11.6932272.932

Texas

12,326.32.21,062133.414

Utah

1,483.93.4899354.35

Vermont

312.4-0.8907314.35

Virginia

3,941.01.31,073112.639

Washington

3,444.12.71,21856.91

West Virginia

702.91.6868424.82

Wisconsin

2,933.50.9904323.319

Wyoming

282.20.5901333.031

Puerto Rico

853.5-2.3543(3)5.2(3)

Virgin Islands

33.4-14.4838(3)12.8(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, January 15, 2019