Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

20-186-SAN
Friday, January 31, 2020

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2019

Employment decreased 0.3 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2018 to June 2019, 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 2018 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that in June 2019, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 150,300 and accounted for 44.3 percent of total employment within the state.

Employment nationwide advanced 1.1 percent during the 12-month period as 279 of the 355 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Adams, CO, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.3 percent over the year. Bay, FL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 6.4 percent.

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,143 in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.4 percent from the second quarter of 2018. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.8 percent over the year to $1,095 in the second quarter of 2019. (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 $1,875 to $574 during the second quarter of 2019. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 3.4-percent wage gain from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter 2019 placed 176th among the nation’s 355 largest counties. (See table 1.) Nationally, 347 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Benton, AR, had the largest percentage wage increase in the nation, up 16.3 percent. San Francisco, CA, had the second largest increase at 15.5 percent.

Of the 355 largest U.S. counties, 8 large counties registered wage declines during the period. McLean, IL, had the largest percentage over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 5.8 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,143 average weekly wage placed in the top 25 percent in the nation, ranking 78th in the second quarter of 2019. Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 93 of the 355 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,612. San Francisco, CA, was second with an average weekly wage of $2,430, followed by San Mateo, CA ($2,373) and New York, NY ($2,109). Average wages in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA, were more than four times the average wage in the lowest-ranked county, Horry, SC ($649).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than 70 percent (260) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2019. At $649 a week, Horry County, SC, had the lowest average weekly wage among the 355 large counties. The next three lowest-paying large counties were in Texas: Hidalgo ($657), Cameron ($659), and Webb ($697).

Average weekly wages in Alaska’s smaller counties

Alaska additionally 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 $1,095. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($1,875), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,404), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,284), and Aleutian West Census Area ($1,181). The Kusilvak Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $574. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 2 had wages below $700. Six counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, eight had wages from $800 to $899, five 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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 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/publications/employmentand-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 20, 2020.


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 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 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2019 (thousands)Percent change, June 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

149,089.21.1--$1,095--3.8--

Alaska

338.90.7--1,078153.626

Anchorage, Alaska

150.3-0.33081,143783.4176

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 2019
AreaEmployment June 2019Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

149,089,158$1,095

 Alaska

338,8741,078

  Aleutian East Borough

2,620916

  Aleutian West Census Area

3,0901,181

  Anchorage Borough

150,3091,143

  Bethel Census Area

7,593852

  Bristol Bay Borough

2,299881

  Denali Borough

3,690750

  Dillingham Census Area

3,085890

  Fairbanks North Star Borough

37,2511,037

  Haines Borough

1,327709

  Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

1,124655

  Juneau Borough

18,565996

  Kenai Peninsula Borough

21,699976

  Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,231917

  Kodiak Island Borough

5,981881

  Kusilvak Census Area

2,216574

  Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,152744

  Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

25,450866

  Nome Census Area

4,0231,074

  North Slope Borough

12,4891,875

  Northwest Arctic Borough

2,9081,404

  Petersburg Census Area

1,289776

  Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,533869

  Sitka Borough

4,695921

  Skagway Municipality

1,557741

  Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,5621,284

  Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,9121,046

  Wrangell City and Borough

898823

  Yakutat Borough

296867

  Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,386748

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 2019
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2019 (thousands)Percent change, June 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

149,089.21.1$1,095--3.8--

Alabama

1,993.71.1911363.428

Alaska

338.90.71,078153.626

Arizona

2,843.32.61,010233.816

Arkansas

1,222.50.6862474.64

California

17,717.41.51,32544.73

Colorado

2,765.72.21,12894.92

Connecticut

1,690.8-0.81,26663.911

Delaware

458.00.81,057173.428

District of Columbia

780.40.51,77813.816

Florida

8,722.91.8968263.911

Georgia

4,507.11.71,016223.911

Hawaii

652.2-1.2992243.722

Idaho

765.12.6820503.333

Illinois

6,074.70.31,122102.447

Indiana

3,089.80.5910383.139

Iowa

1,584.70.1902402.545

Kansas

1,403.00.6905392.842

Kentucky

1,909.70.3911363.333

Louisiana

1,920.2-0.2923352.447

Maine

639.60.4874453.722

Maryland

2,733.60.71,17883.333

Massachusetts

3,690.10.91,37724.35

Michigan

4,419.70.11,018212.447

Minnesota

2,952.60.81,101132.644

Mississippi

1,135.90.476751251

Missouri

2,836.70.3948302.545

Montana

483.11.0843483.333

Nebraska

991.50.1889423.527

Nevada

1,408.82.6961293.238

New Hampshire

676.10.81,09014410

New Jersey

4,182.50.71,2367341

New Mexico

834.01.0888444.35

New York

9,682.81.01,34733.911

North Carolina

4,527.32.0970253.911

North Dakota

431.81.31,026204.17

Ohio

5,486.70.4965273.428

Oklahoma

1,618.50.5900413.139

Oregon

1,976.51.31,036183.816

Pennsylvania

5,972.10.81,070163.816

Rhode Island

494.50.71,034193.428

South Carolina

2,144.21.3867463.722

South Dakota

441.80.4838493.816

Tennessee

3,047.81.8964283.333

Texas

12,585.62.01,102123.816

Utah

1,526.13.0936324.17

Vermont

314.00.0929342.743

Virginia

3,981.61.01,113113.722

Washington

3,500.61.81,28855.91

West Virginia

700.4-0.6889422.447

Wisconsin

2,945.30.3940314.17

Wyoming

287.61.7932333.428

Puerto Rico

867.71.5531(3)-1.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.010.0919(3)8.8(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: Friday, January 31, 2020