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News Release Information

20-1442-SAN
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in California – Fourth Quarter 2019

Job growth in 13 of the state’s large counties exceeded the national rate of 1.2 percent

Employment increased in 26 of the 29 large counties in California from December 2018 to December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2018 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the annual rates of job growth in 13 large counties in California exceeded the national rate of 1.2 percent in December 2019. Riverside and San Francisco Counties had the largest increases in employment at 3.0 percent each. Two large counties, Solano and Tulare, had employment declines of 0.4 percent each.

Nationally, employment increased 1.2 percent over the year with 285 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. Cleveland, OK, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.2 percent.

Among the 29 largest counties in California, employment was highest in Los Angeles County (4,589,500) in December 2019, while Napa County had the smallest employment level (76,800). Together, California’s large counties accounted for 94.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

All 29 large California counties reported average weekly wage gains from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019, with the fastest rate of increase in Santa Cruz County, up 20.7 percent. San Mateo and San Luis Obispo Counties followed with gains of 8.2 and 8.1 percent, respectively. Santa Clara County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $2,825. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.5 percent from a year ago to $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019. (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 $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019. (See table 2).

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in all large California counties increased from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019. Santa Cruz County’s 20.7-percent wage increase was the largest in the state and ranked first among the 355 large U.S. counties. Thirteen other counties’ wage gains in the state ranked in the top 25 percent nationally. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, 341 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. The remaining 14 large counties had wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Nationally, 93 large counties reported average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2019.In California, wages in 15 of the 29 large counties exceeded the national average during the same period. Three California counties held the top positions in the nation: Santa Clara ($2,825, 1st), San Mateo ($2,622, 2nd), and San Francisco ($2,523, 3rd).

Average weekly wages were below the national average in 262 counties. At $701 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

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 $1,185. Among these smaller counties, El Dorado had the highest average weekly wage at $1,055 in the fourth quarter of 2019, while Del Norte ($781) had the lowest weekly wage. (See table 2.)

When all 58 counties in California were considered, 17 reported average weekly wages of $899 or lower. Nineteen counties had wages ranging from $900 to $999, 4 had wages from $1,000 to $1,099, 4 had wages from $1,100 to $1,199, 6 had wages from $1,200 to $1,299 and 8 had average weekly wages at or above $1,300. (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 this news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. The County Employment and Wage full data update for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 2, 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 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 29 largest counties in California, fourth quarter 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2019 (thousands)Percent change, December 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

149,857.11.2--$1,185--3.5--

California

17,836.31.5--1,45744.74

Alameda

798.90.12731,577153.5149

Butte

82.80.02869073164.660

Contra Costa

371.60.12731,415341.7304

Fresno

401.82.2599422884.471

Kern

331.41.11609672694.853

Los Angeles

4,589.51.21441,437274.198

Marin

118.31.61041,499212.3261

Merced

79.00.12738883264.198

Monterey

181.30.42411,0012314.198

Napa

76.80.62201,188912.6234

Orange

1,664.70.81991,297574.660

Placer

174.12.0731,182955.527

Riverside

779.73.0209183054.291

Sacramento

686.81.51141,272614.0109

San Bernardino

797.72.7399732584.471

San Diego

1,512.71.51141,311534.198

San Francisco

776.33.0202,52332.3261

San Joaquin

262.02.8349952373.4161

San Luis Obispo

118.20.91841,0511878.17

San Mateo

423.52.7392,62228.26

Santa Barbara

211.51.9811,1201364.198

Santa Clara

1,138.51.9812,82515.621

Santa Cruz

102.71.7941,2417020.71

Solano

143.7-0.43051,200854.0109

Sonoma

212.50.22661,201846.116

Stanislaus

190.91.11609912415.141

Tulare

163.1-0.43058503414.949

Ventura

334.51.21441,1651036.018

Yolo

106.11.01751,235732.1279

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. 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 2019
AreaEmployment December 2019Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

149,857,130$1,185

California

17,836,3121,457

Alameda

798,8941,577

Alpine

725906

Amador

12,098940

Butte

82,821907

Calaveras

9,957862

Colusa

8,981937

Contra Costa

371,6301,415

Del Norte

8,117781

El Dorado

58,6261,055

Fresno

401,768942

Glenn

9,385916

Humboldt

51,555846

Imperial

63,387833

Inyo

7,722913

Kern

331,439967

Kings

48,938913

Lake

16,458803

Lassen

9,839930

Los Angeles

4,589,5051,437

Madera

51,975896

Marin

118,2801,499

Mariposa

5,440849

Mendocino

32,410833

Merced

79,016888

Modoc

2,434783

Mono

7,907820

Monterey

181,3441,001

Napa

76,7761,188

Nevada

32,711965

Orange

1,664,7261,297

Placer

174,1251,182

Plumas

6,228892

Riverside

779,719918

Sacramento

686,8131,272

San Benito

16,666995

San Bernardino

797,662973

San Diego

1,512,6691,311

San Francisco

776,2652,523

San Joaquin

261,971995

San Luis Obispo

118,2111,051

San Mateo

423,5382,622

Santa Barbara

211,4871,120

Santa Clara

1,138,4632,825

Santa Cruz

102,7041,241

Shasta

67,986932

Sierra

529861

Siskiyou

13,481837

Solano

143,6911,200

Sonoma

212,5221,201

Stanislaus

190,851991

Sutter

30,835886

Tehama

18,888919

Trinity

2,624810

Tulare

163,115850

Tuolumne

17,618930

Ventura

334,4661,165

Yolo

106,0901,235

Yuba

19,5881,048

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

United States (2)

149,857.11.2$1,185--3.5--

Alabama

2,007.91.0985362.639

Alaska

309.90.61,139163.227

Arizona

2,999.82.71,059234.17

Arkansas

1,232.90.5898503.227

California

17,836.31.51,45744.74

Colorado

2,772.62.21,22794.08

Connecticut

1,687.4-0.71,38353.811

Delaware

455.30.81,136172.639

District of Columbia

782.50.81,99212.542

Florida

9,085.52.01,044263.614

Georgia

4,576.11.71,090213.614

Hawaii

665.1-0.81,053243.517

Idaho

756.93.1918463.132

Illinois

6,043.50.21,221102.738

Indiana

3,106.00.6969383.034

Iowa

1,560.40.1984371.947

Kansas

1,410.70.6959403.517

Kentucky

1,928.30.8955413.227

Louisiana

1,927.7-0.5993342.542

Maine

620.20.7955415.32

Maryland

2,728.10.91,27183.517

Massachusetts

3,660.80.91,51123.811

Michigan

4,385.30.41,115183.422

Minnesota

2,912.80.41,177143.227

Mississippi

1,145.00.0818513.227

Missouri

2,846.20.91,010323.034

Montana

474.11.1918463.422

Nebraska

990.90.7969384.26

Nevada

1,435.52.71,030292.445

New Hampshire

671.30.81,192122.937

New Jersey

4,157.40.81,33272.542

New Mexico

844.01.5942444.08

New York

9,691.00.81,49933.713

North Carolina

4,546.91.91,036282.445

North Dakota

424.60.51,085222.639

Ohio

5,477.20.51,037273.132

Oklahoma

1,639.40.3945431.449

Oregon

1,969.31.61,100194.65

Pennsylvania

5,985.90.81,143153.614

Rhode Island

489.80.61,099201.150

South Carolina

2,144.81.2931454.08

South Dakota

430.70.6916483.517

Tennessee

3,085.41.61,047251.648

Texas

12,793.02.01,187133.422

Utah

1,547.82.51,022305.03

Vermont

314.0-0.4987353.517

Virginia

3,978.71.21,204113.422

Washington

3,457.72.21,37066.41

West Virginia

690.3-2.090449-1.451

Wisconsin

2,898.00.21,022303.326

Wyoming

276.31.41,007333.034

Puerto Rico

910.71.5575(3)-0.2(3)

Virgin Islands

39.210.81,065(3)13.5(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. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2020