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17-218-SAN
Thursday, February 09, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2016

Employment decreased 2.1 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2015 to June 2016, 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 2015 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that in June 2016, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 152,300 and accounted for 45 percent of total employment within the state.

Employment nationwide advanced 1.5 percent during the 12-month period as 291 of the 344 largest U.S. counties had increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the fastest rate of employment gain in the country, up 6.7 percent. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year decrease among these counties with a loss of 8.3 percent.

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,050 in the second quarter of 2016, a decrease of 1.8 percent from the second quarter of 2015. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 2.2 percent over the year to $989 in the second quarter of 2016. (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 $1,809 to $542 during the second quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 1.8-percent wage decline from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter 2016 placed 333rd among the nation’s 344 largest counties. (See table 1.) Nationwide, 36 of the largest counties had wage declines during the period. Ventura, Calif., had the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 8.4 percent over the year. Forsyth, N.C., had the second largest wage decline (-6.5 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-6.2 percent).

Nationally, 304 of the 344 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. McLean, Ill., experienced the largest wage gain in the nation, up 21.0 percent. Elkhart, Ind., had the second largest increase (8.5 percent), followed by King, Wash. (8.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,050 average weekly wage placed in the top 25 percent in the nation, ranking 70th in the second quarter of 2016.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 102 of the 344 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,252. San Mateo, Calif., was second with an average weekly wage of $1,871, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,866). Average wages in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif., were more than three times the average wage in the lowest-ranked county, Horry, S.C.

More than two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (241) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2016. Horry, S.C. ($598) had the lowest wage, followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($602), Hidalgo ($626), and Webb ($659).

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-two of the 28 counties in Alaska with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $989. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($1,809), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,226), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,171), Aleutian East Borough ($1,029), Aleutian West Census Area ($1,009), and Fairbanks North Star Borough ($999). The Kusilvak Census Area had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $542. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 4 had wages below $700. Eight counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, 6 had wages from $800 to $899, 5 had wages from $900 to $999, and 6 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 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2015 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.


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 9.7 million employer reports cover 142.7 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 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2016 (thousands) Percent change, June 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, second quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,717.2 1.5 -- $989 -- 2.2 --

Alaska

338.7 -2.4 -- 1,011 10 -1.7 49

Anchorage Borough, Alaska

152.3 -2.1 335 1,050 70 -1.8 333

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 2016
Area Employment June 2016 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

142,717,157 $989

Alaska

338,704 1,011

Aleutian East Borough

2,530 1,029

Aleutian West Census Area

3,639 1,009

Anchorage Borough

152,292 1,050

Bethel Census Area

7,181 794

Bristol Bay Borough

1,747 927

Denali Borough

3,582 754

Dillingham Census Area

3,396 791

Fairbanks North Star Borough

36,827 999

Haines Borough

1,197 628

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

1,052 677

Juneau Borough

18,245 978

Kenai Peninsula Borough

21,707 893

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,297 835

Kodiak Island Borough

6,294 824

Kusilvak Census Area

2,200 542

Lake and Peninsula Borough

938 720

Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

23,799 816

Nome Census Area

3,746 946

North Slope Borough

13,363 1,809

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,937 1,226

Petersburg Census Area

1,402 741

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,282 800

Sitka Borough

4,448 832

Skagway Municipality

1,459 649

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,682 1,171

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,937 972

Wrangell City and Borough

872 753

Yakutat Borough

315 734

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,133 765

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 2016
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2016 (thousands) Percent change, June 2015-16 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2015-16 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,717.2 1.5 $989 -- 2.2 --

Alabama

1,923.5 1.2 835 37 2.0 29

Alaska

338.7 -2.4 1,011 10 -1.7 49

Arizona

2,619.6 2.6 921 22 1.9 33

Arkansas

1,197.5 1.1 785 47 3.0 7

California

16,754.1 2.5 1,157 5 2.4 19

Colorado

2,574.5 2.3 999 14 1.0 43

Connecticut

1,689.9 -0.1 1,213 3 3.0 7

Delaware

444.0 0.9 990 16 -0.6 48

District of Columbia

756.0 1.7 1,623 1 1.1 42

Florida

8,161.8 3.2 883 25 2.6 14

Georgia

4,269.5 2.7 929 21 2.7 11

Hawaii

643.4 1.0 906 24 3.5 5

Idaho

699.7 3.3 740 50 3.8 3

Illinois

5,945.0 0.2 1,038 9 2.4 19

Indiana

2,995.4 1.0 828 39 2.1 27

Iowa

1,566.0 0.3 825 40 2.9 9

Kansas

1,378.4 -0.2 829 38 1.2 39

Kentucky

1,877.2 1.5 838 36 1.9 33

Louisiana

1,905.2 -1.4 852 32 0.2 46

Maine

622.8 1.0 795 46 3.5 5

Maryland

2,656.0 0.9 1,070 8 2.5 15

Massachusetts

3,538.2 1.2 1,233 2 2.0 29

Michigan

4,300.9 1.9 942 19 2.7 11

Minnesota

2,846.8 0.7 997 15 2.0 29

Mississippi

1,120.1 0.5 727 51 2.5 15

Missouri

2,785.6 1.4 863 30 2.4 19

Montana

468.6 2.2 767 48 1.7 35

Nebraska

978.3 0.9 805 43 2.4 19

Nevada

1,289.4 3.3 874 27 2.2 26

New Hampshire

655.1 1.1 1,003 12 3.7 4

New Jersey

4,051.2 1.7 1,147 6 1.7 35

New Mexico

808.1 -0.3 812 42 0.9 44

New York

9,264.0 1.5 1,210 4 2.5 15

North Carolina

4,285.3 2.5 865 29 2.1 27

North Dakota

423.3 -4.9 908 23 -3.3 51

Ohio

5,353.1 0.8 882 26 2.0 29

Oklahoma

1,570.5 -1.4 823 41 0.6 45

Oregon

1,867.8 2.7 933 20 4.1 2

Pennsylvania

5,786.8 0.4 971 17 1.4 37

Rhode Island

482.9 0.6 949 18 2.5 15

South Carolina

2,013.7 2.4 804 44 2.8 10

South Dakota

432.7 1.0 760 49 2.7 11

Tennessee

2,900.4 2.4 874 27 1.3 38

Texas

11,810.7 1.0 1,000 13 1.2 39

Utah

1,395.9 3.8 840 35 2.3 25

Vermont

310.6 -0.1 850 33 2.4 19

Virginia

3,833.4 1.6 1,011 10 1.2 39

Washington

3,281.6 2.8 1,083 7 5.4 1

West Virginia

693.2 -1.9 800 45 -0.4 47

Wisconsin

2,869.1 0.9 856 31 2.4 19

Wyoming

281.7 -3.7 849 34 -2.2 50

Puerto Rico

879.5 -0.7 512 (3) 0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 0.9 743 (3) -0.4 (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, February 09, 2017