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18-1134-SAN
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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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
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands) Percent change, December 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,921.1 1.5 -- $1,109 -- 3.9 --

California

17,293.0 2.1 -- 1,346 4 5.7 4

Alameda, Calif.

785.6 3.0 32 1,457 17 5.4 22

Butte, Calif.

83.1 1.3 158 826 322 4.8 38

Contra Costa, Calif.

369.9 0.7 240 1,344 27 4.0 85

Fresno, Calif.

380.2 1.8 102 888 282 3.6 117

Kern, Calif.

313.6 1.1 181 888 282 2.5 227

Los Angeles, Calif.

4,494.5 1.6 121 1,343 28 6.4 11

Marin, Calif.

116.8 1.5 135 1,400 21 1.8 288

Merced, Calif.

79.4 3.8 16 816 326 1.0 317

Monterey, Calif.

175.0 0.7 240 951 218 4.5 52

Napa, Calif.

74.4 1.4 144 1,119 85 5.6 17

Orange, Calif.

1,621.4 1.7 111 1,234 55 2.8 188

Placer, Calif.

164.6 4.3 12 1,107 96 3.1 163

Riverside, Calif.

732.3 2.8 48 873 295 4.7 44

Sacramento, Calif.

656.4 2.4 69 1,180 64 4.5 52

San Bernardino, Calif.

754.0 3.3 23 906 262 2.0 270

San Diego, Calif.

1,462.0 1.8 102 1,221 57 4.3 67

San Francisco, Calif.

730.9 2.9 38 2,232 4 7.4 7

San Joaquin, Calif.

251.9 2.4 69 923 241 3.8 98

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

115.9 1.6 121 929 236 4.6 47

San Mateo, Calif.

407.5 1.8 102 2,341 3 11.5 1

Santa Barbara, Calif.

195.4 1.6 121 1,066 120 3.9 92

Santa Clara, Calif.

1,093.4 2.5 62 2,576 1 8.9 5

Santa Cruz, Calif.

100.4 1.1 181 970 201 4.1 78

Solano, Calif.

140.8 1.3 158 1,115 93 4.1 78

Sonoma, Calif.

208.3 2.0 90 1,070 117 4.8 38

Stanislaus, Calif.

187.1 3.0 32 915 253 3.5 122

Tulare, Calif.

159.3 0.7 240 812 327 4.9 35

Ventura, Calif.

326.3 0.8 229 1,076 113 3.0 171

Yolo, Calif.

101.6 2.6 56 1,151 71 3.9 92

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
Area Employment December 2017 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109 $1,109

California

17,292,974 1,346

Alameda

785,570 1,457

Alpine

1,014 650

Amador

12,111 883

Butte

83,124 826

Calaveras

9,416 804

Colusa

9,120 844

Contra Costa

369,886 1,344

Del Norte

8,035 741

El Dorado

57,887 983

Fresno

380,167 888

Glenn

8,957 836

Humboldt

50,107 792

Imperial

63,361 767

Inyo

7,710 837

Kern

313,616 888

Kings

47,374 838

Lake

16,082 751

Lassen

10,174 877

Los Angeles

4,494,526 1,343

Madera

49,447 846

Marin

116,787 1,400

Mariposa

5,215 780

Mendocino

32,258 792

Merced

79,443 816

Modoc

2,280 745

Mono

7,638 749

Monterey

175,020 951

Napa

74,447 1,119

Nevada

31,760 919

Orange

1,621,398 1,234

Placer

164,630 1,107

Plumas

5,931 863

Riverside

732,338 873

Sacramento

656,378 1,180

San Benito

15,783 952

San Bernardino

753,973 906

San Diego

1,462,039 1,221

San Francisco

730,861 2,232

San Joaquin

251,893 923

San Luis Obispo

115,929 929

San Mateo

407,496 2,341

Santa Barbara

195,415 1,066

Santa Clara

1,093,379 2,576

Santa Cruz

100,415 970

Shasta

66,154 856

Sierra

460 761

Siskiyou

13,438 782

Solano

140,801 1,115

Sonoma

208,283 1,070

Stanislaus

187,061 915

Sutter

29,740 825

Tehama

18,362 854

Trinity

2,582 783

Tulare

159,324 812

Tuolumne

17,322 875

Ventura

326,292 1,076

Yolo

101,552 1,151

Yuba

17,600 997

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
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands) Percent change, December 2016-17 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

145,921.1 1.5 $1,109 -- 3.9 --

Alabama

1,955.3 1.1 928 36 2.9 32

Alaska

306.7 -1.2 1,052 19 1.5 51

Arizona

2,834.7 2.6 978 25 3.5 12

Arkansas

1,217.2 1.0 848 48 2.5 42

California

17,293.0 2.1 1,346 4 5.7 4

Colorado

2,653.3 2.5 1,133 10 4.3 9

Connecticut

1,689.7 0.3 1,317 5 2.2 46

Delaware

444.9 0.6 1,081 15 2.6 40

District of Columbia

769.0 0.9 1,812 1 2.7 37

Florida

8,712.0 2.0 975 26 3.4 16

Georgia

4,425.0 1.8 1,027 20 3.4 16

Hawaii

664.5 0.8 984 24 3.1 26

Idaho

712.4 3.0 857 46 7.1 1

Illinois

6,001.1 0.8 1,151 9 2.6 40

Indiana

3,057.8 1.1 915 38 3.6 11

Iowa

1,549.7 0.4 938 32 3.0 28

Kansas

1,390.3 0.4 894 41 1.9 49

Kentucky

1,903.8 0.5 892 42 2.1 47

Louisiana

1,918.8 0.4 933 35 2.1 47

Maine

610.3 1.2 884 43 3.4 16

Maryland

2,683.6 0.5 1,207 8 3.3 22

Massachusetts

3,582.2 1.3 1,411 3 4.4 8

Michigan

4,321.8 0.9 1,062 17 3.4 16

Minnesota

2,875.7 1.3 1,100 14 3.4 16

Mississippi

1,140.6 0.5 774 51 2.4 45

Missouri

2,809.5 1.0 945 31 2.9 32

Montana

461.4 1.0 843 50 2.7 37

Nebraska

980.9 0.9 901 39 3.0 28

Nevada

1,351.9 3.5 955 29 3.2 25

New Hampshire

661.3 0.7 1,132 11 3.7 10

New Jersey

4,106.9 1.6 1,262 6 1.8 50

New Mexico

816.7 0.6 865 45 2.5 42

New York

9,465.3 1.4 1,428 2 6.4 2

North Carolina

4,388.6 1.5 964 28 3.3 22

North Dakota

416.1 0.4 1,010 22 3.3 22

Ohio

5,409.2 0.8 973 27 3.1 26

Oklahoma

1,607.8 1.2 895 40 3.5 12

Oregon

1,900.4 2.0 1,014 21 4.5 7

Pennsylvania

5,870.4 1.2 1,075 16 3.5 12

Rhode Island

483.6 1.1 1,056 18 2.7 37

South Carolina

2,058.8 1.6 879 44 2.8 35

South Dakota

423.8 0.9 856 47 3.4 16

Tennessee

2,984.8 1.3 1,000 23 3.0 28

Texas

12,207.8 2.0 1,109 13 3.5 12

Utah

1,465.5 3.6 936 33 2.9 32

Vermont

314.7 0.5 919 37 2.5 42

Virginia

3,884.2 1.3 1,121 12 2.8 35

Washington

3,305.0 2.4 1,217 7 5.8 3

West Virginia

693.1 0.1 847 49 4.7 5

Wisconsin

2,872.6 1.0 951 30 3.0 28

Wyoming

267.5 0.6 935 34 4.6 6

Puerto Rico

887.0 -4.4 570 (3) 2.5 (3)

Virgin Islands

34.3 -11.1 827 (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