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Friday, May 26, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Washington – Third Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all 10 of the large counties in Washington from September 2015 to September 2016 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that rates of job growth in 9 of the 10 large counties in Washington exceeded the national rate of 1.7 percent.

Nationwide, employment increased in 307 of the 344 largest counties. York, S.C., had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 5.8 percent.

Among the 10 largest counties in Washington, employment was highest in King County (1,331,300) in September 2016, while Kitsap County had the smallest employment level (85,900). Together, Washington’s large counties accounted for 84.8 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, average weekly wages increased in all 10 of Washington’s largest counties. Weekly wage increases in 6 of the 10 large counties equaled or exceeded the national increase of 5.4 percent in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 29 counties in Washington with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All 10 large counties in Washington had increases in average weekly wages in the third quarter of 2016. King and Benton counties each had wage gains of 8.1 percent and were ranked 24th among the nation’s 344 large counties. Kitsap County’s 6.4-percent increase (ranked 100th) was the only other county in the top third. Two additional large counties were at or above the national 5.4 percent increase in the third quarter of 2016. Thurston County had the smallest weekly wage gain, 3.7 percent, which ranked 296th in the nation. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, 339 of the 344 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., had the largest wage gain, up 12.2 percent from the third quarter of 2015. Manatee, Fla., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by Hillsborough, N.H. (10.4 percent); and Boone, Ky., and Elkhart, Ind. (10.3 percent each).

Among the largest U.S. counties, five large counties experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 14.9 percent. Lafayette, La., had the second-largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 3.4 percent from the third quarter 2015, followed by Benton, Ark. (-2.0 percent); Lake, Ill. (-0.9 percent); and Midland, Texas (-0.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in three of Washington’s large counties placed in the top third of the national ranking. King County ($1,582, 8th), Snohomish ($1,108, 68th), and Benton ($1,042, 92nd) exceeded the national average in the third quarter of 2016. The two counties with the lowest average weekly wages—Whatcom ($844, 275th) and Yakima ($712, 339th)—placed in the bottom third of the largest U.S. counties.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were at or above the U.S. average ($1,027) in 102 of the 344 largest counties in the third quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest average weekly wage at $2,260, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892); New York, N.Y. ($1,879); and Washington, D.C. ($1,728).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 241 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2016. Horry County, S.C., had the lowest wage ($632), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($636) and Hidalgo ($654).

Average weekly wages in Washington’s smaller counties

All 29 counties in Washington with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,027. Among these smaller counties, Cowlitz had the highest average weekly wage at $921 in the third quarter of 2016, while Okanogan ($601) had the lowest weekly wage. (See table 2.)

When all 39 counties in Washington were considered, 5 had wages of $699 or lower. Eighteen counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, 6 had wages from $800 to $899, and 10 had wages at or above $900. (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, which was published in September 2016, 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 https://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 fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 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 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 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 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 10 largest counties in Washington, third quarter 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands) Percent change, September 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.5 1.7 -- $1,027 -- 5.4 --

Washington

3,278.9 3.0 -- 1,188 6 6.9 5

Benton, Wash.

86.9 2.5 105 1,042 92 8.1 24

Clark, Wash.

150.6 2.8 83 971 151 6.1 125

King, Wash.

1,331.3 3.3 51 1,582 8 8.1 24

Kitsap, Wash.

85.9 0.4 292 981 140 6.4 100

Pierce, Wash.

299.9 4.0 24 951 166 5.5 177

Snohomish, Wash.

284.9 2.0 142 1,108 68 5.4 187

Spokane, Wash.

217.6 3.4 46 883 234 4.4 262

Thurston, Wash.

112.0 4.7 8 949 170 3.7 296

Whatcom, Wash.

88.3 3.1 58 844 275 5.1 211

Yakima, Wash.

124.0 2.7 87 712 339 4.4 262

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 Washington, third quarter 2016
Area Employment September 2016 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452 $1,027

Washington

3,278,912 1,188

Adams

8,644 728

Asotin

6,138 716

Benton

86,925 1,042

Chelan

47,212 720

Clallam

23,344 749

Clark

150,630 971

Columbia

1,330 778

Cowlitz

38,371 921

Douglas

13,129 687

Ferry

1,806 796

Franklin

35,970 743

Garfield

830 820

Grant

42,298 755

Grays Harbor

22,472 759

Island

16,155 735

Jefferson

8,565 727

King

1,331,263 1,582

Kitsap

85,917 981

Kittitas

14,805 768

Klickitat

7,468 901

Lewis

25,009 780

Lincoln

2,957 711

Mason

14,025 764

Okanogan

21,034 601

Pacific

6,716 678

Pend Oreille

3,107 913

Pierce

299,910 951

San Juan

6,176 656

Skagit

50,838 872

Skamania

2,409 750

Snohomish

284,916 1,108

Spokane

217,557 883

Stevens

10,651 742

Thurston

111,980 949

Wahkiakum

722 661

Walla Walla

28,351 804

Whatcom

88,269 844

Whitman

18,426 879

Yakima

124,023 712

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

United States (2)

142,940.5 1.7 1027 -- 5.4 --

Alabama

1,923.8 1.5 870 36 4.9 38

Alaska

337.4 -2.6 1055 12 1.2 49

Arizona

2,695.5 3.1 950 24 6.9 5

Arkansas

1,205.4 1.0 794 48 5.2 32

California

16,871.1 2.4 1210 4 6.7 8

Colorado

2,576.5 2.6 1062 10 5.6 23

Connecticut

1,674.2 0.3 1204 5 5 34

Delaware

440.7 0.8 1022 16 5.6 23

District of Columbia

759.2 1.7 1728 1 3.8 45

Florida

8,320.2 3.7 905 29 6.2 14

Georgia

4,290.4 2.9 969 21 5.9 18

Hawaii

648.4 1.8 956 23 6.7 8

Idaho

703.7 3.5 782 50 6.3 12

Illinois

5,933.6 0.6 1062 10 4.4 40

Indiana

3,025.9 1.8 866 37 5.9 18

Iowa

1,548.6 0.8 873 35 6.2 14

Kansas

1,377.2 0.5 857 39 5.9 18

Kentucky

1,880.2 1.5 857 39 6.5 10

Louisiana

1,908.8 -0.9 883 32 2.9 48

Maine

616.2 0.9 825 45 5.9 18

Maryland

2,648.1 1.4 1124 8 5.3 30

Massachusetts

3,522.9 2.0 1277 2 6.8 7

Michigan

4,292.2 2.1 976 19 5.9 18

Minnesota

2,849.5 1.6 1053 13 6.4 11

Mississippi

1,126.9 0.7 739 51 4.7 39

Missouri

2,782.1 1.6 888 30 5 34

Montana

464.5 1.5 792 49 4.3 41

Nebraska

973.9 0.9 857 39 5.5 26

Nevada

1,300.7 3.8 949 25 10.1 1

New Hampshire

655.0 1.8 1027 15 7.9 2

New Jersey

4,000.0 1.8 1173 7 5 34

New Mexico

811.5 0.2 830 44 4 43

New York

9,216.6 1.6 1222 3 3.5 46

North Carolina

4,290.3 2.3 909 28 5.3 30

North Dakota

423.2 -3.4 964 22 0.7 50

Ohio

5,347.3 1.1 924 26 5.4 27

Oklahoma

1,578.7 -1.3 854 42 3.5 46

Oregon

1,866.5 2.6 970 20 5.2 32

Pennsylvania

5,776.7 1.0 1013 17 5.4 27

Rhode Island

481.1 0.8 990 18 7.6 3

South Carolina

2,008.6 2.5 832 43 5.6 23

South Dakota

424.2 1.1 809 47 7 4

Tennessee

2,918.8 2.5 912 27 5.4 27

Texas

11,830.7 1.3 1042 14 4.3 41

Utah

1,407.4 3.8 881 33 6.3 12

Vermont

309.9 0.5 880 34 6.2 14

Virginia

3,801.0 1.0 1063 9 5 34

Washington

3,278.9 3.0 1188 6 6.9 5

West Virginia

691.5 -1.6 816 46 3.9 44

Wisconsin

2,850.1 1.0 885 31 6.2 14

Wyoming

274.8 -4.7 865 38 0 51

Puerto Rico

888.2 -0.4 524 (3) 2.3 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.4 1.4 778 (3) 5.9 (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, May 26, 2017