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20-186-SAN
Friday, January 31, 2020

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

United States (4)

149,089.2 1.1 -- $1,095 -- 3.8 --

Alaska

338.9 0.7 -- 1,078 15 3.6 26

Anchorage, Alaska

150.3 -0.3 308 1,143 78 3.4 176

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
Area Employment June 2019 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

149,089,158 $1,095

 Alaska

338,874 1,078

  Aleutian East Borough

2,620 916

  Aleutian West Census Area

3,090 1,181

  Anchorage Borough

150,309 1,143

  Bethel Census Area

7,593 852

  Bristol Bay Borough

2,299 881

  Denali Borough

3,690 750

  Dillingham Census Area

3,085 890

  Fairbanks North Star Borough

37,251 1,037

  Haines Borough

1,327 709

  Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

1,124 655

  Juneau Borough

18,565 996

  Kenai Peninsula Borough

21,699 976

  Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,231 917

  Kodiak Island Borough

5,981 881

  Kusilvak Census Area

2,216 574

  Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,152 744

  Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

25,450 866

  Nome Census Area

4,023 1,074

  North Slope Borough

12,489 1,875

  Northwest Arctic Borough

2,908 1,404

  Petersburg Census Area

1,289 776

  Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,533 869

  Sitka Borough

4,695 921

  Skagway Municipality

1,557 741

  Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,562 1,284

  Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,912 1,046

  Wrangell City and Borough

898 823

  Yakutat Borough

296 867

  Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,386 748

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
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2019 (thousands) Percent change, June 2018-19 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2018-19 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

149,089.2 1.1 $1,095 -- 3.8 --

Alabama

1,993.7 1.1 911 36 3.4 28

Alaska

338.9 0.7 1,078 15 3.6 26

Arizona

2,843.3 2.6 1,010 23 3.8 16

Arkansas

1,222.5 0.6 862 47 4.6 4

California

17,717.4 1.5 1,325 4 4.7 3

Colorado

2,765.7 2.2 1,128 9 4.9 2

Connecticut

1,690.8 -0.8 1,266 6 3.9 11

Delaware

458.0 0.8 1,057 17 3.4 28

District of Columbia

780.4 0.5 1,778 1 3.8 16

Florida

8,722.9 1.8 968 26 3.9 11

Georgia

4,507.1 1.7 1,016 22 3.9 11

Hawaii

652.2 -1.2 992 24 3.7 22

Idaho

765.1 2.6 820 50 3.3 33

Illinois

6,074.7 0.3 1,122 10 2.4 47

Indiana

3,089.8 0.5 910 38 3.1 39

Iowa

1,584.7 0.1 902 40 2.5 45

Kansas

1,403.0 0.6 905 39 2.8 42

Kentucky

1,909.7 0.3 911 36 3.3 33

Louisiana

1,920.2 -0.2 923 35 2.4 47

Maine

639.6 0.4 874 45 3.7 22

Maryland

2,733.6 0.7 1,178 8 3.3 33

Massachusetts

3,690.1 0.9 1,377 2 4.3 5

Michigan

4,419.7 0.1 1,018 21 2.4 47

Minnesota

2,952.6 0.8 1,101 13 2.6 44

Mississippi

1,135.9 0.4 767 51 2 51

Missouri

2,836.7 0.3 948 30 2.5 45

Montana

483.1 1.0 843 48 3.3 33

Nebraska

991.5 0.1 889 42 3.5 27

Nevada

1,408.8 2.6 961 29 3.2 38

New Hampshire

676.1 0.8 1,090 14 4 10

New Jersey

4,182.5 0.7 1,236 7 3 41

New Mexico

834.0 1.0 888 44 4.3 5

New York

9,682.8 1.0 1,347 3 3.9 11

North Carolina

4,527.3 2.0 970 25 3.9 11

North Dakota

431.8 1.3 1,026 20 4.1 7

Ohio

5,486.7 0.4 965 27 3.4 28

Oklahoma

1,618.5 0.5 900 41 3.1 39

Oregon

1,976.5 1.3 1,036 18 3.8 16

Pennsylvania

5,972.1 0.8 1,070 16 3.8 16

Rhode Island

494.5 0.7 1,034 19 3.4 28

South Carolina

2,144.2 1.3 867 46 3.7 22

South Dakota

441.8 0.4 838 49 3.8 16

Tennessee

3,047.8 1.8 964 28 3.3 33

Texas

12,585.6 2.0 1,102 12 3.8 16

Utah

1,526.1 3.0 936 32 4.1 7

Vermont

314.0 0.0 929 34 2.7 43

Virginia

3,981.6 1.0 1,113 11 3.7 22

Washington

3,500.6 1.8 1,288 5 5.9 1

West Virginia

700.4 -0.6 889 42 2.4 47

Wisconsin

2,945.3 0.3 940 31 4.1 7

Wyoming

287.6 1.7 932 33 3.4 28

Puerto Rico

867.7 1.5 531 (3) -1.8 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.0 10.0 919 (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