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19-94-SAN
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2018

Employment decreased 0.8 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2017 to June 2018, 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 2017 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that in June 2018, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 150,700 and accounted for 44.9 percent of total employment within the state.

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from June 2017 to June 2018 as 309 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Midland, TX, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 11.6 percent over the year. McLean, IL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 2.0 percent.

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,105 in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 3.9 percent from the second quarter of 2017. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.4 percent over the year to $1,055 in the second quarter of 2018. (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 $1,822 to $647 during the second quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 3.9-percent wage gain from the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter 2018 placed 77th among the nation’s 349 largest counties. (See table 1.) Nationally, 340 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Marin, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase in the nation, up 11.7 percent. King, WA, and Lake, IL, tied for the second largest increase, each at 9.3 percent.

Of the 349 largest U.S. counties, 8 counties registered wage declines during the period. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.4 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,105 average weekly wage placed in the top 25 percent in the nation, ranking 76th in the second quarter of 2018. Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 94 of the 349 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,573. San Mateo, CA, was second with an average weekly wage of $2,357, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,083) and New York, NY ($2,025).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than 70 percent (255) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2018. At $625 a week, Horry County, SC, had the lowest average weekly wage among the 349 large counties. The next three lowest-paying large counties were in Texas: Cameron, TX ($642), Hidalgo, TX ($645) and Webb, TX ($687).

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-four of the 28 counties in Alaska with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,055. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($1,822), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,359), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,258), and Aleutian West Census Area ($1,116). The Kusilvak Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $647. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 3 had wages below $700. Six counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, nine had wages from $800 to $899, two 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 2017 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2018, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2018 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/cewbultn17.htm.

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.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.


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 143.9 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 (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 2018
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2018 (thousands) Percent change, June 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, second quarter 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

147,431.2 1.5 -- 1055 -- 3.4 --

Alaska

335.8 -0.9 -- 1043 15 3.7 9

Anchorage, Alaska

150.7 -0.8 343 1105 76 3.9 77

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 2018
Area Employment June 2018 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

147,431,154 $1,055

Alaska

335,750 1,043

Aleutian East Borough

1,904 1,016

Aleutian West Census Area

3,120 1,116

Anchorage Borough

150,656 1,105

Bethel Census Area

7,493 809

Bristol Bay Borough

2,187 861

Denali Borough

3,667 782

Dillingham Census Area

3,410 808

Fairbanks North Star Borough

36,828 1,003

Haines Borough

1,266 676

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

1,087 705

Juneau Borough

18,254 985

Kenai Peninsula Borough

21,514 938

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,291 890

Kodiak Island Borough

6,082 833

Kusilvak Census Area

2,140 647

Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,265 737

Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

24,283 834

Nome Census Area

3,934 1,003

North Slope Borough

11,684 1,822

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,784 1,359

Petersburg Census Area

1,314 780

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,577 818

Sitka Borough

4,604 876

Skagway Municipality

1,591 692

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,670 1,258

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,970 1,026

Wrangell City and Borough

905 781

Yakutat Borough

278 807

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,497 709

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 2018
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2018 (thousands) Percent change, June 2017-18 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2017-18 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

147,431.2 1.5 $1,055 -- 3.4 --

Alabama

1,969.9 1.2 882 37 2.8 35

Alaska

335.8 -0.9 1,043 15 3.7 9

Arizona

2,770.8 2.6 973 23 3.3 19

Arkansas

1,214.6 0.7 824 47 1.7 47

California

17,473.1 1.9 1,265 4 4.6 3

Colorado

2,704.4 2.4 1,075 10 3.2 27

Connecticut

1,704.5 0.3 1,218 5 0.1 50

Delaware

454.3 1.3 1,023 17 1.4 49

District of Columbia

777.3 1.3 1,713 1 2.6 39

Florida

8,568.9 2.1 931 28 2.9 32

Georgia

4,440.5 2.0 979 22 2.3 43

Hawaii

658.3 0.5 956 24 2.5 41

Idaho

745.3 3.1 794 50 3.8 8

Illinois

6,061.1 0.8 1,097 9 3.4 14

Indiana

3,075.8 1.1 883 36 2.8 35

Iowa

1,583.7 0.8 880 39 3.3 19

Kansas

1,393.3 1.0 879 40 3.4 14

Kentucky

1,905.9 0.9 882 37 2.3 43

Louisiana

1,918.6 0.4 901 33 3.7 9

Maine

636.8 1.0 843 45 3.6 11

Maryland

2,712.0 0.7 1,141 8 3.4 14

Massachusetts

3,650.1 1.0 1,322 2 3.5 12

Michigan

4,424.7 1.3 997 20 2.9 32

Minnesota

2,925.6 0.8 1,072 12 3.3 19

Mississippi

1,130.7 0.2 752 51 2.7 38

Missouri

2,829.0 0.5 924 30 3.9 7

Montana

478.7 1.1 817 48 2.5 41

Nebraska

990.8 0.6 859 43 3.1 29

Nevada

1,372.4 3.1 931 28 3.3 19

New Hampshire

670.8 0.8 1,049 14 3.3 19

New Jersey

4,157.0 0.9 1,201 7 2.3 43

New Mexico

823.6 1.0 852 44 3.5 12

New York

9,579.2 1.7 1,297 3 4.5 4

North Carolina

4,450.2 2.2 933 25 3.3 19

North Dakota

426.1 0.8 986 21 3.4 14

Ohio

5,461.3 0.7 933 25 2.3 43

Oklahoma

1,606.4 1.2 875 41 3.2 27

Oregon

1,947.3 1.5 999 18 3.3 19

Pennsylvania

5,924.9 1.1 1,031 16 3.1 29

Rhode Island

491.0 0.7 998 19 1.7 47

South Carolina

2,126.5 3.4 833 46 0.0 51

South Dakota

439.7 0.9 807 49 2.8 35

Tennessee

2,994.1 1.6 932 27 2.9 32

Texas

12,326.3 2.2 1,062 13 3.4 14

Utah

1,483.9 3.4 899 35 4.3 5

Vermont

312.4 -0.8 907 31 4.3 5

Virginia

3,941.0 1.3 1,073 11 2.6 39

Washington

3,444.1 2.7 1,218 5 6.9 1

West Virginia

702.9 1.6 868 42 4.8 2

Wisconsin

2,933.5 0.9 904 32 3.3 19

Wyoming

282.2 0.5 901 33 3.0 31

Puerto Rico

853.5 -2.3 543 (3) 5.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

33.4 -14.4 838 (3) 12.8 (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: Tuesday, January 15, 2019