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15-2046-PHI
Monday, October 19, 2015

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County Employment and Wages in Virginia – First Quarter 2015

Average Wage Increase in Richmond City Ranked 29th in the Nation

Nine of the 12 largest counties in Virginia registered employment increases from March 2014 to March 2015, 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 2014 annual average employment.) Henrico County had the fastest employment increase at 2.9 percent, followed by Chesterfield County at 1.8 percent. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that only Henrico’s employment growth rate ranked in the upper half of the nation’s 342 largest counties. Chesapeake, Newport News, and Norfolk Cities recorded the only employment declines among the states’s largest counties.

Nationally, employment grew 2.1 percent during this 12-month period, as 323 of the 342 large counties nationwide gained jobs. Utah County, Utah, experienced the largest percentage increase in employment, up 6.7 percent over the year. Atlantic, N.J., had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 4.3 percent.

Among the 12 largest counties in Virginia, employment was highest in Fairfax (574,542) in March 2015. No other county in the Commonwealth had employment above 200,000. Together, Virginia’s large counties accounted for 56.2 percent of total employment within the Commonwealth. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.3 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Richmond City, Va., rose 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, the fastest increase among Virginia’s 12 largest counties. Newport News City had the second-fastest rate of wage growth at 4.3 percent. Arlington County had the highest average weekly wage among the largest counties in the Commonwealth at $1,732, followed by Fairfax County ($1,635) and Alexandria City ($1,395). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 2.1 percent over the year to $1,048 in the first quarter of 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 121 counties in Virginia with employment below 75,000. All but 6 (Goochland, Surry, King George, Manassas City, Falls Church City, and Rappahannock) of these 121 counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

From the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, 11 of the 12 large counties in Virginia recorded wage increases. Among the 4 counties with wage gains greater than the national increase of 2.1 percent, 2 ranked in the top 50 largest U.S. counties for wage change—Richmond City (4.5 percent, 29th) and Newport News City (4.3 percent, 34th). Seven other counties recorded over-the-year increases in average weekly wages ranging from 1.8 to 0.2 percent. Wages in Prince William County declined slightly, down 0.1 percent, and ranked 304th.

Of the 342 largest counties nationwide, 297 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Olmsted, Minn., led the nation in average weekly wage growth with an increase of 11.7 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Washington, Pa., was second with a gain of 10.7 percent.

Nationwide, 39 large counties recorded decreases in average weekly wages over the year. Snohomish, Wash., had the largest decrease in wages with a decline of 4.8 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Chester, Pa., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages (-4.0 percent), followed by Williamson, Texas (-3.1 percent); Saginaw, Mich. (-2.4 percent); and Palm Beach, Fla. (-2.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Arlington County had the 10th highest average weekly wage among the 342 large U.S. counties. Fairfax County ranked 11th while Alexandria City (22nd) and Loudoun County (44th) also ranked in the top 50 nationwide. Additionally, Richmond City and Henrico County recorded average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,048.

In Virginia Beach City and Chesapeake City, average weekly wages placed in the bottom fifth of the national ranking at 299th and 309th, respectively.

Average weekly wages in Virginia’s smaller counties

All but 6 of the 121 counties in Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,048. Patrick County reported the lowest wage level at $495. The highest wage among Virginia’s 121 small counties was Goochland County ($2,011), followed by Surry ($1,487) and King George ($1,485). (See table 2.)

When all 133 counties in Virginia were considered, 121 had wages below the national average of $1,048. Two counties—Patrick and Highland—reported  average weekly wages below $500, 66 reported wages from $501 to $700, 41 had wages from $701 to $900, 13 had wages from $901 to $1,100, and 11 had wages above $1,101. (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 the QCEW Web site at http://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 2013edition of this publication, which is now available, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well data through the first quarter 2014 version of the national news release and the 2013 annual averages. Tables and additional content from the Employment and Wages Annual 2013 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Online will be available in September 2015.


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 9.4 million employer reports cover 134.6 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.

 

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 12 largest counties in Virginia, first quarter 2015
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
March 2015 (thousands) Percent change, March 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

137,412.4 2.1 -- $1,048 -- 2.1 --

Virginia

3,649.3 1.1 -- 1,068 14 1.7 31

Alexandria City, Va.

94.5 1.2 234 1,395 22 1.5 195

Arlington, Va.

165.9 1.3 223 1,732 10 2.7 88

Chesapeake City, Va.

95.5 -0.8 337 765 309 0.9 256

Chesterfield, Va.

125.4 1.8 177 863 217 1.8 162

Fairfax, Va.

574.5 0.5 303 1,635 11 2.7 88

Henrico, Va.

181.7 2.9 97 1,061 88 0.3 290

Loudoun, Va.

146.9 0.9 260 1,246 44 0.2 292

Newport News City, Va.

97.0 -0.4 332 1,032 104 4.3 34

Norfolk City, Va.

133.1 -0.4 332 979 140 1.6 185

Prince William, Va.

121.2 1.7 186 862 218 -0.1 304

Richmond City, Va.

147.4 0.6 290 1,206 52 4.5 29

Virginia Beach City, Va.

169.4 1.7 186 780 299 1.7 175

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 Virginia, 1st quarter 2015
Area Employment March 2015 Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

137,412,381 $1,048

Virginia

3,649,321 1,068

Accomack

12,224 669

Albemarle

50,371 1,009

Alleghany

3,786 648

Amelia

2,327 644

Amherst

8,545 605

Appomattox

3,032 517

Arlington

165,893 1,732

Augusta

25,848 746

Bath

2,302 653

Bedford

18,211 678

Bland

1,868 748

Botetourt

10,171 710

Brunswick

3,926 595

Buchanan

6,927 862

Buckingham

3,186 645

Campbell

16,350 842

Caroline

5,390 677

Carroll

6,158 534

Charles City

1,588 703

Charlotte

2,746 573

Chesterfield

125,426 863

Clarke

3,612 814

Craig

626 653

Culpeper

15,391 731

Cumberland

1,296 555

Dickenson

3,563 770

Dinwiddie

7,441 739

Essex

3,795 590

Fairfax County

574,542 1,635

Fauquier

20,704 874

Floyd

2,874 530

Fluvanna

4,315 691

Franklin

14,118 577

Frederick

28,343 799

Giles

4,479 748

Gloucester

9,153 585

Goochland

14,668 2,011

Grayson

2,450 578

Greene

3,463 615

Greensville

4,299 701

Halifax

12,084 637

Hanover

48,270 754

Henrico

181,708 1,061

Henry

14,992 599

Highland

509 498

Isle of Wight

10,573 946

James City

26,227 696

King and Queen

905 724

King George

10,578 1,485

King William

3,684 807

Lancaster

4,243 641

Lee

4,363 611

Loudoun

146,900 1,246

Louisa

9,296 955

Lunenburg

2,486 581

Madison

2,966 617

Mathews

1,428 502

Mecklenburg

11,436 584

Middlesex

2,999 601

Montgomery

40,968 756

Nelson

4,408 640

New Kent

3,961 641

Northampton

4,594 615

Northumberland

2,198 650

Nottoway

5,909 612

Orange

8,822 636

Page

5,053 561

Patrick

4,783 495

Pittsylvania

12,265 582

Powhatan

6,707 692

Prince Edward

8,432 622

Prince George

14,715 934

Prince William

121,187 862

Pulaski

14,046 721

Rappahannock

1,344 1,121

Richmond County

2,750 687

Roanoke County

37,240 738

Rockbridge

5,410 582

Rockingham

29,988 788

Russell

7,025 716

Scott

4,640 588

Shenandoah

13,727 629

Smyth

11,917 640

Southampton

3,579 598

Spotsylvania

33,290 694

Stafford

37,919 861

Surry

2,372 1,487

Sussex

3,614 678

Tazewell

15,364 620

Warren

11,852 687

Washington

19,860 675

Westmoreland

3,206 531

Wise

12,508 652

Wythe

11,376 590

York

21,068 710

Alexandria City

94,541 1,395

Bristol City

9,784 749

Buena Vista City

2,560 623

Charlottesville City

37,778 936

Chesapeake City

95,496 765

Colonial Heights City

10,741 556

Covington City

4,179 973

Danville City

25,676 641

Emporia City

3,167 531

Fairfax City

19,603 1,008

Falls Church City

11,327 1,177

Franklin City

4,359 590

Fredericksburg City

22,833 786

Galax City

6,225 552

Hampton City

53,321 863

Harrisonburg City

30,004 677

Hopewell City

8,043 953

Lexington City

4,765 730

Lynchburg City

51,106 783

Manassas City

22,496 1,183

Manassas Park City

2,879 847

Martinsville City

9,622 601

Newport News City

97,041 1,032

Norfolk City

133,080 979

Norton City

3,722 714

Petersburg City

12,878 725

Poquoson City

1,612 557

Portsmouth City

43,774 981

Radford City

5,770 823

Richmond City

147,419 1,206

Roanoke City

65,625 842

Salem City

20,292 914

Staunton City

11,160 619

Suffolk City

27,738 874

Virginia Beach City

169,423 780

Waynesboro City

9,649 673

Williamsburg City

12,637 709

Winchester City

24,380 813

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, first quarter 2015
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2015 (thousands) Percent change, March 2014-15 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2014-15 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

137,412.4 2.1 $1,048 -- 2.1 --

Alabama

1,873.5 1.3 844 39 2.2 19

Alaska

322.2 1.0 1,051 15 2.6 10

Arizona

2,605.6 2.5 926 23 1.0 45

Arkansas

1,166.6 1.3 790 47 0.8 47

California

16,029.5 3.0 1,207 6 3.7 3

Colorado

2,458.0 3.7 1,071 13 2.4 16

Connecticut

1,640.5 0.8 1,382 3 1.5 35

Delaware

422.8 2.5 1,105 9 -0.5 51

District of Columbia

732.6 1.4 1,764 1 3.2 4

Florida

8,018.0 3.6 885 28 1.8 27

Georgia

4,107.0 3.5 989 18 1.7 31

Hawaii

633.7 1.3 881 31 2.8 9

Idaho

650.3 3.1 736 50 2.2 19

Illinois

5,724.6 1.2 1,130 7 2.4 16

Indiana

2,894.8 1.8 857 35 1.4 38

Iowa

1,504.3 1.3 848 37 2.9 7

Kansas

1,357.1 1.0 851 36 1.4 38

Kentucky

1,810.3 1.5 823 41 1.5 35

Louisiana

1,927.1 1.0 885 28 2.0 21

Maine

571.4 0.9 793 45 0.9 46

Maryland

2,540.8 1.2 1,113 8 2.5 12

Massachusetts

3,338.6 1.7 1,341 4 3.2 4

Michigan

4,079.5 1.8 969 21 1.9 24

Minnesota

2,709.2 1.8 1,079 12 4.3 1

Mississippi

1,102.3 0.6 711 51 0.7 48

Missouri

2,678.0 1.7 882 30 1.8 27

Montana

441.0 2.7 750 49 2.6 10

Nebraska

943.1 1.4 818 42 2.5 12

Nevada

1,227.7 3.7 865 34 -0.2 50

New Hampshire

623.5 1.5 982 20 1.2 43

New Jersey

3,834.6 1.4 1,288 5 1.9 24

New Mexico

798.7 1.4 805 43 1.5 35

New York

8,865.0 1.9 1,463 2 0.2 49

North Carolina

4,099.4 2.5 930 22 1.9 24

North Dakota

436.0 1.6 984 19 4.2 2

Ohio

5,144.5 1.4 922 24 1.4 38

Oklahoma

1,592.7 1.3 869 33 2.0 21

Oregon

1,748.7 3.5 919 25 2.9 7

Pennsylvania

5,606.9 0.9 1,031 16 2.4 16

Rhode Island

456.1 1.4 1,008 17 1.2 43

South Carolina

1,919.1 2.5 801 44 1.8 27

South Dakota

406.5 1.5 763 48 3.0 6

Tennessee

2,772.7 2.1 886 27 1.4 38

Texas

11,557.0 2.9 1,089 10 2.5 12

Utah

1,318.8 3.7 845 38 1.7 31

Vermont

303.9 0.9 824 40 2.0 21

Virginia

3,649.3 1.1 1,068 14 1.7 31

Washington

3,064.4 3.2 1,087 11 1.8 27

West Virginia

692.4 -0.3 792 46 1.4 38

Wisconsin

2,734.3 1.5 877 32 2.5 12

Wyoming

277.8 0.8 892 26 1.7 31

Puerto Rico

904.9 -1.1 524 (3) 1.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 0.0 738 (3) -0.7 (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.

 Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Virginia, first quarter 2015

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, October 19, 2015