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15-205-SAN
February 05, 2015

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County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2014

Employment was relatively unchanged (-0.1 percent) in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2013 to June 2014, 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 2013 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that in June 2014, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 155,100 and accounted for 45.0 percent of total employment within the state.

Nationally, employment increased 2.0 percent from June 2013 to June 2014 as 305 of the 339 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Weld, Colo., had the largest percentage increase over the year (8.9 percent). Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year decrease (-1.6 percent).

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,056 in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 4.9 percent from the second quarter of 2013. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 2.1 percent over the year to $940 in the second quarter of 2014. (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 $1,879 to $517 during the second quarter of 2014. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 4.9-percent wage gain placed 14th among the nation’s 339 large counties. (See table 1.) Nationally, 312 large counties registered over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2014. Midland, Texas, ranked first with an increase of 9.0 percent. Douglas, Colo., ranked second with a gain of 8.8 percent, followed by the counties of Hillsborough, N.H. (7.4 percent), Collier, Fla. (6.8 percent), and San Mateo, Calif. (6.6 percent).

Among the 339 largest counties, 22 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Williamson, Texas, had the largest decrease (-2.7 percent). Westchester, N.Y., had the second largest wage decline (-1.6 percent), followed by Lake, Ind. (-1.4 percent); Bibb, Ga. (-1.3 percent); and Washington, D.C., and Chittenden, Vt. (-1.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,056 average weekly wage placed in the top 20 percent in the nation, ranking 55th in the second quarter of 2014. Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 109 of the 339 largest U.S. counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $1,886. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,740, followed by New York N.Y. ($1,732), and San Francisco Calif. ($1,593).

Two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (230) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2014. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($548), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($585) and Hidalgo ($608). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than one-third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,886).

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-two of the 28 counties in Alaska with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $940. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($1,879), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,244), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,229), Juneau Borough ($1,008), Fairbanks North Star Borough ($990), and Valdez-Cordova Census Area ($957). The Wade Hampton Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $517. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 5 had wages below $700. Eleven counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, 5 had wages from $800 to $899, and 8 had wages 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 2013 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2014, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2014 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2013 are now available online at http://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13.htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2015.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2014 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, March 19, 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 137.8 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 largest county in Alaska, second quarter 2014
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
June 2014 (thousands) Percent change, June 2013-14 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, second quarter 2013-14 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

137,776.4 2.0 -- $940 -- 2.1 --

Alaska

344.9 0.5 -- 1,014 8 4.6 2

Anchorage Borough, Alaska

155.1 -0.1 311 1,056 55 4.9 14

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 2014
Area Employment June 2014 Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

137,776,364 $940

  Alaska

344,928 1,014

    Aleutian East Borough

1,816 612

    Aleutian West Census Area

3,870 849

    Anchorage Borough

155,060 1,056

    Bethel Census Area

7,256 775

    Bristol Bay Borough

3,116 700

    Denali Borough

3,649 732

    Dillingham Census Area

3,330 760

    Fairbanks North Star Borough

36,975 990

    Haines Borough

1,052 648

    Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

978 619

    Juneau Borough

18,406 1,008

    Kenai Peninsula Borough

22,513 895

    Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,138 829

    Kodiak Island Borough

6,530 817

    Lake and Peninsula Borough

977 711

    Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

22,895 790

    Nome Census Area

3,834 918

    North Slope Borough

15,474 1,879

    Northwest Arctic Borough

2,939 1,244

    Petersburg Census Area

1,395 747

    Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,166 759

    Sitka Borough

4,875 887

    Skagway Municipality

1,446 681

    Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,534 1,229

    Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,840 957

    Wade Hampton Census Area

2,391 517

    Wrangell City and Borough

911 785

    Yakutat Borough

329 740

    Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,351 739

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 2014
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2014 (thousands) Percent change, June 2013-14 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2013-14 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

137,776.4 2.0 $940 -- 2.1 --

Alabama

1,872.9 0.7 806 36 1.6 38

Alaska

344.9 0.5 1,014 8 4.6 2

Arizona

2,486.0 1.9 888 21 1.3 43

Arkansas

1,168.1 1.5 745 47 1.5 41

California

15,905.6 2.8 1,072 6 2.4 15

Colorado

2,439.3 3.4 960 14 2.9 8

Connecticut

1,676.6 0.6 1,155 3 2.5 13

Delaware

429.0 2.5 976 11 1.2 44

District of Columbia

732.6 1.0 1,569 1 -0.5 51

Florida

7,628.6 3.1 839 28 2.1 23

Georgia

4,036.3 3.1 882 22 1.7 35

Hawaii

624.6 1.1 845 26 2.7 10

Idaho

659.2 2.5 697 51 2.2 22

Illinois

5,836.9 1.5 988 10 1.9 32

Indiana

2,916.9 1.8 784 42 1.2 44

Iowa

1,547.8 1.6 780 43 3.0 7

Kansas

1,372.8 1.7 797 38 2.3 20

Kentucky

1,820.8 1.7 798 37 2.0 27

Louisiana

1,921.6 1.4 843 27 2.4 15

Maine

610.4 0.8 746 46 2.1 23

Maryland

2,594.4 0.9 1,020 7 1.6 38

Massachusetts

3,407.0 1.4 1,158 2 2.4 15

Michigan

4,164.7 2.3 897 20 2.3 20

Minnesota

2,782.0 1.3 947 16 1.9 32

Mississippi

1,101.1 0.5 705 50 2.0 27

Missouri

2,703.2 1.3 818 31 1.9 32

Montana

453.4 1.1 734 48 2.4 15

Nebraska

956.2 1.4 756 45 2.7 10

Nevada

1,210.1 3.4 833 30 0.6 50

New Hampshire

637.2 1.2 955 15 4.3 3

New Jersey

3,944.8 0.8 1,097 5 1.2 44

New Mexico

801.0 0.6 794 40 1.7 35

New York

8,965.2 1.8 1,146 4 2.4 15

North Carolina

4,080.7 2.4 818 31 1.2 44

North Dakota

453.0 4.4 936 17 5.5 1

Ohio

5,233.8 1.4 846 25 2.1 23

Oklahoma

1,578.0 1.0 816 33 2.6 12

Oregon

1,748.4 2.4 874 23 2.9 8

Pennsylvania

5,719.8 1.0 933 18 1.6 38

Rhode Island

472.9 1.6 898 19 2.0 27

South Carolina

1,916.4 2.7 765 44 2.5 13

South Dakota

422.9 1.4 712 49 3.3 4

Tennessee

2,755.7 1.8 836 29 2.0 27

Texas

11,402.8 3.0 973 13 3.1 5

Utah

1,297.5 2.9 796 39 1.7 35

Vermont

307.0 1.0 813 35 0.7 49

Virginia

3,710.8 0.7 976 11 0.8 48

Washington

3,109.6 3.2 990 9 2.1 23

West Virginia

711.3 -0.3 792 41 1.4 42

Wisconsin

2,809.1 1.3 816 33 2.0 27

Wyoming

295.3 1.6 871 24 3.1 5

Puerto Rico

897.0 -2.0 504 (3) 0.6 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.8 -2.2 728 (3) 2.8 (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.
 

 Chart 1. Average weekly wages in Alaska, second quarter 2014

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 05, 2015