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16-325-SAN
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2015

Employment increased 0.4 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Borough, from June 2014 to June 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.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that in June 2015, Anchorage Borough’s employment totaled 155,800 and accounted for 45.0 percent of total employment within the state.

Nationally, employment increased 2.0 percent from June 2014 to June 2015 as 319 of the 342 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Utah, Utah, had the largest percentage increase in employment over the year, up 7.5 percent. Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.2 percent.

The average weekly wage in Anchorage Borough was $1,070 in the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 2.1 percent from the second quarter of 2014. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.0 percent over the year to $968 in the second quarter of 2015. (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 $1,881 to $529 during the second quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Borough’s 2.1-percent wage gain from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter 2015 placed 207th among the nation’s 342 largest counties. (See table 1.) Nationally, 323 large counties registered over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2015. Ventura, Calif., ranked first with an increase of 15.2 percent. Santa Clara, Calif., ranked second with a gain of 11.3 percent, followed by the counties of Forsyth, N.C. (10.9 percent); Riverside, Calif. (8.7 percent); and San Francisco, Calif. (8.6 percent).

Among the 342 largest counties, 16 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Olmstead, Minn., had the largest decrease (-5.2 percent). Ector, Texas, had the second-largest wage decline (-5.1 percent), followed by Midland, Texas (-3.2 percent) and Hillsborough, N.H. (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Borough’s $1,070 average weekly wage placed in the top 20 percent in the nation, ranking 58th in the second quarter of 2015. Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 102 of the 342 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,109. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,863, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,842) and San Francisco, Calif. ($1,730).

Over two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (240) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2015. The lowest weekly wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($568), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($586), Hidalgo ($614), and Webb ($651). 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. ($2,109).

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 $968. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($1,881), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,297), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,225), Aleutian West Census Area ($997),Fairbanks North Star Borough ($991) and Bristol Bay Borough ($970). The Wade Hampton Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $529. (See table 2.)

When all 29 counties in Alaska were considered, 6 had wages below $700. Nine counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, 3 had wages from $800 to $899, 7 had wages from $900 to $999 and 4 had wages above $1,000. (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 2014 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2015, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at http://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.


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 2015
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands) Percent change, June 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, second quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,594.9 2.0 -- $968 -- 3.0 --

Alaska

346.6 0.4 -- 1,028 8 2.4 30

Anchorage Borough, Alaska

155.8 0.4 303 1,070 58 2.1 207

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.
(5) Data do not meet BLS or state agency disclosure standards.

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 2015
Area Employment June 2015 Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

140,594,927 $968

  Alaska

346,565 1,028

    Aleutian East Borough

2,748 736

    Aleutian West Census Area

3,496 997

    Anchorage Borough

155,805 1,070

    Bethel Census Area

7,645 771

    Bristol Bay Borough

1,575 970

    Denali Borough

3,747 753

    Dillingham Census Area

3,454 784

    Fairbanks North Star Borough

37,432 991

    Haines Borough

1,036 636

    Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

958 637

    Juneau Borough

18,381 963

    Kenai Peninsula Borough

21,945 965

    Ketchikan Gateway Borough

8,274 818

    Kodiak Island Borough

6,446 850

    Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,026 697

    Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

23,622 818

    Nome Census Area

3,904 941

    North Slope Borough

15,746 1,881

    Northwest Arctic Borough

2,991 1,297

    Petersburg Census Area

1,357 746

    Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,345 742

    Sitka Borough

4,836 798

    Skagway Municipality

1,492 678

    Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,714 1,225

    Valdez-Cordova Census Area

5,791 967

    Wade Hampton Census Area

2,339 529

    Wrangell City and Borough

894 748

    Yakutat Borough

334 694

    Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,223 713

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

United States (2)

140,594.9 2.0 $968 -- 3.0 --

Alabama

1,899.3 1.3 819 37 1.6 41

Alaska

346.6 0.4 1,028 8 2.4 30

Arizona

2,549.9 2.5 904 21 1.8 39

Arkansas

1,184.6 1.7 762 47 2.1 35

California

16,338.9 2.8 1,131 5 5.5 1

Colorado

2,517.1 3.2 989 13 3.0 13

Connecticut

1,693.1 0.9 1,177 4 2.0 38

Delaware

439.1 2.2 991 12 1.5 42

District of Columbia

745.1 1.8 1,599 1 1.8 39

Florida

7,907.7 3.6 861 28 2.6 23

Georgia

4,167.8 3.4 903 22 2.4 30

Hawaii

635.9 1.6 876 24 3.8 6

Idaho

678.5 2.9 713 50 2.3 33

Illinois

5,925.5 1.5 1,015 10 2.6 23

Indiana

2,966.0 1.7 811 40 3.4 7

Iowa

1,561.2 0.9 802 43 2.8 18

Kansas

1,382.1 0.7 819 37 2.8 18

Kentucky

1,850.5 1.7 822 35 3.0 13

Louisiana

1,930.6 0.5 850 30 0.8 47

Maine

615.8 0.8 768 46 2.9 16

Maryland

2,631.3 1.4 1,046 7 2.6 23

Massachusetts

3,488.3 2.1 1,211 2 4.7 2

Michigan

4,225.0 1.5 916 20 2.1 35

Minnesota

2,826.3 1.5 977 15 3.2 8

Mississippi

1,114.7 1.1 709 51 0.6 48

Missouri

2,746.6 1.7 842 32 2.8 18

Montana

461.5 1.8 754 48 2.7 21

Nebraska

968.7 1.2 787 44 4.1 3

Nevada

1,248.1 3.2 855 29 2.6 23

New Hampshire

647.7 1.5 967 16 1.3 46

New Jersey

4,000.2 1.5 1,126 6 2.6 23

New Mexico

808.4 0.8 805 41 1.4 44

New York

9,136.9 1.9 1,180 3 3.1 9

North Carolina

4,185.6 2.6 850 30 3.9 4

North Dakota

445.0 -1.8 939 18 0.3 50

Ohio

5,308.1 1.4 865 26 2.4 30

Oklahoma

1,591.5 0.6 818 39 0.5 49

Oregon

1,810.4 3.4 899 23 3.0 13

Pennsylvania

5,763.9 0.8 958 17 2.7 21

Rhode Island

480.0 1.5 925 19 2.9 16

South Carolina

1,963.5 2.5 782 45 2.1 35

South Dakota

428.6 1.3 740 49 3.9 4

Tennessee

2,832.1 2.8 863 27 3.1 9

Texas

11,689.4 2.4 988 14 1.5 42

Utah

1,345.9 3.9 821 36 3.1 9

Vermont

309.3 0.6 831 34 2.2 34

Virginia

3,767.2 1.7 1,000 11 2.5 29

Washington

3,197.6 3.3 1,026 9 3.1 9

West Virginia

706.5 -0.8 803 42 1.4 44

Wisconsin

2,839.8 1.0 836 33 2.6 23

Wyoming

291.5 -1.5 869 25 -0.1 51

Puerto Rico

884.6 -1.4 513 (3) 2.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.9 0.1 748 (3) 2.2 (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 Alaska, second quarter 2015

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2016