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16-1569-SAN
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in California – Fourth Quarter 2015

Employment increased in 26 of California’s 27 large counties from December 2014 to December 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.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that job growth in 25 of the large counties exceeded the 1.9-percent national increase. The only county in the state with an employment decline was Kern (-0.8 percent).

Nationally, employment increased in 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase, up 6.8 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the large U.S. counties with a loss of 11.8 percent.

Among the 27 largest counties in California, employment was highest in Los Angeles (4,341,000) in December 2015, while Butte had the smallest employment level (79,300). Together, California’s large counties accounted for 93.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 141.9 million, up 2.7 million from December 2014.

Average weekly wages increased in 26 of the 27 large counties in California from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. San Mateo was the only county in the state with an over-the-year wage decrease (-2.3 percent), but it had the second highest average weekly wage ($2,095). Ten other large counties in the state had average weekly wages that exceeded the national average weekly wage of $1,082. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 31 counties in California with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, 26 of the 27 large counties in California had annual gains in average weekly wages in the fourth quarter of 2015. Sonoma County’s 10.0-percent wage gain placed second among the nation’s 342 large counties. The over-the-year wage increase in Santa Clara County (9.3 percent) placed fifth in the national ranking. Wage gains in two other large counties in the state—San Luis Obispo (8.2 percent, 15th) and San Joaquin (7.1 percent, 28th)—placed in the top 10 percent of the national ranking. Nationally, average weekly wages increased 4.4 percent over the year.

Among the 342 largest U.S. counties, 325 recorded gains in average weekly wages. Wyandotte, Kan., had the largest wage increase (10.4 percent). In contrast, 10 large counties nationwide experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages with the largest decline in Midland, Texas (-11.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 11 of California’s 27 large counties were above the national average of $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015, Average weekly wages in Santa Clara ($2,335), San Mateo ($2,095), and San Francisco ($1,961) ranked in the top five nationally. In contrast, at $761 per week, wages in Tulare ranked 330th among the nation’s 342 largest counties.

Nationally, 100 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015. In addition to the three California counties mentioned above, New York, N.Y. ($2,235) and Suffolk, Mass. ($1,943) were in the top five nationwide.

Seventy percent of the large U.S. counties (241) reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,082. Cameron, Texas, reported the lowest weekly wage ($649), followed by Horry, S.C. ($653) and Hidalgo, Texas ($661).

Average weekly wages in California’s smaller counties

All 31 counties in California with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,082. Among these smaller counties, Napa County had the highest average weekly wage ($1,073). Modoc County reported the lowest weekly wage among all counties in the state averaging $698 in the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 58 counties in California were considered, 17 had wages at or below $799. Eighteen counties had average weekly wages ranging from $800 to $899, 6 had wages from $900 to $999, 9 had wages from $1,000 to $1,199, and 8 had wages at or above $1,200. (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 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 first quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 7, 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 9.7 million employer reports cover 141.9 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 27 largest counties in California, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands) Percent change, December 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.5 1.9 -- 1082 -- 4.4 --

California

16,593.8 3.1 -- 1274 5 5.4 10

Alameda, Calif.

741.1 3.3 69 1407 18 6.5 53

Butte, Calif.

79.3 2.7 119 800 323 5.5 114

Contra Costa, Calif.

354.7 3.2 77 1286 37 6.5 53

Fresno, Calif.

363.6 3.5 58 849 298 5.2 137

Kern, Calif.

305.9 -0.8 325 884 272 0.6 323

Los Angeles, Calif.

4,341.0 2.3 138 1266 43 5.5 114

Marin, Calif.

114.0 2.8 108 1334 25 4.7 175

Monterey, Calif.

165.6 3.8 37 914 241 6.8 36

Orange, Calif.

1,550.6 2.3 138 1205 56 4.1 225

Placer, Calif.

151.7 4.4 21 1071 108 3.4 266

Riverside, Calif.

679.7 4.9 11 840 305 4.7 175

Sacramento, Calif.

637.1 3.7 46 1153 63 5.2 137

San Bernardino, Calif.

719.8 3.6 51 888 267 4.7 175

San Diego, Calif.

1,399.7 2.6 125 1184 61 4.3 212

San Francisco, Calif.

691.6 4.6 17 1961 4 6.4 61

San Joaquin, Calif.

233.2 4.2 27 894 262 7.1 28

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

113.5 3.2 77 900 254 8.2 15

San Mateo, Calif.

393.3 3.8 37 2095 3 -2.3 332

Santa Barbara, Calif.

191.9 3.0 93 1038 131 5.8 94

Santa Clara, Calif.

1,040.8 3.8 37 2335 1 9.3 5

Santa Cruz, Calif.

97.5 3.2 77 952 200 3.1 284

Solano, Calif.

134.0 3.4 63 1080 104 5.3 127

Sonoma, Calif.

199.5 3.7 46 1049 123 10.0 2

Stanislaus, Calif.

179.0 4.2 27 888 267 6.2 68

Tulare, Calif.

153.0 3.3 69 761 330 3.8 246

Ventura, Calif.

320.6 1.1 235 1065 114 3.9 237

Yolo, Calif.

96.4 3.2 77 1151 66 5.4 120

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 California, fourth quarter 2015 (2)
Area Employment December 2015 Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924,459 $1,082

California

16,593,755 1,274

Alameda

741,071 1,407

Alpine

531 765

Amador

11,473 873

Butte

79,334 800

Calaveras

8,887 783

Colusa

8,360 868

Contra Costa

354,696 1,286

Del Norte

7,897 724

El Dorado

53,062 946

Fresno

363,623 849

Glenn

8,646 767

Humboldt

47,556 753

Imperial

63,877 727

Inyo

7,556 831

Kern

305,856 884

Kings

45,626 836

Lake

15,484 717

Lassen

9,816 852

Los Angeles

4,341,027 1,266

Madera

46,507 833

Marin

114,043 1,334

Mariposa

4,921 718

Mendocino

31,623 744

Merced

73,474 798

Modoc

2,308 698

Mono

7,417 706

Monterey

165,625 914

Napa

72,975 1,073

Nevada

30,759 868

Orange

1,550,632 1,205

Placer

151,687 1,071

Plumas

5,716 808

Riverside

679,684 840

Sacramento

637,075 1,153

San Benito

15,442 911

San Bernardino

719,810 888

San Diego

1,399,731 1,184

San Francisco

691,558 1,961

San Joaquin

233,157 894

San Luis Obispo

113,525 900

San Mateo

393,299 2,095

Santa Barbara

191,851 1,038

Santa Clara

1,040,799 2,335

Santa Cruz

97,499 952

Shasta

64,654 806

Sierra

494 758

Siskiyou

12,727 745

Solano

134,013 1,080

Sonoma

199,462 1,049

Stanislaus

179,048 888

Sutter

28,439 796

Tehama

17,018 825

Trinity

2,647 715

Tulare

153,019 761

Tuolumne

16,989 827

Ventura

320,562 1,065

Yolo

96,418 1,151

Yuba

16,436 947

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

United States (2)

141,924.5 1.9 $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Alabama

1,916.2 1.4 912 37 3.4 37

Alaska

315.9 -0.5 1,095 13 2.9 43

Arizona

2,701.8 2.6 967 24 4.4 28

Arkansas

1,201.4 1.7 838 46 3.8 35

California

16,593.8 3.1 1,274 5 5.4 10

Colorado

2,537.5 2.5 1,103 11 3.3 40

Connecticut

1,685.1 0.3 1,334 4 4.3 29

Delaware

441.2 1.8 1,086 15 3.4 37

District of Columbia

754.2 2.2 1,756 1 3.4 37

Florida

8,308.1 3.7 958 26 5.2 16

Georgia

4,249.4 2.9 1,001 21 4.5 27

Hawaii

653.0 2.2 957 27 5.4 10

Idaho

670.1 3.4 803 50 2.6 45

Illinois

5,931.2 1.4 1,146 8 5.1 18

Indiana

2,996.3 1.7 891 40 5.3 14

Iowa

1,539.0 0.7 920 34 5.7 3

Kansas

1,382.1 0.4 898 38 5.0 20

Kentucky

1,881.3 1.6 885 41 5.9 1

Louisiana

1,937.4 -1.0 940 29 1.8 47

Maine

596.9 0.7 873 43 5.7 3

Maryland

2,636.7 1.7 1,175 7 5.6 5

Massachusetts

3,479.1 1.6 1,385 2 5.4 10

Michigan

4,218.9 1.5 1,043 18 5.9 1

Minnesota

2,805.8 1.5 1,073 16 4.8 22

Mississippi

1,133.8 1.3 770 51 3.1 41

Missouri

2,759.6 1.8 933 33 4.6 25

Montana

453.2 2.5 818 49 3.0 42

Nebraska

971.8 1.4 880 42 5.1 18

Nevada

1,272.2 3.5 935 32 4.0 31

New Hampshire

648.6 1.7 1,139 9 5.4 10

New Jersey

3,988.4 1.7 1,262 6 4.0 31

New Mexico

808.9 -0.1 865 44 1.8 47

New York

9,227.6 1.7 1,372 3 3.9 34

North Carolina

4,247.1 2.5 939 30 5.5 8

North Dakota

428.1 -5.9 1,021 20 -2.8 51

Ohio

5,328.8 1.2 964 25 4.6 25

Oklahoma

1,605.0 -0.7 896 39 2.3 46

Oregon

1,814.8 3.3 979 23 5.5 8

Pennsylvania

5,759.7 0.7 1,063 17 4.9 21

Rhode Island

478.1 1.5 1,043 18 4.0 31

South Carolina

1,987.1 2.8 860 45 5.3 14

South Dakota

417.7 1.2 832 47 5.2 16

Tennessee

2,898.1 2.8 980 22 5.6 5

Texas

11,832.1 1.4 1,099 12 2.7 44

Utah

1,375.6 3.8 913 36 4.7 23

Vermont

312.1 0.3 919 35 4.1 30

Virginia

3,806.2 3.0 1,094 14 3.5 36

Washington

3,137.2 2.3 1,132 10 4.7 23

West Virginia

703.7 -1.3 829 48 1.3 49

Wisconsin

2,820.5 1.1 944 28 5.6 5

Wyoming

276.0 -2.9 937 31 -1.7 50

Puerto Rico

929.9 -1.6 565 (3) 1.6 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 -0.3 787 (3) 4.7 (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.
 

 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016