News Release Information

14-1869-PHI

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

County Employment and Wages in Pennsylvania – First Quarter 2014

Chester County Leads the U.S. in Wage Growth


Employment rose in 13 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania from March 2013 to March 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.) Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Lancaster County’s 1.8-percent rate of employment gain was the fastest in Pennsylvania and was ranked 137th among the 339 largest counties nationwide. Delaware County followed with an increase of 1.2 percent, ranking 177th among the nation’s large counties. Westmoreland County recorded the largest employment decline among Pennsylvania’s large counties, down 0.7 percent. Four other counties posted smaller rates of employment declines over the year, while employment in Luzerne County was unchanged.

Nationally, employment grew 1.7 percent during this 12-month period, as 281 of the 339 large counties nationwide gained jobs. Weld, Colo., experienced the largest percentage increase in employment, up 7.5 percent over the year. Peoria, Ill., had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 2.6 percent.

Among the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, employment was highest in Allegheny County (674,500) in March 2014. One other county, Philadelphia, had employment above 600,000. Together, Pennsylvania’s large counties accounted for 76.6 percent of total employment within the Commonwealth. Nationwide, the 339 largest counties made up 72.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Chester County rose 13.9 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014—the fastest wage increase among Pennsylvania’s largest counties and ranked first in wage growth among the large counties nationwide. Washington was the only other large Pennsylvania county to rank in the top 10 nationally for wage growth, placing ninth with a 7.3-percent increase. All other Pennsylvania large counties had wage increases ranging from 5.5 percent in Delaware to 0.1 percent in Erie. Chester County also had the highest average weekly wage among the 19 largest counties in the Commonwealth at $1,415, followed by the counties of Montgomery ($1,346) and Philadelphia ($1,187). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.8 percent over the year to $1,027 in the first quarter of 2014.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000. Forty-six of these smaller counties had weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Seven of Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties recorded over-the-year wage increases larger than the national advance of 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Wage growth in all of these counties ranked in the top 25 percent among the 339 large counties nationwide.

Of the 339 largest counties nationwide, 323 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. As noted, Pennsylvania’s Chester County led the nation in average weekly wage growth with an increase of 13.9 percent from the first quarter of 2013. New York, N.Y., was second with a gain of 12.0 percent.

Nationwide, 15 large counties recorded decreases in average weekly wages over the year. Benton, Ark., had the largest decrease in wages with a decline of 3.2 percent from the first quarter of 2013. Cumberland, N.C., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages (-2.0 percent), followed by Dutchess, N.Y. (-1.6 percent); Ocean, N.J. (-1.3 percent); and McLean, Ill. (-1.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

The average weekly wage in one of Pennsylvania’s large counties, Chester, ranked 18th in the nation; Montgomery and Philadelphia also ranked in the top 50 nationwide. In addition to these three counties, Allegheny, Delaware, Washington, and Dauphin Counties also had wages above the U.S. average of $1,027.
In five other large counties in the Commonwealth, the average weekly wages placed in the bottom fourth of the national ranking—Lancaster, Luzerne, Westmoreland, Erie, and Lackawanna. Wages in these counties were more than 20 percent below the national average for the first quarter of 2014.

Average weekly wages in Pennsylvania’s smaller counties

Forty-six of the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,027. The exceptions were Montour and Greene counties at $1,197 and $1,078, respectively. Perry reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties as well as the Commonwealth as a whole, averaging $568 in the first quarter of 2014. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Pennsylvania were considered, 58 had wages below the national average of $1,027. Twenty-two reported wages below $700, 32 had wages from $701 to $900, 7 had wages from $901 to $1,100, and 6 had wages above $1,100. (See chart 1.) Four of the nine counties that recorded above-average wages were concentrated in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and two were located in the Pittsburgh area.

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 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 is now available and 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 www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

 

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(1) employment and wages in the United States and the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2014(2)
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage(3)
March 2014 (thousands) Percent change, March 2013-14(4) National ranking by percent change(5) Average weekly wage National ranking by level(5) Percent change, first quarter 2013-14(4) National ranking by percent change(5)

United States(6)

134,555.0 1.7 -- $1,027 -- 3.8 --

Pennsylvania

5,560.9 0.3 -- 1,007 16 4.1 11

Allegheny, Pa.

674.5 -0.6 312 1,130 58 4.5 53

Berks, Pa.

164.7 0.6 238 867 198 4.0 73

Bucks, Pa.

246.1 0.6 238 921 156 1.8 230

Butler, Pa.

83.4 0.6 238 905 170 1.0 288

Chester, Pa.

238.3 0.8 218 1,415 18 13.9 1

Cumberland, Pa.

124.5 0.5 253 921 156 3.3 117

Dauphin, Pa.

173.2 -0.1 290 1,038 89 4.5 53

Delaware, Pa.

214.1 1.2 177 1,121 61 5.5 25

Erie, Pa.

121.4 -0.5 307 759 302 0.1 323

Lackawanna, Pa.

96.3 -0.5 307 744 312 3.5 108

Lancaster, Pa.

221.6 1.8 137 803 263 2.0 215

Lehigh, Pa.

176.2 0.7 224 979 126 3.4 111

Luzerne, Pa.

138.6 0.0 282 773 293 3.8 84

Montgomery, Pa.

465.9 0.3 265 1,346 26 4.2 69

Northampton, Pa.

104.4 1.1 184 874 189 3.8 84

Philadelphia, Pa.

634.3 0.3 265 1,187 49 2.9 143

Washington, Pa.

84.9 0.7 224 1,067 76 7.3 9

Westmoreland, Pa.

129.6 -0.7 315 772 294 1.8 230

York, Pa.

170.4 0.3 265 845 221 1.1 279

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(5) Ranking does not include the county of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
(6) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Table 2. Covered(1) employment and wages in the United States and all of the counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2014(2)
Area Employment March 2014 Average weekly wage (3)

United States (4)

134,554,959 $1,027

Pennsylvania

5,560,923 1,007

Adams

33,828 696

Allegheny

674,511 1,130

Armstrong

17,296 748

Beaver

52,510 819

Bedford

15,148 626

Berks

164,733 867

Blair

57,360 704

Bradford

24,088 816

Bucks

246,145 921

Butler

83,438 905

Cambria

53,337 674

Cameron

1,983 748

Carbon

16,851 607

Centre

65,420 853

Chester

238,308 1,415

Clarion

13,322 630

Clearfield

29,649 683

Clinton

12,959 738

Columbia

24,669 690

Crawford

30,652 671

Cumberland

124,543 921

Dauphin

173,159 1,038

Delaware

214,068 1,121

Elk

14,837 746

Erie

121,438 759

Fayette

38,986 658

Forest

2,032 838

Franklin

56,134 719

Fulton

4,720 750

Greene

14,632 1,078

Huntingdon

11,862 692

Indiana

32,540 828

Jefferson

15,142 687

Juniata

6,181 617

Lackawanna

96,261 744

Lancaster

221,600 803

Lawrence

28,781 707

Lebanon

48,638 722

Lehigh

176,174 979

Luzerne

138,583 773

Lycoming

52,020 778

Mc Kean

15,530 766

Mercer

47,693 728

Mifflin

15,351 659

Monroe

52,305 761

Montgomery

465,870 1,346

Montour

15,655 1,197

Northampton

104,356 874

Northumberland

27,108 694

Perry

7,531 568

Philadelphia

634,285 1,187

Pike

10,026 606

Potter

5,188 730

Schuylkill

49,346 704

Snyder

15,330 604

Somerset

24,417 690

Sullivan

1,634 618

Susquehanna

9,054 756

Tioga

12,880 723

Union

16,304 758

Venango

19,047 684

Warren

15,062 686

Washington

84,853 1,067

Wayne

13,865 675

Westmoreland

129,611 772

Wyoming

9,951 873

York

170,404 845

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.

Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, first quarter 2014
State Employment Average weekly wage(1)
March 2014 (thousands) Percent change, March 2013-14 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2013-14 National ranking by percent change

United States(2)

134,555.0 1.7 $1,027 -- 3.8 --

Alabama

1,849.5 0.6 825 38 1.6 50

Alaska

319.1 0.3 1,023 15 3.5 17

Arizona

2,540.8 1.9 918 22 3.1 26

Arkansas

1,152.6 0.3 784 46 2.5 37

California

15,572.9 2.8 1,165 6 4.5 5

Colorado

2,370.1 3.1 1,046 13 4.2 9

Connecticut

1,627.2 0.5 1,362 3 3.3 24

Delaware

412.5 2.0 1,110 7 3.9 13

District of Columbia

727.3 1.2 1,701 1 5.3 3

Florida

7,752.4 2.9 868 28 3.0 28

Georgia

3,974.8 2.6 972 18 3.4 18

Hawaii

624.9 1.2 857 32 1.9 42

Idaho

631.5 3.3 722 50 3.9 13

Illinois

5,651.2 0.9 1,104 8 4.2 9

Indiana

2,842.5 1.2 845 35 1.7 48

Iowa

1,485.4 1.5 824 39 3.0 28

Kansas

1,343.0 1.7 840 36 4.1 11

Kentucky

1,784.1 1.1 811 40 2.7 33

Louisiana

1,909.8 1.2 868 28 2.6 35

Maine

565.9 0.7 786 45 1.9 42

Maryland

2,512.8 0.1 1,086 9 1.8 47

Massachusetts

3,272.2 1.3 1,300 4 5.3 3

Michigan

4,013.5 1.7 950 20 3.1 26

Minnesota

2,652.3 0.8 1,036 14 3.4 18

Mississippi

1,096.8 0.6 707 51 1.7 48

Missouri

2,634.6 1.0 866 31 2.9 30

Montana

429.9 0.7 730 49 3.3 24

Nebraska

930.7 1.7 797 42 2.6 35

Nevada

1,183.5 3.4 867 30 2.7 33

New Hampshire

614.2 1.3 970 19 3.4 18

New Jersey

3,794.3 0.6 1,263 5 2.2 38

New Mexico

787.0 0.2 793 43 1.9 42

New York

8,699.5 1.6 1,460 2 7.3 1

North Carolina

4,003.2 1.7 914 23 3.4 18

North Dakota

428.9 3.3 944 21 6.7 2

Ohio

5,071.5 1.3 909 24 2.8 32

Oklahoma

1,565.2 0.7 854 34 3.9 13

Oregon

1,688.5 2.8 893 25 3.4 18

Pennsylvania

5,560.9 0.3 1,007 16 4.1 11

Rhode Island

449.7 1.1 996 17 4.4 8

South Carolina

1,873.6 2.7 787 44 1.9 42

South Dakota

400.2 1.4 741 48 4.5 5

Tennessee

2,718.2 1.7 874 27 2.2 38

Texas

11,220.6 2.6 1,062 11 4.5 5

Utah

1,270.8 3.1 831 37 3.4 18

Vermont

301.1 0.5 807 41 1.9 42

Virginia

3,613.2 0.0 1,050 12 2.2 38

Washington

2,966.3 2.6 1,068 10 3.8 16

West Virginia

694.6 -0.9 779 47 1.4 51

Wisconsin

2,694.5 1.0 856 33 2.9 30

Wyoming

275.4 1.0 877 26 2.1 41

Puerto Rico

914.9 -1.8 521 (3) 1.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.3 -3.6 744 (3) 2.6 (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 including in the national ranking.
NOTE: Covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2014

 

Last Modified Date: October 2, 2014