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18-1589-PHI
Monday, October 01, 2018

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County Employment and Wages in Pennsylvania – First Quarter 2018

All large counties in Pennsylvania had average weekly wage increases over the year

Employment rose in 18 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania from March 2017 to March 2018, 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 2017 annual average employment.) Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Lancaster County’s 2.1-percent rate of employment growth was the fastest in Pennsylvania, followed by Lehigh County with an employment increase of 2.0 percent. Erie County’s employment was unchanged from March 2017 to March 2018.

Nationally, employment grew 1.6 percent during this 12-month period, as 314 of the 349 large counties nationwide gained jobs. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in employment, up 12.6 percent over the year. Kanawha, W.Va., had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 1.4 percent.

Among the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, employment was highest in Allegheny County (691,300) in March 2018. One other county, Philadelphia, had employment above 600,000. Together, Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties accounted for 77.0 percent of total employment within the commonwealth. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Westmoreland County increased 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018—the largest wage increase among Pennsylvania’s largest counties and ranked 56th nationwide. The remaining 18 large counties in Pennsylvania had wage increases ranging from 4.3 percent in Delaware to 0.5 percent in Butler. (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.7 percent over the year to $1,152 in the first quarter of 2018.

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-seven of these smaller counties had weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Five of Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties had over-the-year wage increases greater than the national increase of 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018. All five of these counties had wage growth that ranked in the top 100 of the 349 large counties nationwide. Among the remaining 14 large counties in Pennsylvania, the smallest wage gain was in Butler (0.5 percent, ranked 326th), followed by Lehigh (0.7 percent, ranked 322nd).

Among the 349 largest U.S. counties, 336 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Peoria, Ill., had the largest percentage wage increase, (23.8 percent). Of the 13 counties with over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages, Forsyth, N.C., had the largest decrease at 4.8 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

The average weekly wage in Montgomery ($1,497) ranked 26th among the nation’s 339 largest counties. Chester ($1,479) and Philadelphia ($1,322) also ranked in the top 50 nationwide. In addition to these counties, Delaware, Allegheny, and Washington also had wages above the U.S. average of $1,152.

Five large counties in the commonwealth had average weekly wages that placed in the bottom fourth of the national ranking—Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, and Westmoreland. Wages in these counties were more than 20 percent below the national average for the first quarter of 2018.

Average weekly wages in Pennsylvania’s smaller counties

Forty-seven of the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,152. The exception was Montour County with wages of $1,249. Perry had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $612 in the first quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Pennsylvania were considered, 60 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,152. Six reported wages below $700, 21 had wages from $700 to $799, 18 had wages from $800 to $899, 11 had wages from $900 to $999, and 11 had wages above $1,000. (See chart 1.) Four of the seven counties with wages above the national average of $1,152 were located 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 2017 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 2018 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2017 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Online will be available in September 2019.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 144.6 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.

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.

 Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2018
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2018 (thousands) Percent change, March 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

144,562.9 1.6 -- $1,152  -- 3.7  -- 

Pennsylvania

5,787.2 1.4 -- 1,115 16 3.4 22

Allegheny, Pa.

691.3 1.2 181 1,238 67 3.1 160

Berks, Pa.

171.8 1.2 181 976 197 4.2 70

Bucks, Pa.

261.8 1.2 181 1,002 173 2.5 214

Butler, Pa.

84.9 0.1 370 967 203 0.5 326

Chester, Pa.

247.7 1.3 170 1,479 29 4.2 70

Cumberland, Pa.

132.7 0.4 282 997 178 3.5 124

Dauphin, Pa.

180.5 1.9 113 1,085 125 2.5 214

Delaware, Pa.

222.5 1.2 181 1,272 60 4.3 65

Erie, Pa.

120.2 0.0 315 825 316 3.1 160

Lackawanna, Pa.

97.2 1.2 181 808 324 4.1 78

Lancaster, Pa.

238.3 2.1 93 902 264 2.2 253

Lehigh, Pa.

188.9 2.0 103 1,073 131 0.7 322

Luzerne, Pa.

143.6 1.3 170 837 309 1.6 302

Montgomery, Pa.

490.0 1.0 212 1,497 26 3.5 124

Northampton, Pa.

113.4 0.4 282 932 234 1.7 293

Philadelphia, Pa.

677.2 1.5 149 1,322 47 3.4 132

Washington, Pa.

86.0 1.6 140 1,228 68 3.3 141

Westmoreland, Pa.

131.9 0.5 273 880 278 4.5 56

York, Pa.

178.0 0.9 222 936 226 3.3 141

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 Pennsylvania, 1st quarter 2018
Area Employment March 2018 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

144,562,926 $1,152

Pennsylvania

5,787,229 1,115

Adams

34,686 782

Allegheny

691,325 1,238

Armstrong

16,336 776

Beaver

51,550 915

Bedford

15,258 687

Berks

171,798 976

Blair

57,779 782

Bradford

22,724 912

Bucks

261,833 1,002

Butler

84,938 967

Cambria

50,522 745

Cameron

1,939 757

Carbon

16,694 689

Centre

68,820 950

Chester

247,696 1,479

Clarion

13,317 669

Clearfield

29,547 771

Clinton

13,211 801

Columbia

24,626 780

Crawford

29,685 777

Cumberland

132,733 997

Dauphin

180,471 1,085

Delaware

222,456 1,272

Elk

14,834 840

Erie

120,158 825

Fayette

38,498 753

Forest

1,915 856

Franklin

58,697 830

Fulton

6,022 895

Greene

12,816 1,101

Huntingdon

12,274 748

Indiana

29,563 918

Jefferson

15,526 766

Juniata

6,782 666

Lackawanna

97,216 808

Lancaster

238,255 902

Lawrence

27,724 780

Lebanon

49,727 807

Lehigh

188,882 1,073

Luzerne

143,586 837

Lycoming

51,113 842

Mckean

15,004 805

Mercer

45,879 800

Mifflin

15,582 742

Monroe

55,264 856

Montgomery

490,047 1,497

Montour

15,584 1,249

Northampton

113,370 932

Northumberland

26,683 775

Perry

7,737 612

Philadelphia

677,173 1,322

Pike

10,800 642

Potter

5,416 817

Schuylkill

48,716 812

Snyder

16,612 725

Somerset

23,742 760

Sullivan

1,613 702

Susquehanna

8,988 827

Tioga

12,374 791

Union

17,448 852

Venango

17,719 729

Warren

14,438 783

Washington

85,974 1,228

Wayne

14,308 743

Westmoreland

131,926 880

Wyoming

9,430 920

York

177,959 936

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 2018
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2018 (thousands) Percent change, March 2017-18 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2017-18 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

144,562.9 1.6 $1,152 -- 3.7 --

Alabama

1,948.9 1.1 919 36 2.9 34

Alaska

311.2 -0.5 1,074 20 2.3 44

Arizona

2,822.5 2.8 1,025 22 3.5 19

Arkansas

1,211.4 0.9 879 44 2.4 40

California

17,152.5 2.1 1,352 6 4.4 6

Colorado

2,639.5 2.5 1,175 11 3.4 22

Connecticut

1,651.9 0.1 1,447 4 2.4 40

Delaware

438.7 1.2 1,202 10 1.3 51

District of Columbia

770.2 1.2 1,917 1 1.9 49

Florida

8,716.8 2.2 988 25 4.1 9

Georgia

4,409.1 2.3 1,095 17 2.3 44

Hawaii

658.4 0.3 974 29 2.3 44

Idaho

712.6 3.5 809 50 4.3 7

Illinois

5,909.3 1.0 1,241 8 3.9 10

Indiana

3,018.8 1.2 954 32 3.9 10

Iowa

1,525.8 0.5 921 35 2.4 40

Kansas

1,370.6 0.2 912 40 2.7 38

Kentucky

1,873.7 0.5 901 41 2.5 39

Louisiana

1,914.7 0.5 932 34 3.0 30

Maine

592.1 0.9 891 43 3.6 16

Maryland

2,646.9 0.9 1,209 9 3.2 26

Massachusetts

3,509.9 1.1 1,510 3 5.6 2

Michigan

4,289.0 1.4 1,078 19 3.4 22

Minnesota

2,823.6 0.7 1,175 11 2.1 47

Mississippi

1,125.9 0.1 765 51 2.1 47

Missouri

2,777.6 0.5 960 31 3.1 28

Montana

455.5 1.0 819 49 2.4 40

Nebraska

966.0 0.4 898 42 3.6 16

Nevada

1,351.6 3.0 977 28 4.8 5

New Hampshire

648.2 0.8 1,122 15 4.9 3

New Jersey

3,997.6 1.3 1,373 5 3.0 30

New Mexico

813.3 1.0 862 47 2.9 34

New York

9,318.9 1.8 1,597 2 3.4 22

North Carolina

4,370.6 1.8 1,022 23 3.0 30

North Dakota

408.2 0.6 988 25 3.7 15

Ohio

5,328.5 0.9 1,005 24 2.9 34

Oklahoma

1,600.9 1.8 914 38 3.5 19

Oregon

1,894.3 2.0 1,026 21 4.3 7

Pennsylvania

5,787.2 1.4 1,115 16 3.4 22

Rhode Island

469.9 1.1 1,086 18 3.2 26

South Carolina

2,067.4 2.2 877 45 1.7 50

South Dakota

417.5 1.0 842 48 2.8 37

Tennessee

2,950.0 1.6 978 27 3.5 19

Texas

12,179.2 2.0 1,168 13 3.9 10

Utah

1,458.8 3.3 949 33 4.9 3

Vermont

307.1 0.4 917 37 3.1 28

Virginia

3,854.4 1.5 1,162 14 3.0 30

Washington

3,316.1 2.8 1,306 7 7.7 1

West Virginia

684.8 0.6 868 46 3.6 16

Wisconsin

2,831.7 1.0 968 30 3.8 14

Wyoming

263.7 0.3 914 38 3.9 10

Puerto Rico

856.7 -3.8 563 (3) 7.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

33.3 -15.5 969 (3) 24.4 (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: Monday, October 01, 2018