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20-513-PHI
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in West Virginia – Third Quarter 2019

Employment decreased 1.5 percent in West Virginia’s only large county, Kanawha, from September 2018 to September 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2018 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that Kanawha County was among the 61 out of 355 large U.S. counties in which employment declined over the year. Kanawha County ranked 347th in the nation for employment change. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.1 percent over the year with 283 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. New Hanover, NC, recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Employment in Kanawha County totaled 96,300 in September 2019, accounting for 13.9 percent of West Virginia’s total employment. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 54 counties in West Virginia with employment levels below 75,000. One county—Marshall—had a wage level above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The average weekly wage in Kanawha County increased 3.5 percent from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Kanawha County placed in the top half of the national ranking for wage change (168th). Nationwide, the average weekly wage increased 3.6 percent from a year ago to $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019.

Nationally, 350 of the 355 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Boulder, CO, had the largest percent wage increase (+18.4 percent). The remaining five large counties registered wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Kanawha County reported average weekly wages of $950, below the national average of $1,093 for the third quarter 2019, and ranked 208th among the 355 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 98 large counties reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,447. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 257 counties. At $659 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in West Virginia's smaller counties

Fifty-three of the 54 counties in West Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,093. Among these smaller counties, Marshall had the highest average weekly wage at $1,379, followed by Doddridge ($1,050), Monongalia ($1,036), and Jackson ($1,033). Clay County reported the lowest average wage in the state at $561 per week, followed by Pendleton County at $578 per week.

When all 55 counties in West Virginia were considered, 2 reported average weekly wages of less than $600, 11 reported wages from $600 to $699, 14 reported wages from $700 to $799, 18 reported wages of $800 to $899, and 10 reported wages of $900 or more. (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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.


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 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 top 10 U.S. large counties ranked by average weekly wage and the largest county in West Virginia, third quarter 2019
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands) Percent change, September 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.5 1.1 - $1,093 - 3.6 -

Santa Clara, CA

1,121.9 1.8 84 2,447 1 -0.3 352

San Mateo, CA

419.1 3.1 21 2,366 2 -0.1 351

San Francisco, CA

765.2 3.5 10 2,273 3 7.6 7

New York, NY

2,515.1 1.2 142 2,055 4 2.9 238

Washington, DC

776.3 0.6 217 1,851 5 2.5 267

King, WA

1,445.3 3.1 21 1,814 6 3.6 157

Suffolk, MA

700.7 2.4 51 1,784 7 4.3 85

Arlington, VA

182.9 2.5 45 1,744 8 3 227

Fairfax, VA

622.2 1.5 110 1,651 9 4 114

Middlesex, MA

939.3 1.6 102 1,625 10 4.4 78

Kanawha, WV

96.3 -1.5 347 950 208 3.5 168

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 West Virginia, third quarter 2019
Area Employment September 2019 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525 $1,093

West Virginia

694,441 897

Barbour

3,668 805

Berkeley

36,520 832

Boone

4,672 837

Braxton

3,779 690

Brooke

7,695 798

Cabell

52,422 864

Calhoun

1,177 871

Clay

1,326 561

Doddridge

1,636 1,050

Fayette

10,813 756

Gilmer

1,869 791

Grant

3,349 793

Greenbrier

13,244 708

Hampshire

3,780 632

Hancock

9,547 748

Hardy

5,777 678

Harrison

36,567 991

Jackson

9,095 1,033

Jefferson

15,651 908

Kanawha

96,308 950

Lewis

6,222 917

Lincoln

2,389 628

Logan

10,190 871

McDowell

4,282 884

Marion

17,688 828

Marshall

12,689 1,379

Mason

5,465 869

Mercer

18,814 756

Mineral

7,840 828

Mingo

5,224 857

Monongalia

57,540 1,036

Monroe

1,945 781

Morgan

2,803 640

Nicholas

7,250 703

Ohio

28,290 829

Pendleton

1,520 578

Pleasants

2,846 935

Pocahontas

3,006 612

Preston

7,298 788

Putnam

20,266 1,023

Raleigh

32,154 842

Randolph

11,321 717

Ritchie

3,193 831

Roane

2,972 705

Summers

2,164 615

Taylor

3,221 846

Tucker

2,578 675

Tyler

2,084 882

Upshur

7,444 754

Wayne

8,398 842

Webster

1,688 654

Wetzel

4,439 679

Wirt

601 665

Wood

35,649 822

Wyoming

4,093 741

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, third quarter 2019
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands) Percent change, September 2018-19 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,556.5 1.1 $1,093 -- 3.6 --

Alabama

1,989.5 1.1 919 36 3.8 18

Alaska

338.0 1.2 1,105 14 3.7 21

Arizona

2,913.4 2.6 1,018 22 4.5 4

Arkansas

1,222.8 0.0 841 49 3.8 18

California

17,713.1 1.4 1,309 5 3.8 18

Colorado

2,749.0 2.4 1,170 8 6.1 1

Connecticut

1,676.6 -0.3 1,236 6 2.3 50

Delaware

453.2 1.1 1,078 15 3.3 32

District of Columbia

776.4 0.6 1,851 1 2.5 49

Florida

8,838.2 1.7 955 29 3.4 27

Georgia

4,509.7 1.4 1,026 20 3.4 27

Hawaii

654.1 -0.3 1,012 23 3.9 15

Idaho

765.2 2.9 838 50 4.1 10

Illinois

6,023.1 0.0 1,125 10 3.6 23

Indiana

3,083.5 0.3 914 37 3.5 26

Iowa

1,556.9 0.1 914 37 3.0 39

Kansas

1,395.9 0.4 893 43 2.9 43

Kentucky

1,910.8 0.7 884 45 3.4 27

Louisiana

1,913.5 -0.3 923 35 2.6 47

Maine

632.6 0.9 887 44 4.2 7

Maryland

2,696.9 0.2 1,169 9 3.6 23

Massachusetts

3,642.5 0.9 1,359 2 4.2 7

Michigan

4,375.8 0.2 1,021 21 3.0 39

Minnesota

2,917.8 0.4 1,107 13 3.0 39

Mississippi

1,135.8 0.1 768 51 2.7 46

Missouri

2,826.5 0.6 942 31 3.9 15

Montana

478.9 1.2 848 48 3.9 15

Nebraska

984.7 0.3 908 39 4.0 13

Nevada

1,412.2 2.1 973 26 4.1 10

New Hampshire

667.9 0.8 1,075 16 3.4 27

New Jersey

4,104.0 0.9 1,217 7 3.0 39

New Mexico

842.1 1.7 899 40 5.1 2

New York

9,575.4 1.1 1,314 4 3.3 32

North Carolina

4,501.3 2.2 972 27 3.6 23

North Dakota

428.4 0.9 1,028 19 3.3 32

Ohio

5,443.3 0.3 976 25 3.1 37

Oklahoma

1,628.8 0.5 897 41 2.6 47

Oregon

1,970.7 1.4 1,037 18 3.2 35

Pennsylvania

5,947.9 0.8 1,064 17 3.2 35

Rhode Island

491.3 0.6 991 24 2.8 44

South Carolina

2,132.4 2.2 866 46 3.7 21

South Dakota

433.4 0.4 855 47 3.4 27

Tennessee

3,060.8 1.9 966 28 2.8 44

Texas

12,603.2 2.1 1,109 12 4.1 10

Utah

1,535.2 2.8 954 30 4.8 3

Vermont

311.0 0.0 927 34 4.3 5

Virginia

3,931.4 1.0 1,125 10 4.0 13

Washington

3,489.8 2.1 1,335 3 4.3 5

West Virginia

694.4 -1.8 897 41 0.3 51

Wisconsin

2,893.8 0.1 929 33 3.1 37

Wyoming

283.1 1.5 942 31 4.2 7

Puerto Rico

878.9 1.9 528 (3) -0.8 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.8 9.6 1,012 (3) 12.8 (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.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020