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19-886-KAN
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Colorado – Fourth Quarter 2018

Employment rose in all nine large counties in Colorado from December 2017 to December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2017 average annual employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that Weld County (3.9 percent) had the fastest employment growth among the nine largest counties in the state. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.5 percent during the 12-month period as 296 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Midland, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase, up 10.0 percent. Bay, FL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.6 percent.

Among the nine largest counties in Colorado, employment was highest in Denver County (522,900) and lowest in Weld (111,400) in December 2018. Together, the nine largest Colorado counties accounted for 80.6 percent of total employment within the state.

Average weekly wages increased in 8 of the 9 large counties in Colorado. Douglas County (-3.6 percent) was the only large county to record a decrease over the year. Jefferson County had the largest over-the-year wage increase among the state’s large counties, up 8.7 percent. Denver County ($1,414) had the highest average weekly wage among Colorado’s large counties and was above the national average of $1,144. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 55 counties in Colorado with employment levels below 75,000. Of these small counties, Broomfield ($1,546) had the highest average weekly wage level. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Jefferson County’s 8.7-percent annual wage increase ranked eighth among large U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2018. Three large counties registered increases of 6.0 percent each and ranked 25th: Boulder, Denver, and Larimer. Douglas County had an over-the-year decline of 3.6 percent, which ranked 346th among the 349 large U.S. counties. (See table 1.)

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,144, a 3.2-percent increase over the year. Of the 349 largest U.S. counties, 332 had over-the-year wage increases. Tippecanoe, IN, had the largest fourth quarter over-the-year wage gain at 15.1 percent. Fifteen large U.S. counties had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Washington, PA, recorded the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.6 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Three of the state’s large counties had average weekly wages that placed in the top 50 of the 349 largest U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2018. Average weekly wages in Denver County ($1,414, 25th), Boulder County ($1,354, 39th), and Arapahoe County ($1,306, 47th) recorded wages above the national average of $1,144. Douglas County ($1,272, 51st) and Jefferson County ($1,211, 67th) also recorded wages above the national average and were in the top third of the national ranking. The four remaining large counties in Colorado had average weekly wages that placed in the middle-third of the national ranking.

Nationally, 94 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2018. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,670. San Francisco, CA, was second at $2,452. The average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA, was nearly four times the average weekly wage in the lowest-ranked county, Hidalgo, TX ($680).

Average weekly wages in Colorado’s smaller counties

Of the 55 counties in Colorado with employment below 75,000, Broomfield County reported the highest average weekly wage at $1,546 and San Juan County reported the lowest average weekly wage at $548 in the fourth quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 64 counties in Colorado were considered, 6 had wages above the national average. Thirteen reported average weekly wages of $1000 or higher, 5 reported wages from $900 to $999, 18 had wages from $800 to $899, 16 recorded wages from $700 to $799, and 12 counties had wages of $699 or less. (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 2017 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 2018 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2017 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2019.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 United States and the 9 largest counties in Colorado, fourth quarter 2018
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands) Percent change, December 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,061.8 1.5 -- $1,144 -- 3.2 --

Colorado

2,713.7 2.2 -- 1,180 10 4.1 11

Adams

220.0 3.7 12 1,094 123 2.0 257

Arapahoe

334.5 1.6 126 1,306 47 3.0 176

Boulder

185.8 1.9 86 1,354 39 6.0 25

Denver

522.9 1.8 100 1,414 25 6.0 25

Douglas

127.7 1.7 114 1,272 51 -3.6 346

El Paso

280.0 2.2 60 1,013 189 4.6 65

Jefferson

241.3 1.6 126 1,211 67 8.7 8

Larimer

163.5 2.7 36 1,064 150 6.0 25

Weld

111.4 3.9 9 1,014 188 5.3 43

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 Colorado, 4th quarter 2018
Area Employment December 2018 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

148,061,773 $1,144

Colorado

2,713,706 1,180

Adams

220,006 1,094

Alamosa

8,271 763

Arapahoe

334,539 1,306

Archuleta

4,151 697

Baca

1,105 624

Bent

1,075 744

Boulder

185,785 1,354

Broomfield

40,255 1,546

Chaffee

7,946 824

Cheyenne

695 855

Clear Creek

3,422 904

Conejos

1,449 625

Costilla

895 612

Crowley

1,085 830

Custer

851 675

Delta

8,450 703

Denver

522,914 1,414

Dolores

538 672

Douglas

127,650 1,272

Eagle

35,471 945

Elbert

3,764 880

El Paso

280,019 1,013

Fremont

13,494 824

Garfield

26,263 1,009

Gilpin

4,734 886

Grand

8,265 723

Gunnison

8,829 771

Hinsdale

254 666

Huerfano

1,753 698

Jackson

569 865

Jefferson

241,298 1,211

Kiowa

482 762

Kit Carson

2,819 742

Lake

2,498 823

La Plata

26,057 991

Larimer

163,454 1,064

Las Animas

5,033 842

Lincoln

2,266 761

Logan

8,052 808

Mesa

63,396 895

Mineral

706 554

Moffat

4,750 978

Montezuma

9,046 713

Montrose

15,400 801

Morgan

12,520 953

Otero

6,056 736

Ouray

1,796 776

Park

2,365 809

Phillips

1,694 769

Pitkin

18,536 1,111

Prowers

4,472 684

Pueblo

61,586 872

Rio Blanco

2,683 1,086

Rio Grande

3,922 782

Routt

16,188 889

Saguache

1,555 663

San Juan

282 548

San Miguel

6,078 841

Sedgwick

787 721

Summit

24,582 819

Teller

7,240 777

Washington

1,241 786

Weld

111,425 1,014

Yuma

4,419 848

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

United States (2)

148,061.8 1.5 $1,144 -- 3.2 --

Alabama

1,986.6 1.6 957 36 3.1 33

Alaska

308.3 0.4 1,103 16 4.9 7

Arizona

2,921.1 3.0 1,017 24 4.1 11

Arkansas

1,227.0 0.8 869 50 2.4 43

California

17,556.7 1.7 1,392 4 3.3 26

Colorado

2,713.7 2.2 1,180 10 4.1 11

Connecticut

1,697.9 0.5 1,334 5 1.3 49

Delaware

451.2 1.1 1,107 15 2.4 43

District of Columbia

775.1 0.6 1,943 1 7.3 2

Florida

8,902.7 2.1 1,006 27 3.1 33

Georgia

4,499.8 1.8 1,053 21 2.4 43

Hawaii

669.3 0.6 1,016 25 3.3 26

Idaho

734.4 3.2 890 47 3.6 20

Illinois

6,026.0 0.3 1,189 9 3.3 26

Indiana

3,086.2 0.9 941 38 2.8 37

Iowa

1,558.4 0.5 966 35 3.0 35

Kansas

1,402.2 0.8 927 41 3.7 18

Kentucky

1,914.0 0.3 924 42 3.2 30

Louisiana

1,934.1 0.7 968 34 3.8 15

Maine

618.4 1.3 906 44 2.5 41

Maryland

2,702.5 0.8 1,228 8 1.7 48

Massachusetts

3,620.3 1.0 1,457 2 3.3 26

Michigan

4,366.5 1.0 1,077 19 1.3 49

Minnesota

2,902.3 0.9 1,140 14 3.6 20

Mississippi

1,144.3 0.2 793 51 2.5 41

Missouri

2,821.3 0.5 980 31 3.6 20

Montana

468.8 1.6 888 48 5.2 5

Nebraska

983.0 0.2 930 40 3.2 30

Nevada

1,397.4 3.3 1,006 27 5.3 4

New Hampshire

666.0 0.7 1,158 12 2.3 46

New Jersey

4,125.6 0.8 1,298 6 2.7 38

New Mexico

830.2 1.5 905 45 4.6 9

New York

9,613.2 1.5 1,445 3 1.0 51

North Carolina

4,458.9 1.6 1,013 26 5.1 6

North Dakota

422.3 1.5 1,057 20 4.7 8

Ohio

5,442.9 0.5 1,006 27 3.4 24

Oklahoma

1,632.3 1.5 932 39 4.1 11

Oregon

1,935.8 1.7 1,052 22 3.7 18

Pennsylvania

5,932.5 1.0 1,103 16 2.6 39

Rhode Island

487.2 0.8 1,085 18 2.6 39

South Carolina

2,119.6 2.8 893 46 1.9 47

South Dakota

428.4 1.2 885 49 3.4 24

Tennessee

3,039.8 1.8 1,030 23 3.0 35

Texas

12,531.7 2.5 1,148 13 3.5 23

Utah

1,511.5 3.2 972 33 3.8 15

Vermont

314.2 -0.4 954 37 3.2 30

Virginia

3,927.2 1.1 1,164 11 3.8 15

Washington

3,384.2 2.4 1,292 7 6.3 3

West Virginia

704.2 1.5 917 43 8.3 1

Wisconsin

2,892.3 0.6 989 30 4.0 14

Wyoming

272.1 1.8 978 32 4.4 10

Puerto Rico

896.4 0.8 576 (3) 0.9 (3)

Virgin Islands

34.5 0.5 925 (3) 2.3 (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 10, 2019