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17-312-DAL
Thursday, March 16, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2016

Employment rose in 19 of the 26 largest counties in Texas from September 2015 to September 2016, 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 2015 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that two Texas counties ranked among the top 20 nationwide for job growth. The employment gains in Galveston and Williamson Counties, at 4.1 percent each, were the fastest in the state and ranked 18th nationwide. In contrast, employment fell in five of the state’s largest counties. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.7 percent from September 2015 to September 2016 as 307 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registered increases. York, S.C., recorded the fastest employment gain in the country, up 6.0 percent. Midland, Texas, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.8 percent; employment in Midland’s trade, transportation, and utilities sector recorded the largest numerical decrease among the county sectors with a loss of 1,504 jobs (-8.2 percent).

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,262,300) in September 2016, followed by Dallas County (1,662,800). Three other counties, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, had employment levels exceeding 700,000. Together, the 26 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, average weekly wages nationwide increased 5.4 percent to $1,027. Among large counties in Texas, McLennan registered the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 7.7 percent, while wages in Midland County fell, down 0.3 percent. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2016, Harris had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,267 and Cameron had the lowest at $636.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 228 counties in Texas with employment levels below 75,000 in 2015. Among these smaller counties, 212 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Ten of Texas’s 26 large counties recorded wage growth equal to or above the 5.4-percent national increase from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. McLennan County’s 7.7-percent wage increase was the highest in the state and placed 33rd nationally, followed by Dallas, Denton, and Williamson (6.8 percent each, 68th), and Tarrant (6.6 percent, 87th). (See table 1.) Fifteen large Texas counties had over-the-year wage increases that were below the national average, and Midland County registered a decrease in average weekly wages, down 0.3 percent.

Nationally, 339 of the 344 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., experienced the largest wage gain in the nation, up 12.2 percent. Manatee, Fla., had the second largest increase (10.7 percent), followed by Hillsborough, N.H. (10.4 percent); four other large U.S. counties had increases above 10.0 percent.

Nationwide, five of the largest counties registered wage declines during the period. Rockland, N.Y., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 14.9 percent over the year. Lafayette, La., had the second largest wage decline (-3.4 percent), followed by Benton, Ark. (-2.0 percent), Lake, Ill. (-0.9 percent), and Midland, Texas (-0.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 26 large Texas counties were more than 14 percent above the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. Harris County led at $1,267 per week and ranked 23rd among the 344 large counties nationwide. Harris was followed by Dallas ($1,239, 30th), Collin ($1,191, 40th), Midland ($1,176, 43rd), and Travis ($1,174, 45th). Three additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Jefferson ($1,061, 81st), Brazoria ($1,045, 87th), and Tarrant ($1,029, 101st).

Texas had a number of low-paying large counties. Three of the four lowest-paying large counties in the United States were located along the border with Mexico: Cameron ($636, 343rd), Hidalgo ($654, 342nd), and Webb ($680, 341st). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included El Paso ($728, 333rd), Brazos ($772, 327th), and Lubbock ($811, 306th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 102 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,260. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $2,098, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892), New York, N.Y. ($1,879), and Washington, D.C. ($1,728).

Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (241) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2016. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C., at $632 per week, followed by the Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo. Wages in these three lowest-ranked counties were less than 30 percent of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Sixteen of the 228 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,027. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,631) and Irion ($1,333). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $413 in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 24 had wages below the national average. Thirty-six counties reported average weekly wages under $650, 79 registered wages from $650 to $749, 70 had wages from $750 to $849, 33 had wages from $850 to $949, and 36 had wages of $950 or higher. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average weekly wages were located around the larger metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as the smaller areas of Midland, Odessa, and Amarillo. Lower-paying counties were concentrated in the agricultural areas of central Texas, the Texas Panhandle, and along the Texas-Mexico border.

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 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.


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 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 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 26 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.51.7--$1,027--5.4--

Texas

11,830.71.3--1,042144.341

Bell, Texas

116.30.03088682525.7160

Bexar, Texas

846.62.41129142004.6247

Brazoria, Texas

106.11.91531,045875.3198

Brazos, Texas

101.30.82577723275.8152

Cameron, Texas

138.42.21256363434.3269

Collin, Texas

381.53.8291,191405.9139

Dallas, Texas

1,662.83.1581,239306.868

Denton, Texas

228.83.4469541646.868

El Paso, Texas

299.32.41127283334.4262

Fort Bend, Texas

174.22.11319511660.3339

Galveston, Texas

108.04.1188962195.4187

Gregg, Texas

74.0-3.43428582651.2335

Harris, Texas

2,262.3-0.93291,267232.1327

Hidalgo, Texas

248.51.81646543424.8233

Jefferson, Texas

122.3-0.23151,061815.7160

Lubbock, Texas

137.01.42038113064.0286

McLennan, Texas

111.42.6968502727.733

Midland, Texas

83.0-5.83441,17643-0.3340

Montgomery, Texas

168.41.02381,0071164.1279

Nueces, Texas

161.6-0.53218932214.1279

Potter, Texas

78.90.03088312883.1315

Smith, Texas

102.61.32168492735.3198

Tarrant, Texas

860.42.41121,0291016.687

Travis, Texas

710.02.9741,174455.1211

Webb, Texas

99.12.21256803412.9318

Williamson, Texas

158.74.1181,0091146.868
(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 Texas, 3rd quarter 2016
AreaEmployment
September
2016
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452$1,027

Texas

11,830,6791,042

Anderson

20,713822

Andrews

6,7121,084

Angelina

35,376757

Aransas

6,247728

Archer

1,684662

Armstrong

369670

Atascosa

11,855856

Austin

10,257842

Bailey

2,474769

Bandera

3,164650

Bastrop

17,115714

Baylor

1,225659

Bee

8,974719

Bell

116,265868

Bexar

846,607914

Blanco

3,018846

Borden

243625

Bosque

3,720672

Bowie

41,949760

Brazoria

106,0701,045

Brazos

101,266772

Brewster

3,858728

Briscoe

293558

Brooks

2,347763

Brown

15,907690

Burleson

3,842761

Burnet

13,828788

Caldwell

8,393703

Calhoun

11,1481,228

Callahan

2,103688

Cameron

138,352636

Camp

3,796737

Carson

4,7271,631

Cass

7,359714

Castro

2,615687

Chambers

13,5141,128

Cherokee

14,639692

Childress

2,569710

Clay

1,293630

Cochran

669709

Coke

705623

Coleman

2,096576

Collin

381,4831,191

Collingsworth

834761

Colorado

6,788739

Comal

51,813805

Comanche

3,641615

Concho

808771

Cooke

14,242850

Coryell

16,427760

Cottle

500695

Crane

1,3411,020

Crockett

1,500678

Crosby

1,442624

Culberson

1,283786

Dallam

4,438823

Dallas

1,662,7531,239

Dawson

4,263717

De Witt

7,052775

Deaf Smith

7,547764

Delta

1,271413

Denton

228,763954

Dickens

436679

Dimmit

5,127918

Donley

943646

Duval

3,169740

Eastland

6,645805

Ector

66,8951,022

Edwards

382631

El Paso

299,326728

Ellis

48,804810

Erath

16,145652

Falls

3,156687

Fannin

7,512749

Fayette

9,074736

Fisher

898742

Floyd

1,659641

Foard

336552

Fort Bend

174,153951

Franklin

2,922741

Freestone

4,914828

Frio

6,016879

Gaines

6,097865

Galveston

108,016896

Garza

1,829728

Gillespie

10,337699

Glasscock

568743

Goliad

1,257654

Gonzales

7,117754

Gray

7,709879

Grayson

45,112800

Gregg

73,964858

Grimes

6,980857

Guadalupe

39,019791

Hale

11,997665

Hall

748555

Hamilton

2,472666

Hansford

2,169909

Hardeman

1,188661

Hardin

12,949769

Harris

2,262,2561,267

Harrison

23,095907

Hartley

2,484749

Haskell

1,643639

Hays

63,611774

Hemphill

2,0661,084

Henderson

16,731650

Hidalgo

248,512654

Hill

9,658765

Hockley

9,342880

Hood

15,487790

Hopkins

12,790725

Houston

7,077861

Howard

12,280880

Hudspeth

1,2231,191

Hunt

28,9851,010

Hutchinson

8,8051,135

Irion

1,0281,333

Jack

3,051907

Jackson

5,655807

Jasper

10,052739

Jeff Davis

973628

Jefferson

122,2601,061

Jim Hogg

1,668769

Jim Wells

15,462753

Johnson

45,059799

Jones

2,996706

Karnes

5,558954

Kaufman

30,491772

Kendall

14,803925

Kenedy

4291,001

Kent

261849

Kerr

17,535810

Kimble

1,288614

King

93667

Kinney

784884

Kleberg

12,045701

Knox

1,147803

La Salle

2,9561,169

Lamar

21,182815

Lamb

3,827719

Lampasas

4,463639

Lavaca

5,513705

Lee

6,761941

Leon

4,944915

Liberty

16,501773

Limestone

7,401761

Lipscomb

1,246745

Live Oak

3,619965

Llano

4,620685

Loving

68732

Lubbock

137,026811

Lynn

1,401758

Madison

4,701695

Marion

1,916601

Martin

1,929914

Mason

1,056578

Matagorda

10,793947

Maverick

17,441631

McCulloch

2,799691

McLennan

111,442850

McMullen

5501,038

Medina

9,278667

Menard

407494

Midland

82,9581,176

Milam

5,850811

Mills

1,270609

Mitchell

2,053776

Montague

4,614707

Montgomery

168,3841,007

Moore

11,189888

Morris

3,552751

Motley

336488

Nacogdoches

22,619706

Navarro

16,462692

Newton

1,329618

Nolan

5,944791

Nueces

161,637893

Ochiltree

4,310895

Oldham

1,060928

Orange

22,297958

Palo Pinto

8,424786

Panola

8,163853

Parker

31,283822

Parmer

5,769788

Pecos

5,647821

Polk

10,997728

Potter

78,901831

Presidio

2,240747

Rains

1,751607

Randall

29,751775

Reagan

1,6661,029

Real

690497

Red River

2,596604

Reeves

4,471808

Refugio

2,218766

Roberts

249771

Robertson

3,973832

Rockwall

28,377790

Runnels

2,818655

Rusk

13,220856

Sabine

2,204690

San Augustine

1,597735

San Jacinto

2,046647

San Patricio

18,567849

San Saba

1,863715

Schleicher

737797

Scurry

6,872913

Shackelford

1,256832

Shelby

8,185716

Sherman

1,028785

Smith

102,586849

Somervell

3,7551,107

Starr

15,140587

Stephens

3,127678

Sterling

560749

Stonewall

503680

Sutton

1,8651,086

Swisher

1,937642

Tarrant

860,4491,029

Taylor

60,461770

Terrell

297828

Terry

3,919787

Throckmorton

491631

Titus

15,688713

Tom Green

46,427773

Travis

710,0471,174

Trinity

2,364661

Tyler

3,844678

Upshur

6,652682

Upton

1,5041,087

Uvalde

10,079639

Val Verde

17,387712

Van Zandt

10,742645

Victoria

39,239849

Walker

24,892750

Waller

16,001858

Ward

4,344992

Washington

14,675744

Webb

99,111680

Wharton

15,464719

Wheeler

2,002702

Wichita

52,780753

Wilbarger

5,933685

Willacy

3,524649

Williamson

158,7011,009

Wilson

7,637689

Winkler

2,3641,035

Wise

19,199823

Wood

9,807689

Yoakum

3,7141,039

Young

6,817750

Zapata

3,050870

Zavala

2,526614

(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: Covered employment and wages 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 2016
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2015 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2015-16National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,940.51.7$1,027--5.4--

Alabama

1,923.81.5870364.938

Alaska

337.4-2.61,055121.249

Arizona

2,695.53.1950246.95

Arkansas

1,205.41.0794485.232

California

16,871.12.41,21046.78

Colorado

2,576.52.61,062105.623

Connecticut

1,674.20.31,20455.034

Delaware

440.70.81,022165.623

District of Columbia

759.21.71,72813.845

Florida

8,320.23.7905296.214

Georgia

4,290.42.9969215.918

Hawaii

648.41.8956236.78

Idaho

703.73.5782506.312

Illinois

5,933.60.61,062104.440

Indiana

3,025.91.8866375.918

Iowa

1,548.60.8873356.214

Kansas

1,377.20.5857395.918

Kentucky

1,880.21.5857396.510

Louisiana

1,908.8-0.9883322.948

Maine

616.20.9825455.918

Maryland

2,648.11.41,12485.330

Massachusetts

3,522.92.01,27726.87

Michigan

4,292.22.1976195.918

Minnesota

2,849.51.61,053136.411

Mississippi

1,126.90.7739514.739

Missouri

2,782.11.6888305.034

Montana

464.51.5792494.341

Nebraska

973.90.9857395.526

Nevada

1,300.73.89492510.11

New Hampshire

655.01.81,027157.92

New Jersey

4,000.01.81,17375.034

New Mexico

811.50.2830444.043

New York

9,216.61.61,22233.546

North Carolina

4,290.32.3909285.330

North Dakota

423.2-3.4964220.750

Ohio

5,347.31.1924265.427

Oklahoma

1,578.7-1.3854423.546

Oregon

1,866.52.6970205.232

Pennsylvania

5,776.71.01,013175.427

Rhode Island

481.10.8990187.63

South Carolina

2,008.62.5832435.623

South Dakota

424.21.1809477.04

Tennessee

2,918.82.5912275.427

Texas

11,830.71.31,042144.341

Utah

1,407.43.8881336.312

Vermont

309.90.5880346.214

Virginia

3,801.01.01,06395.034

Washington

3,278.93.01,18866.95

West Virginia

691.5-1.6816463.944

Wisconsin

2,850.11.0885316.214

Wyoming

274.8-4.7865380.051

Puerto Rico

888.2-0.4524(3)2.3(3)

Virgin Islands

37.41.4778(3)5.9(3)

(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: Thursday, March 16, 2017