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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
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands) Percent change, September 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.5 1.7 -- $1,027 -- 5.4 --

Texas

11,830.7 1.3 -- 1,042 14 4.3 41

Bell, Texas

116.3 0.0 308 868 252 5.7 160

Bexar, Texas

846.6 2.4 112 914 200 4.6 247

Brazoria, Texas

106.1 1.9 153 1,045 87 5.3 198

Brazos, Texas

101.3 0.8 257 772 327 5.8 152

Cameron, Texas

138.4 2.2 125 636 343 4.3 269

Collin, Texas

381.5 3.8 29 1,191 40 5.9 139

Dallas, Texas

1,662.8 3.1 58 1,239 30 6.8 68

Denton, Texas

228.8 3.4 46 954 164 6.8 68

El Paso, Texas

299.3 2.4 112 728 333 4.4 262

Fort Bend, Texas

174.2 2.1 131 951 166 0.3 339

Galveston, Texas

108.0 4.1 18 896 219 5.4 187

Gregg, Texas

74.0 -3.4 342 858 265 1.2 335

Harris, Texas

2,262.3 -0.9 329 1,267 23 2.1 327

Hidalgo, Texas

248.5 1.8 164 654 342 4.8 233

Jefferson, Texas

122.3 -0.2 315 1,061 81 5.7 160

Lubbock, Texas

137.0 1.4 203 811 306 4.0 286

McLennan, Texas

111.4 2.6 96 850 272 7.7 33

Midland, Texas

83.0 -5.8 344 1,176 43 -0.3 340

Montgomery, Texas

168.4 1.0 238 1,007 116 4.1 279

Nueces, Texas

161.6 -0.5 321 893 221 4.1 279

Potter, Texas

78.9 0.0 308 831 288 3.1 315

Smith, Texas

102.6 1.3 216 849 273 5.3 198

Tarrant, Texas

860.4 2.4 112 1,029 101 6.6 87

Travis, Texas

710.0 2.9 74 1,174 45 5.1 211

Webb, Texas

99.1 2.2 125 680 341 2.9 318

Williamson, Texas

158.7 4.1 18 1,009 114 6.8 68
(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
Area Employment
September
2016
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452 $1,027

Texas

11,830,679 1,042

Anderson

20,713 822

Andrews

6,712 1,084

Angelina

35,376 757

Aransas

6,247 728

Archer

1,684 662

Armstrong

369 670

Atascosa

11,855 856

Austin

10,257 842

Bailey

2,474 769

Bandera

3,164 650

Bastrop

17,115 714

Baylor

1,225 659

Bee

8,974 719

Bell

116,265 868

Bexar

846,607 914

Blanco

3,018 846

Borden

243 625

Bosque

3,720 672

Bowie

41,949 760

Brazoria

106,070 1,045

Brazos

101,266 772

Brewster

3,858 728

Briscoe

293 558

Brooks

2,347 763

Brown

15,907 690

Burleson

3,842 761

Burnet

13,828 788

Caldwell

8,393 703

Calhoun

11,148 1,228

Callahan

2,103 688

Cameron

138,352 636

Camp

3,796 737

Carson

4,727 1,631

Cass

7,359 714

Castro

2,615 687

Chambers

13,514 1,128

Cherokee

14,639 692

Childress

2,569 710

Clay

1,293 630

Cochran

669 709

Coke

705 623

Coleman

2,096 576

Collin

381,483 1,191

Collingsworth

834 761

Colorado

6,788 739

Comal

51,813 805

Comanche

3,641 615

Concho

808 771

Cooke

14,242 850

Coryell

16,427 760

Cottle

500 695

Crane

1,341 1,020

Crockett

1,500 678

Crosby

1,442 624

Culberson

1,283 786

Dallam

4,438 823

Dallas

1,662,753 1,239

Dawson

4,263 717

De Witt

7,052 775

Deaf Smith

7,547 764

Delta

1,271 413

Denton

228,763 954

Dickens

436 679

Dimmit

5,127 918

Donley

943 646

Duval

3,169 740

Eastland

6,645 805

Ector

66,895 1,022

Edwards

382 631

El Paso

299,326 728

Ellis

48,804 810

Erath

16,145 652

Falls

3,156 687

Fannin

7,512 749

Fayette

9,074 736

Fisher

898 742

Floyd

1,659 641

Foard

336 552

Fort Bend

174,153 951

Franklin

2,922 741

Freestone

4,914 828

Frio

6,016 879

Gaines

6,097 865

Galveston

108,016 896

Garza

1,829 728

Gillespie

10,337 699

Glasscock

568 743

Goliad

1,257 654

Gonzales

7,117 754

Gray

7,709 879

Grayson

45,112 800

Gregg

73,964 858

Grimes

6,980 857

Guadalupe

39,019 791

Hale

11,997 665

Hall

748 555

Hamilton

2,472 666

Hansford

2,169 909

Hardeman

1,188 661

Hardin

12,949 769

Harris

2,262,256 1,267

Harrison

23,095 907

Hartley

2,484 749

Haskell

1,643 639

Hays

63,611 774

Hemphill

2,066 1,084

Henderson

16,731 650

Hidalgo

248,512 654

Hill

9,658 765

Hockley

9,342 880

Hood

15,487 790

Hopkins

12,790 725

Houston

7,077 861

Howard

12,280 880

Hudspeth

1,223 1,191

Hunt

28,985 1,010

Hutchinson

8,805 1,135

Irion

1,028 1,333

Jack

3,051 907

Jackson

5,655 807

Jasper

10,052 739

Jeff Davis

973 628

Jefferson

122,260 1,061

Jim Hogg

1,668 769

Jim Wells

15,462 753

Johnson

45,059 799

Jones

2,996 706

Karnes

5,558 954

Kaufman

30,491 772

Kendall

14,803 925

Kenedy

429 1,001

Kent

261 849

Kerr

17,535 810

Kimble

1,288 614

King

93 667

Kinney

784 884

Kleberg

12,045 701

Knox

1,147 803

La Salle

2,956 1,169

Lamar

21,182 815

Lamb

3,827 719

Lampasas

4,463 639

Lavaca

5,513 705

Lee

6,761 941

Leon

4,944 915

Liberty

16,501 773

Limestone

7,401 761

Lipscomb

1,246 745

Live Oak

3,619 965

Llano

4,620 685

Loving

68 732

Lubbock

137,026 811

Lynn

1,401 758

Madison

4,701 695

Marion

1,916 601

Martin

1,929 914

Mason

1,056 578

Matagorda

10,793 947

Maverick

17,441 631

McCulloch

2,799 691

McLennan

111,442 850

McMullen

550 1,038

Medina

9,278 667

Menard

407 494

Midland

82,958 1,176

Milam

5,850 811

Mills

1,270 609

Mitchell

2,053 776

Montague

4,614 707

Montgomery

168,384 1,007

Moore

11,189 888

Morris

3,552 751

Motley

336 488

Nacogdoches

22,619 706

Navarro

16,462 692

Newton

1,329 618

Nolan

5,944 791

Nueces

161,637 893

Ochiltree

4,310 895

Oldham

1,060 928

Orange

22,297 958

Palo Pinto

8,424 786

Panola

8,163 853

Parker

31,283 822

Parmer

5,769 788

Pecos

5,647 821

Polk

10,997 728

Potter

78,901 831

Presidio

2,240 747

Rains

1,751 607

Randall

29,751 775

Reagan

1,666 1,029

Real

690 497

Red River

2,596 604

Reeves

4,471 808

Refugio

2,218 766

Roberts

249 771

Robertson

3,973 832

Rockwall

28,377 790

Runnels

2,818 655

Rusk

13,220 856

Sabine

2,204 690

San Augustine

1,597 735

San Jacinto

2,046 647

San Patricio

18,567 849

San Saba

1,863 715

Schleicher

737 797

Scurry

6,872 913

Shackelford

1,256 832

Shelby

8,185 716

Sherman

1,028 785

Smith

102,586 849

Somervell

3,755 1,107

Starr

15,140 587

Stephens

3,127 678

Sterling

560 749

Stonewall

503 680

Sutton

1,865 1,086

Swisher

1,937 642

Tarrant

860,449 1,029

Taylor

60,461 770

Terrell

297 828

Terry

3,919 787

Throckmorton

491 631

Titus

15,688 713

Tom Green

46,427 773

Travis

710,047 1,174

Trinity

2,364 661

Tyler

3,844 678

Upshur

6,652 682

Upton

1,504 1,087

Uvalde

10,079 639

Val Verde

17,387 712

Van Zandt

10,742 645

Victoria

39,239 849

Walker

24,892 750

Waller

16,001 858

Ward

4,344 992

Washington

14,675 744

Webb

99,111 680

Wharton

15,464 719

Wheeler

2,002 702

Wichita

52,780 753

Wilbarger

5,933 685

Willacy

3,524 649

Williamson

158,701 1,009

Wilson

7,637 689

Winkler

2,364 1,035

Wise

19,199 823

Wood

9,807 689

Yoakum

3,714 1,039

Young

6,817 750

Zapata

3,050 870

Zavala

2,526 614

(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
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2015 (thousands) Percent change, September 2015-16 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,940.5 1.7 $1,027 -- 5.4 --

Alabama

1,923.8 1.5 870 36 4.9 38

Alaska

337.4 -2.6 1,055 12 1.2 49

Arizona

2,695.5 3.1 950 24 6.9 5

Arkansas

1,205.4 1.0 794 48 5.2 32

California

16,871.1 2.4 1,210 4 6.7 8

Colorado

2,576.5 2.6 1,062 10 5.6 23

Connecticut

1,674.2 0.3 1,204 5 5.0 34

Delaware

440.7 0.8 1,022 16 5.6 23

District of Columbia

759.2 1.7 1,728 1 3.8 45

Florida

8,320.2 3.7 905 29 6.2 14

Georgia

4,290.4 2.9 969 21 5.9 18

Hawaii

648.4 1.8 956 23 6.7 8

Idaho

703.7 3.5 782 50 6.3 12

Illinois

5,933.6 0.6 1,062 10 4.4 40

Indiana

3,025.9 1.8 866 37 5.9 18

Iowa

1,548.6 0.8 873 35 6.2 14

Kansas

1,377.2 0.5 857 39 5.9 18

Kentucky

1,880.2 1.5 857 39 6.5 10

Louisiana

1,908.8 -0.9 883 32 2.9 48

Maine

616.2 0.9 825 45 5.9 18

Maryland

2,648.1 1.4 1,124 8 5.3 30

Massachusetts

3,522.9 2.0 1,277 2 6.8 7

Michigan

4,292.2 2.1 976 19 5.9 18

Minnesota

2,849.5 1.6 1,053 13 6.4 11

Mississippi

1,126.9 0.7 739 51 4.7 39

Missouri

2,782.1 1.6 888 30 5.0 34

Montana

464.5 1.5 792 49 4.3 41

Nebraska

973.9 0.9 857 39 5.5 26

Nevada

1,300.7 3.8 949 25 10.1 1

New Hampshire

655.0 1.8 1,027 15 7.9 2

New Jersey

4,000.0 1.8 1,173 7 5.0 34

New Mexico

811.5 0.2 830 44 4.0 43

New York

9,216.6 1.6 1,222 3 3.5 46

North Carolina

4,290.3 2.3 909 28 5.3 30

North Dakota

423.2 -3.4 964 22 0.7 50

Ohio

5,347.3 1.1 924 26 5.4 27

Oklahoma

1,578.7 -1.3 854 42 3.5 46

Oregon

1,866.5 2.6 970 20 5.2 32

Pennsylvania

5,776.7 1.0 1,013 17 5.4 27

Rhode Island

481.1 0.8 990 18 7.6 3

South Carolina

2,008.6 2.5 832 43 5.6 23

South Dakota

424.2 1.1 809 47 7.0 4

Tennessee

2,918.8 2.5 912 27 5.4 27

Texas

11,830.7 1.3 1,042 14 4.3 41

Utah

1,407.4 3.8 881 33 6.3 12

Vermont

309.9 0.5 880 34 6.2 14

Virginia

3,801.0 1.0 1,063 9 5.0 34

Washington

3,278.9 3.0 1,188 6 6.9 5

West Virginia

691.5 -1.6 816 46 3.9 44

Wisconsin

2,850.1 1.0 885 31 6.2 14

Wyoming

274.8 -4.7 865 38 0.0 51

Puerto Rico

888.2 -0.4 524 (3) 2.3 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.4 1.4 778 (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