Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

17-730-SAN
Friday, May 26, 2017

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

County Employment and Wages in Washington – Third Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all 10 of the large counties in Washington from September 2015 to September 2016 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that rates of job growth in 9 of the 10 large counties in Washington exceeded the national rate of 1.7 percent.

Nationwide, employment increased in 307 of the 344 largest counties. York, S.C., had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 5.8 percent.

Among the 10 largest counties in Washington, employment was highest in King County (1,331,300) in September 2016, while Kitsap County had the smallest employment level (85,900). Together, Washington’s large counties accounted for 84.8 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 increased in all 10 of Washington’s largest counties. Weekly wage increases in 6 of the 10 large counties equaled or exceeded the national increase of 5.4 percent in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 29 counties in Washington with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All 10 large counties in Washington had increases in average weekly wages in the third quarter of 2016. King and Benton counties each had wage gains of 8.1 percent and were ranked 24th among the nation’s 344 large counties. Kitsap County’s 6.4-percent increase (ranked 100th) was the only other county in the top third. Two additional large counties were at or above the national 5.4 percent increase in the third quarter of 2016. Thurston County had the smallest weekly wage gain, 3.7 percent, which ranked 296th in the nation. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, 339 of the 344 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., had the largest wage gain, up 12.2 percent from the third quarter of 2015. Manatee, Fla., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by Hillsborough, N.H. (10.4 percent); and Boone, Ky., and Elkhart, Ind. (10.3 percent each).

Among the largest U.S. counties, five large counties experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 14.9 percent. Lafayette, La., had the second-largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 3.4 percent from the third quarter 2015, 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 three of Washington’s large counties placed in the top third of the national ranking. King County ($1,582, 8th), Snohomish ($1,108, 68th), and Benton ($1,042, 92nd) exceeded the national average in the third quarter of 2016. The two counties with the lowest average weekly wages—Whatcom ($844, 275th) and Yakima ($712, 339th)—placed in the bottom third of the largest U.S. counties.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were at or above the U.S. average ($1,027) in 102 of the 344 largest counties in the third quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest average weekly wage at $2,260, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892); New York, N.Y. ($1,879); and Washington, D.C. ($1,728).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 241 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2016. Horry County, S.C., had the lowest wage ($632), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($636) and Hidalgo ($654).

Average weekly wages in Washington’s smaller counties

All 29 counties in Washington with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,027. Among these smaller counties, Cowlitz had the highest average weekly wage at $921 in the third quarter of 2016, while Okanogan ($601) had the lowest weekly wage. (See table 2.)

When all 39 counties in Washington were considered, 5 had wages of $699 or lower. Eighteen counties had average weekly wages ranging from $700 to $799, 6 had wages from $800 to $899, and 10 had wages at or above $900. (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 2015 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2016, 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 2015 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

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 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 10 largest counties in Washington, 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--

Washington

3,278.93.0--1,18866.95

Benton, Wash.

86.92.51051,042928.124

Clark, Wash.

150.62.8839711516.1125

King, Wash.

1,331.33.3511,58288.124

Kitsap, Wash.

85.90.42929811406.4100

Pierce, Wash.

299.94.0249511665.5177

Snohomish, Wash.

284.92.01421,108685.4187

Spokane, Wash.

217.63.4468832344.4262

Thurston, Wash.

112.04.789491703.7296

Whatcom, Wash.

88.33.1588442755.1211

Yakima, Wash.

124.02.7877123394.4262

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 Washington, third quarter 2016
AreaEmployment September 2016Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452$1,027

Washington

3,278,9121,188

Adams

8,644728

Asotin

6,138716

Benton

86,9251,042

Chelan

47,212720

Clallam

23,344749

Clark

150,630971

Columbia

1,330778

Cowlitz

38,371921

Douglas

13,129687

Ferry

1,806796

Franklin

35,970743

Garfield

830820

Grant

42,298755

Grays Harbor

22,472759

Island

16,155735

Jefferson

8,565727

King

1,331,2631,582

Kitsap

85,917981

Kittitas

14,805768

Klickitat

7,468901

Lewis

25,009780

Lincoln

2,957711

Mason

14,025764

Okanogan

21,034601

Pacific

6,716678

Pend Oreille

3,107913

Pierce

299,910951

San Juan

6,176656

Skagit

50,838872

Skamania

2,409750

Snohomish

284,9161,108

Spokane

217,557883

Stevens

10,651742

Thurston

111,980949

Wahkiakum

722661

Walla Walla

28,351804

Whatcom

88,269844

Whitman

18,426879

Yakima

124,023712

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

United States (2)

142,940.51.71027--5.4--

Alabama

1,923.81.5870364.938

Alaska

337.4-2.61055121.249

Arizona

2,695.53.1950246.95

Arkansas

1,205.41.0794485.232

California

16,871.12.4121046.78

Colorado

2,576.52.61062105.623

Connecticut

1,674.20.312045534

Delaware

440.70.81022165.623

District of Columbia

759.21.7172813.845

Florida

8,320.23.7905296.214

Georgia

4,290.42.9969215.918

Hawaii

648.41.8956236.78

Idaho

703.73.5782506.312

Illinois

5,933.60.61062104.440

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

2,648.11.4112485.330

Massachusetts

3,522.92.0127726.87

Michigan

4,292.22.1976195.918

Minnesota

2,849.51.61053136.411

Mississippi

1,126.90.7739514.739

Missouri

2,782.11.688830534

Montana

464.51.5792494.341

Nebraska

973.90.9857395.526

Nevada

1,300.73.89492510.11

New Hampshire

655.01.81027157.92

New Jersey

4,000.01.811737534

New Mexico

811.50.283044443

New York

9,216.61.6122233.546

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

5,776.71.01013175.427

Rhode Island

481.10.8990187.63

South Carolina

2,008.62.5832435.623

South Dakota

424.21.18094774

Tennessee

2,918.82.5912275.427

Texas

11,830.71.31042144.341

Utah

1,407.43.8881336.312

Vermont

309.90.5880346.214

Virginia

3,801.01.010639534

Washington

3,278.93.0118866.95

West Virginia

691.5-1.6816463.944

Wisconsin

2,850.11.0885316.214

Wyoming

274.8-4.786538051

Puerto Rico

888.2-0.4524(3)2.3(3)

Virgin Islands

37.41.4778(3)5.9(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: Friday, May 26, 2017