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

21-181-SAN
Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Alaska – Second Quarter 2020

Employment decreased 10.5 percent in Alaska’s only large county, Anchorage Municipality, from June 2019 to June 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or greater as measured by 2019 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that in June 2020, Anchorage Municipality's employment totaled 133,900 and accounted for 45.2 percent of total employment within the state. (See table 1.)

National employment decreased 9.4 percent over the year, with all of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 34.2 percent.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 29 boroughs in Alaska with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 23 of the 29 smaller counties were below the national average in the second quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Anchorage Municipality’s 11.1-percent wage gain from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020 was above the national rate of 8.6 percent and ranked 76th nationally. Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 352 had over-the-year wage increases. The increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest percentage wage increase (+22.5 percent). Five large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-6.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Anchorage Municipality’s $1,262 average weekly wage ranked 72nd nationwide in the second quarter of 2020. Among the largest U.S. counties, 101 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,188 in the second quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,045. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 256 counties. At $698 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Alaska’s smaller counties

Alaska additionally consists of 16 smaller boroughs, 12 census areas, and 1 municipality, each of which is considered a county level equivalent. Twenty-four of the 29 counties in Alaska with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,188. The exceptions were North Slope Borough ($2,105), Southeast Fairbanks Census Area ($1,461), Northwest Arctic Borough ($1,422), Chugach Census Area ($1,264), and Nome Census Area ($1,211). The Kusilvak Census Area reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $774. (See table 2.)

When all 30 counties in Alaska were considered, 3 had wages below $800. Six counties had average weekly wages ranging from $800 to $899, 6 had wages from $900 to $999, and 15 had wages of $1,000 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 2020 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm. The 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on Second Quarter 2020 QCEW Data

Response rate tables for the second quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-second-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, see www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.

Special Notice: Imputation Methodology Improvements

QCEW implemented improvements to imputation methodology, effective with second quarter 2020 processing. For more information on QCEW imputation methodology and the impact of the improved methods, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.

Special Notice: Business Response Survey

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the novel coronavirus through September 2020. Data for the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic were released on December 7, 2020. For more information, please visit: www.bls.gov/brs/.


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 individuals with sensory impairments 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 largest county in Alaska, second quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,451.0135,114.4-9.4--$1,188--8.6--

Alaska

22.7296.2-12.7--1,1951411.211

Anchorage Municipality

8.3133.9-10.52261,2627211.176

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 Alaska, second quarter 2020
AreaEmployment June 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

135,114,354$1,188

Alaska

296,2201,195

Aleutian East Borough

2,623898

Aleutian West Census Area

3,1771,184

Anchorage Municipality

133,8891,262

Bethel Census Area

6,656909

Bristol Bay Borough

2,633847

Chugach Census Area

3,7011,264

Copper River Census Area

1,0701,043

Denali Borough

1,1481,165

Dillingham Census Area

2,2241,027

Fairbanks North Star Borough

33,5971,106

Haines Borough

827778

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

728834

Juneau Borough

14,7231,187

Kenai Peninsula Borough

18,8131,111

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

6,3051,063

Kodiak Island Borough

6,045911

Kusilvak Census Area

1,579777

Lake and Peninsula Borough

1,115778

Mantanuska-Susitna Borough

24,000944

Nome Census Area

3,6341,211

North Slope Borough

9,9832,105

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,7691,422

Petersburg Census Area

1,308859

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

2,241933

Sitka Borough

3,6271,047

Skagway Municipality

490917

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

2,5051,461

Wrangell City and Borough

787864

Yakutat Borough

310990

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

2,054870

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, second quarter 2020
StateEstablishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,451.0135,114.4-9.4$1,188--8.6--

Alabama

131.21,868.7-6.4964405.942

Alaska

22.7296.2-12.71,1951411.211

Arizona

170.72,708.4-5.11,090227.930

Arkansas

93.01,156.5-5.5924477.333

California

1,633.115,911.2-10.21,468410.912

Colorado

216.42,545.9-8.01,22698.725

Connecticut

123.41,483.6-12.31,407611.39

Delaware

34.5416.0-9.31,156179.022

District of Columbia

41.7701.8-10.01,987111.77

Florida

738.08,113.8-7.11,032286.640

Georgia

307.24,196.0-7.01,075235.744

Hawaii

45.9524.9-20.11,1082112.06

Idaho

67.9748.3-2.3882507.632

Illinois

379.65,391.8-11.31,218108.626

Indiana

171.62,865.7-7.3960415.645

Iowa

104.71,458.8-8.0978368.427

Kansas

90.01,306.0-7.0969387.134

Kentucky

125.41,754.0-8.2970376.441

Louisiana

137.81,710.1-11.0985346.739

Maine

53.8572.5-10.89803512.35

Maryland

175.82,430.3-11.21,305810.713

Massachusetts

263.13,178.8-14.31,570214.01

Michigan

268.53,850.9-12.91,114209.516

Minnesota

185.42,644.6-10.51,200139.022

Mississippi

73.81,063.1-6.4812515.942

Missouri

215.92,622.2-7.51,015327.134

Montana

51.5459.5-4.9919489.119

Nebraska

72.9932.3-6.0960418.028

Nevada

85.91,191.6-15.41,048269.119

New Hampshire

54.8605.4-10.51,2151211.58

New Jersey

284.13,570.3-14.61,376711.39

New Mexico

62.4757.0-9.4958437.831

New York

652.08,142.6-15.91,520312.84

North Carolina

296.24,205.4-6.91,038276.937

North Dakota

32.4390.1-9.71,061243.351

Ohio

302.35,049.8-8.01,031297.036

Oklahoma

112.11,521.3-6.3940444.449

Oregon

160.91,789.3-9.61,1431910.315

Pennsylvania

362.85,314.5-11.11,170169.218

Rhode Island

39.5429.3-13.21,1721513.13

South Carolina

144.41,991.0-7.2928466.937

South Dakota

34.7415.9-5.9912499.022

Tennessee

171.12,847.2-6.61,016315.346

Texas

727.411,807.1-6.31,156175.047

Utah

111.61,474.8-3.01,017309.119

Vermont

26.1271.8-13.61,0552513.62

Virginia

283.33,635.2-8.81,218109.417

Washington

253.83,207.1-8.41,424510.614

West Virginia

51.3634.9-9.4933454.948

Wisconsin

179.22,690.0-8.71,014338.028

Wyoming

27.2260.5-9.6965393.750

Puerto Rico

46.1798.7-7.9556(3)4.7(3)

Virgin Islands

3.435.4-7.01,016(3)6.9(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.

Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Alaska, second quarter 2020

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 03, 2021