New England Information Office

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14-84-BOS

Friday, January 17, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in Massachusetts – Second Quarter 2013


Employment increased in 8 of the 9 large counties in Massachusetts from June 2012 to June 2013. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2012 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that Middlesex County had the largest gain, up 1.9 percent, followed by Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, up 1.8 and 1.7 percent, respectively. Employment gains in these counties exceeded the national increase of 1.6 percent.

Nationally, 288 of the 334 large counties had employment gains from June 2012 to June 2013. The largest over-the-year percentage gain was recorded in Fort Bend, Texas, 7.0 percent. Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 4.5 percent.


Among the nine large counties in Massachusetts, employment was highest in Middlesex (847,695) in June 2013, followed by Suffolk (608,141). Together, Massachusetts’ large counties accounted for 93.6 percent of total employment within the Commonwealth. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.4 percent of total U.S. employment in June 2013.

Average weekly wages increased in 8 of the 9 large counties in Massachusetts from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013. Weekly wage growth was highest in Essex County, up 2.8 percent. Plymouth (2.5 percent) and Middlesex (2.2 percent) recorded the next highest wage growth. Suffolk County had the highest average weekly wage at $1,410, followed by Middlesex ($1,371) and Norfolk ($1,066). Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 2.1 percent over the year to $921 in the second quarter of 2013. (See table 1.)


Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the five counties in Massachusetts with employment below 75,000. All five of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Essex County’s 2.8-percent annual wage gain ranked in the top-quarter (69th) among the 334 largest U.S. counties in the second quarter of June 2013. Plymouth (2.5 percent) and Middlesex (2.2 percent) placed in the top-third (85th and 111th, respectively). (See table 1.) Smaller over-the-year wage growth was recorded in Bristol, Suffolk, Worcester, Barnstable, and Norfolk Counties. In Hampden County, average weekly wages were unchanged over the year.

Nationwide, Union, N.J., ranked first in average weekly wage growth, with an increase of 8.1 percent from the second quarter of 2012. San Mateo, Calif., placed second with a wage gain of 8.0 percent, followed by Williamson, Tenn. (7.8 percent) and Rockingham, N.H. (6.9 percent).

Among the 334 largest U.S. counties, 18 experienced over-the-year declines in average weekly wages. Davidson, Tenn., had the largest average weekly wage decrease with a loss of 2.2 percent. Whatcom, Wash., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, followed by Washington, Ore., and Shelby, Tenn., which tied for the third largest percentage decrease.

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of Massachusetts’ 9 large counties were above the national average of $921 in the second quarter of 2013. Two of these counties placed in the top 10 nationwide—Suffolk ($1,410, 9th) and Middlesex ($1,371, 10th). Average weekly wages were lowest in Barnstable County ($768, 255th).

Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 107 of the 334 largest U.S. counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $1,810. New York, N.Y., was second with an average weekly wage of $1,675, followed by San Mateo, Calif., ($1,632), Washington, D.C., ($1,575), and Arlington, Va. ($1,525).

More than two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (227) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2013. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($537), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($572) and Hidalgo ($592). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than one-third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,810).

Average weekly wages in Massachusetts' smaller counties

All five counties in Massachusetts with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $921. Nantucket had the highest wage at $898; Franklin reported the lowest wage $711.

When all 14 counties in Massachusetts were considered, 9 had wages below the national average. As mentioned, the lowest weekly wage was reported in Franklin County which was 1 of 4 counties in the Commonwealth with an average weekly wage below $800. Five counties reported weekly wages ranging from $800 to $899; two other counties had weekly wages from $900 to $999. The three highest-paid counties had average weekly wages over $1,000 and were located in the Boston metropolitan area, including the area encircled by Highway 495. (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 the QCEW Web site at www.bls.gov/cew.

An annual bulletin, Employment and Wages Annual Wages Online, features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2012 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2013, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2013 version of the news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2014.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Services: 1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on the QCEW program, as well as other Bureau programs, contact the New England Information Office at 617-565-2327. This release is available in PDF and HTML format on the New England BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/ro1/maqcew.htm.


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 9.2 million employer reports cover 135.1 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.



Table 1. Covered (1) employment and wages in the United States and the 9 largest counties in Massachusetts, second quarter 2013 (2)
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (3)
June
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
June
2012-13 (4)
National
ranking by
percent change (5)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (5)
Percent change,
second quarter
2012-13 (4)
National
ranking by
percent change (5)

United States (6)

135,094.0 1.6 -- $921 -- 2.1 --

Massachusetts

3,352.7 1.3 -- 1,131 2 2.0 21

Barnstable, Mass.

102.3 0.8 226 768 255 1.2 227

Bristol, Mass.

217.5 0.7 233 842 172 2.1 123

Essex, Mass.

315.0 0.3 266 979 73 2.8 69

Hampden, Mass.

201.1 -0.3 306 832 184 0.0 305

Middlesex, Mass..

847.7 1.9 124 1,371 10 2.2 111

Norfolk, Mass.

335.1 1.8 131 1,066 45 1.1 237

Plymouth, Mass.

184.1 1.5 158 889 137 2.5 85

Suffolk, Mass.

608.1 1.7 143 1,410 9 1.8 159

Worcester, Mass.

328.3 1.2 183 926 104 1.3 218

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(5) Ranking does not include the county of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
(6) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.



Table 2. Covered (1) employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Massachusetts, 2nd quarter 2013 (2)
Area Employment
June
2013
Average
Weekly
Wage (3)

United States (4)

135,093,963 $921

Massachusetts

3,352,679 1,131

Barnstable County

102,289 768

Berkshire County

62,901 759

Bristol County

217,544 842

Dukes County

10,248 812

Essex County

315,049 979

Franklin County

26,687 711

Hampden County

201,077 832

Hampshire County

61,184 785

Middlesex County

847,695 1,371

Nantucket County

8,132 898

Norfolk County

335,132 1,066

Plymouth County

184,146 889

Suffolk County

608,141 1,410

Worcester County

328,289 926

Footnotes
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.



Table 3. Covered (1) employment and wages by state, second quarter 2013 (2)
State Employment Average weekly wage (3)
June 2013 (thousands) Percent change, June 2012-13 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2012-13 National ranking by percent change

United States (4)

135,094.0 1.6 $921 -- 2.1 --

Alabama

1,859.5 0.9 794 35 1.4 44

Alaska

342.6 -0.1 970 9 1.6 37

Arizona

2,438.1 1.8 877 20 1.7 32

Arkansas

1,150.4 -0.6 734 46 2.4 10

California

15,485.8 2.4 1,048 6 2.0 21

Colorado

2,359.4 2.9 933 14 1.6 37

Connecticut

1,666.3 1.0 1,128 3 1.5 41

Delaware

417.8 1.8 966 12 2.0 21

District of Columbia

725.0 0.9 1,575 1 2.1 19

Florida

7,402.0 2.4 822 29 2.0 21

Georgia

3,917.2 1.7 867 22 2.2 17

Hawaii

617.0 1.9 823 28 1.6 37

Idaho

642.7 2.7 683 51 1.9 28

Illinois

5,750.0 0.8 971 8 1.9 28

Indiana

2,863.4 1.1 776 42 1.7 32

Iowa

1,523.9 1.3 757 43 2.0 21

Kansas

1,350.0 1.2 779 41 2.1 19

Kentucky

1,790.6 0.6 782 38 1.3 46

Louisiana

1,894.7 0.9 824 27 2.4 10

Maine

604.4 0.4 732 47 1.8 30

Maryland

2,570.3 0.9 1,005 7 1.4 44

Massachusetts

3,352.7 1.3 1,131 2 2.0 21

Michigan

4,073.7 2.2 875 21 2.0 21

Minnesota

2,745.2 1.9 929 15 2.4 10

Mississippi

1,094.9 0.7 691 49 1.5 41

Missouri

2,668.2 1.2 803 33 1.6 37

Montana

448.4 1.5 717 48 2.4 10

Nebraska

941.0 0.9 737 45 2.6 7

Nevada

1,168.3 2.3 829 26 1.7 32

New Hampshire

629.1 0.8 916 17 2.9 4

New Jersey

3,917.5 1.0 1,084 5 2.6 7

New Mexico

795.0 0.4 781 39 -0.3 51

New York

8,804.9 1.1 1,118 4 2.0 21

North Carolina

3,985.1 1.7 808 31 2.5 9

North Dakota

433.7 3.2 887 18 3.7 1

Ohio

5,162.3 1.1 830 25 1.7 32

Oklahoma

1,560.7 0.9 794 35 3.5 2

Oregon

1,708.0 2.5 848 23 1.3 46

Pennsylvania

5,665.9 0.3 918 16 2.8 5

Rhode Island

465.5 1.0 880 19 2.3 16

South Carolina

1,864.9 1.8 747 44 1.5 41

South Dakota

417.0 1.0 689 50 1.8 30

Tennessee

2,709.3 1.5 820 30 0.5 49

Texas

11,078.8 2.7 944 13 2.4 10

Utah

1,259.7 2.8 783 37 2.2 17

Vermont

303.1 0.3 808 31 2.7 6

Virginia

3,685.4 0.7 968 11 1.7 32

Washington

3,013.3 2.2 969 10 2.4 10

West Virginia

713.1 -0.1 781 39 0.6 48

Wisconsin

2,768.2 0.6 801 34 3.0 3

Wyoming

290.4 0.4 845 24 0.5 49

Puerto Rico

926.1 -1.1 503 (5) 1.0 (5)

Virgin Islands

38.9 -3.0 706 (5) -13.8 (5)

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(5) Data not included in the national ranking.




Average weekly wages by county in Massachusetts, second quarter 2013

Last Modified Date: January 17, 2014