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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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County Employment and Wages in Pennsylvania – First Quarter 2013

Most Large Counties Record Gains in Employment and Wages

Employment rose in 13 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania from March 2012 to March 2013, 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 2012 annual average employment.) Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Cumberland County’s 1.1-percent rate of employment gain was the fastest in Pennsylvania and was ranked 186th among the 334 largest counties nationwide. Northampton County followed with an increase of 0.9 percent, ranking 199th among the nation’s large counties. Erie County recorded the largest employment decline among Pennsylvania’s large counties, down 1.3 percent. Four other counties posted lower employment levels over the year, while employment in Bucks County was unchanged.

Nationally, employment grew 1.6 percent during this 12-month period, as 282 of the 334 large counties nationwide gained jobs. Fort Bend, Tex., experienced the largest percentage increase in employment, up 7.0 percent over the year. Sangamon, Ill., had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 2.4 percent.

Among the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, employment was highest in Allegheny County (678,000), which contains the city of Pittsburgh, in March 2013. One other county, Philadelphia, had employment above 600,000. Together, Pennsylvania’s large counties accounted for 76.6 percent of total employment within the Commonwealth. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.6 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Dauphin County rose 2.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013—the fastest wage increase among Pennsylvania’s largest counties and 31st among large counties nationwide. Butler and Cumberland Counties also recorded over-the-year wage gains above 2.0 percent and ranked in the top 50 for wage growth nationwide. Montgomery County had the highest average weekly wage among the 19 largest counties in the Commonwealth at $1,290, followed by the counties of Chester ($1,240) and Philadelphia ($1,158). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 0.6 percent over the year to $989 in the first quarter of 2013.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000. Forty-six of these smaller counties had weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Ten of Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties recorded over-the-year wage increases larger than the national advance of 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Wage growth in 7 of these counties ranked in the top 25 percent among the 334 large counties nationwide.

Of the 334 largest counties nationwide, 232 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., led the nation in average weekly wage growth with an increase of 14.8 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Benton, Ark., was second with a gain of 14.3 percent, followed by McLean, Ill., at 11.8 percent.

Nationwide, 92 large counties recorded decreases in average weekly wages over the year. Williamson, Texas, had the largest decrease in wages with a decline of 13.4 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Middlesex, N.J., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages (-5.8 percent), followed by Peoria, Ill. (-5.5 percent); Washington, Ore. (-3.5 percent); and Santa Cruz, Calif. (-3.4 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

The average weekly wage in one of Pennsylvania’s large counties, Montgomery, ranked 26th in the nation; Chester and Philadelphia also ranked in the top 50 nationwide. In addition to these three counties, Allegheny, Delaware, and Washington Counties also had wages above the U.S. average of $989.

In five other large counties in the Commonwealth, the average weekly wages placed in the bottom fourth of the national ranking. All of these wages were more than 20.0 percent below the national average for the first quarter of 2013.

Average weekly wages in Pennsylvania’s smaller counties

Forty-six of the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $989. The exceptions were Montour ($1,175) and Greene ($1,101). Perry reported the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties as well as the Commonwealth as a whole, averaging $568 in the first quarter of 2013. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Pennsylvania were considered, 58 had wages below the national average of $989. Twenty-five reported wages below $700, 31 had wages from $701 to $900, 6 had wages from $901 to $1,100, and 5 had wages above $1,100. (See chart 1.) Four of the eight counties that recorded above-average wages are concentrated in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and two are located in the Pittsburgh area.

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/.

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2012 edition of this publication is now available and 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 national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.

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

Updated MSA Definitions

New Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) definitions, and those for other types of Core Based Statistical reas (CBSA), were announced in March 2013. The QCEW program will be using those definitions for tabulating data referencing 2013 and future years effective with the release of the first quarter 2013 data. Prior year data will not be re-tabulated to the new definitions. For more information regarding the new area definitions, see www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg_statpolicy#ms.

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 132.3 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 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2013(2)
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage(3)
March 2013 (thousands) Percent change, March 2012-13(4) National ranking by percent change(5) Average weekly wage National ranking by level(5) Percent change, first quarter 2012-13(4) National ranking by percent change(5)

United States(6)

132,338.9 1.6 -- $989 -- 0.6 --

Pennsylvania

5,543.3 0.1 -- 968 16 0.9 21

Allegheny, Pa.

678.0 0.5 243 1,080 61 1.9 57

Berks, Pa.

163.5 0.6 232 835 210 0.2 210

Bucks, Pa.

245.2 0.0 283 906 155 1.3 108

Butler, Pa.

83.2 -0.7 311 894 161 2.3 42

Chester, Pa.

236.6 0.5 243 1,240 34 -1.4 308

Cumberland, Pa.

123.3 1.1 186 894 161 2.1 47

Dauphin, Pa.

175.0 0.2 269 989 97 2.6 31

Delaware, Pa.

209.0 0.7 225 1,057 68 -1.2 304

Erie, Pa.

122.1 -1.3 323 758 290 1.6 78

Lackawanna, Pa.

96.3 0.1 273 721 310 0.3 200

Lancaster, Pa.

217.5 0.4 250 787 260 1.7 71

Lehigh, Pa.

175.3 0.7 225 944 134 -0.4 259

Luzerne, Pa.

137.4 -0.4 299 746 300 0.5 179

Montgomery, Pa.

464.6 0.4 250 1,290 26 -0.5 269

Northampton, Pa.

103.1 0.9 199 844 200 1.6 78

Philadelphia, Pa.

634.0 0.7 225 1,158 49 0.8 154

Washington, Pa.

84.3 0.1 273 991 96 0.3 200

Westmoreland, Pa.

130.4 -1.0 317 760 286 0.1 216

York, Pa.

168.9 -0.7 311 838 205 1.3 108

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 of the counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2013(2)
Area Employment March 2013 Average weekly wage (3)

United States (4)

132,338,943 $989

Pennsylvania

5,543,282 968

Adams

33,309 698

Allegheny

677,962 1,080

Armstrong

17,789 727

Beaver

53,642 792

Bedford

14,988 625

Berks

163,478 835

Blair

58,090 685

Bradford

23,861 795

Bucks

245,158 906

Butler

83,211 894

Cambria

54,580 675

Cameron

2,003 705

Carbon

16,864 606

Centre

64,692 820

Chester

236,558 1,240

Clarion

13,376 624

Clearfield

30,180 672

Clinton

13,237 722

Columbia

24,178 641

Crawford

30,432 660

Cumberland

123,255 894

Dauphin

174,993 989

Delaware

209,036 1,057

Elk

14,692 720

Erie

122,079 758

Fayette

39,660 655

Forest

2,023 803

Franklin

56,753 705

Fulton

4,668 726

Greene

15,128 1,101

Huntingdon

12,362 663

Indiana

32,688 796

Jefferson

15,019 682

Juniata

6,062 605

Lackawanna

96,344 721

Lancaster

217,455 787

Lawrence

28,681 692

Lebanon

48,204 701

Lehigh

175,254 944

Luzerne

137,418 $746

Lycoming

52,218 757

Mc Kean

15,563 778

Mercer

47,323 714

Mifflin

15,420 645

Monroe

53,732 778

Montgomery

464,586 1,290

Montour

17,710 1,175

Northampton

103,058 844

Northumberland

26,961 680

Perry

7,525 568

Philadelphia

634,035 1,158

Pike

9,838 599

Potter

5,145 738

Schuylkill

49,328 689

Snyder

14,828 586

Somerset

24,278 669

Sullivan

1,656 591

Susquehanna

9,729 729

Tioga

13,511 708

Union

16,207 722

Venango

19,353 685

Warren

14,805 684

Washington

84,323 991

Wayne

13,748 665

Westmoreland

130,437 760

Wyoming

9,665 854

York

168,933 838

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. Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.

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

United States(4)

132,338.9 1.6 $989 -- 0.6 --

Alabama

1,840.4 1.0 812 36 0.5 35

Alaska

317.9 0.5 988 15 1.5 12

Arizona

2,494.6 2.2 891 21 0.6 30

Arkansas

1,151.1 0.0 765 47 2.4 2

California

15,168.9 3.0 1,116 6 -0.2 45

Colorado

2,298.0 3.0 1,004 13 0.1 41

Connecticut

1,618.4 0.4 1,319 3 -0.5 49

Delaware

403.7 1.4 1,070 7 -0.2 45

District of Columbia

717.6 1.0 1,613 1 0.5 35

Florida

7,540.7 2.2 843 30 0.7 28

Georgia

3,878.7 1.8 940 18 1.0 20

Hawaii

616.3 2.4 842 31 1.2 14

Idaho

613.4 3.0 695 51 0.6 30

Illinois

5,601.4 0.7 1,058 9 -0.2 45

Indiana

2,808.1 1.1 832 34 1.2 14

Iowa

1,463.2 1.0 799 39 1.8 6

Kansas

1,322.0 0.7 807 37 0.4 37

Kentucky

1,765.2 0.9 791 40 0.8 23

Louisiana

1,885.8 1.0 847 28 1.3 13

Maine

561.6 0.0 771 45 1.8 6

Maryland

2,509.0 0.8 1,066 8 -0.6 50

Massachusetts

3,218.5 1.0 1,236 4 0.7 28

Michigan

3,950.7 2.1 922 20 0.3 39

Minnesota

2,632.9 1.9 1,002 14 1.2 14

Mississippi

1,088.9 0.4 696 50 1.2 14

Missouri

2,610.3 0.7 842 31 0.6 30

Montana

427.4 1.9 707 49 0.1 41

Nebraska

914.9 1.0 777 43 1.7 9

Nevada

1,144.1 2.3 844 29 -0.2 45

New Hampshire

606.0 0.7 938 19 1.6 11

New Jersey

3,780.4 1.1 1,234 5 0.6 30

New Mexico

784.7 0.6 778 42 -0.6 50

New York

8,565.7 1.0 1,362 2 0.4 37

North Carolina

3,934.4 1.6 884 23 1.7 9

North Dakota

415.0 4.4 885 22 3.1 1

Ohio

5,004.8 0.7 884 23 1.1 19

Oklahoma

1,551.3 1.2 823 35 2.4 2

Oregon

1,644.4 1.9 864 25 0.0 43

Pennsylvania

5,543.3 0.1 968 16 0.9 21

Rhode Island

445.3 0.8 954 17 2.4 2

South Carolina

1,823.7 1.4 773 44 1.2 14

South Dakota

394.3 1.0 709 48 0.9 21

Tennessee

2,675.0 1.5 854 27 0.8 23

Texas

10,928.5 3.0 1,015 12 0.3 39

Utah

1,233.4 3.3 804 38 0.6 30

Vermont

299.3 0.7 791 40 2.3 5

Virginia

3,616.8 0.9 1,027 11 0.8 23

Washington

2,890.8 2.3 1,028 10 1.8 6

West Virginia

701.0 -0.7 767 46 -0.1 44

Wisconsin

2,664.9 0.9 833 33 0.8 23

Wyoming

272.2 0.1 859 26 0.8 23

Puerto Rico

931.3 0.0 515 (5) -1.2 (5)

Virgin Islands

39.8 -6.7 726 (5) 0.4 (5)

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. These 328 U.S. counties comprise 71.1 percent of the total workers in the U.S.
(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.

Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2013

Last Modified Date: November 5, 2013

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