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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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County Employment and Wages in Virginia – First Quarter 2013

Average Wage Increase in Newport News City Ranks Twelfth in the Nation

Nine of the 12 largest counties in Virginia registered employment increases 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.) Loudoun and Prince William Counties had the fastest employment increases at 2.9 percent each, followed by Chesterfield County at 2.6 percent. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Loudoun’s and Prince Williams’ advances were tied for 51st among the nation’s 334 largest counties. Arlington County and Norfolk and Richmond cities recorded the only employment declines among Virginia’s large counties.

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 12 largest counties in Virginia, employment was highest in Fairfax County (586,200) in March 2013. No other county in the Commonwealth had employment above 200,000. Together, Virginia’s large counties accounted for 56.5 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 Newport News City, Va., rose 3.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, the fastest increase among Virginia’s 12 largest counties, ranking 12th nationwide. Loudoun County had the second-highest rate of wage growth at 2.4 percent, followed by Chesapeake City at 1.9 percent. Arlington County had the highest average weekly wage among the largest counties in the Commonwealth at $1,621, followed by Fairfax County ($1,565) and Alexandria City ($1,296). (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 122 counties in Virginia with employment below 75,000. All but 6 (Goochland, King George, Surry, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Fairfax City) of these 122 counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

From the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, 9 of the 12 large counties in Virginia recorded wage increases. Seven of these counties, led by Newport News City (3.6 percent) and Loudon County (2.4 percent), recorded wage gains greater than the national increase of 0.6 percent. The remaining three counties recorded decreases in average weekly wages ranging from 0.7 to 0.3 percent.

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

Arlington County had the eighth highest average weekly wage among the 334 large U.S. counties. Five other large counties in Virginia—Fairfax, Alexandria City, Loudoun, Richmond City, and Henrico—also had average wages greater than $1,000, placing them in the top quarter of all large counties. These six counties were the only large counties in Virginia to record wages above the national average.

In Chesapeake City and Virginia Beach City, average weekly wages placed in the bottom fifth of the national ranking at 280th and 292nd, respectively.

Average weekly wages in Virginia’s smaller counties

All but 6 of the 122 counties in Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $989. Mathews County reported the lowest wage level at $468. The highest wage among Virginia’s 122 small counties was Goochland County’s $1,778, followed by King George County’s $1,446 and Surry County’s $1,362. (See table 2.)

When all 134 counties in Virginia were considered, 122 had wages below the national average of $989. Three reported average weekly wages below $500, 71 reported wages from $501 to $700, 39 had wages from $701 to $900, 11 had wages from $901 to $1,100, and 10 had wages above $1,101. Of the 12 counties with above-average wages, 7 were concentrated in the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. and 3 were located in the Richmond 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, which is now available, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well data through the first quarter 2013 version of the national news release and the 2012 annual averages. Tables and additional content from the Employment and Wages Annual 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; TDD message referral phone number: 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 12 largest counties in Virginia, 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 --

Virginia

3,616.8 0.9 -- 1,027 11 0.8 23

Alexandria City, Va.

95.4 1.4 164 1,296 25 0.7 168

Arlington, Va.

164.7 -1.6 327 1,621 8 -0.3 254

Chesapeake City, Va.

94.7 0.4 250 764 280 1.9 57

Chesterfield, Va.

119.1 2.6 74 860 184 1.4 99

Fairfax, Va.

586.2 0.9 199 1,565 11 0.4 192

Henrico, Va.

178.9 1.6 150 1,039 76 1 133

Loudoun, Va.

143.7 2.9 51 1,198 39 2.4 39

Newport News City, Va.

96.6 0.9 199 962 121 3.6 12

Norfolk City, Va.

135.8 -1.1 320 936 136 1.5 90

Prince William, Va.

115.1 2.9 51 831 217 -0.4 259

Richmond City, Va.

146.8 -0.5 305 1,111 54 -0.7 283

Virginia Beach City, Va.

165.8 1.7 142 755 292 0.3 200

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 Virginia, first quarter 2013(2)
Area Employment March 2012 Average weekly wage (3)

United States (4)

130,175,438 $984

Virginia

3,586,331 1019

Accomack

12,201 622

Albemarle

48,609 948

Alleghany

4,295 687

Amelia

2,365 598

Amherst

8,970 620

Appomattox

3,028 512

Arlington

164,853 1,617

Augusta

24,619 734

Bath

2,135 600

Bedford

15,406 636

Bland

1,940 784

Botetourt

9,469 695

Brunswick

4,061 556

Buchanan

8,548 914

Buckingham

3,259 629

Campbell

15,665 800

Caroline

5,248 659

Carroll

6,014 510

Charles City

1,476 685

Charlotte

2,603 532

Chesterfield

115,090 857

Clarke

3,624 759

Craig

620 538

Culpeper

14,888 704

Cumberland

1,253 541

Dickenson

3,632 764

Dinwiddie

7,869 775

Essex

4,046 567

Fairfax County

585,131 1,562

Fauquier

21,065 830

Floyd

2,874 503

Fluvanna

4,129 647

Franklin

13,312 571

Frederick

25,055 749

Giles

4,825 764

Gloucester

9,398 561

Goochland

11,460 1,767

Grayson

2,240 503

Greene

3,514 665

Greensville

4,404 599

Halifax

12,269 611

Hanover

44,690 735

Henrico

175,440 1031

Henry

12,875 592

Highland

523 475

Isle of Wight

9,808 637

James City

26,260 677

King and Queen

919 722

King George

9,971 1,401

King William

3,384 740

Lancaster

4,532 615

Lee

5,164 624

Loudoun

137,622 1,161

Louisa

8,612 955

Lunenburg

2,521 548

Madison

2,947 610

Mathews

1,497 484

Mecklenburg

12,348 560

Middlesex

3,105 559

Montgomery

39,877 720

Nelson

3,791 512

New Kent

3,677 632

Northampton

4,421 614

Northumberland

2,316 559

Nottoway

5,246 589

Orange

8,412 628

Page

5,108 527

Patrick

4,941 486

Pittsylvania

11,807 550

Powhatan

6,916 845

Prince Edward

8,776 585

Prince George

14,103 920

Prince William

110,821 831

Pulaski

12,467 669

Rappahannock

1,385 912

Richmond County

2,684 678

Roanoke County

34,738 702

Rockbridge

5,875 560

Rockingham

27,792 723

Russell

6,817 663

Scott

4,829 598

Shenandoah

13,155 581

Smyth

11,493 606

Southampton

3,732 595

Spotsylvania

30,249 691

Stafford

37,989 911

Surry

2,176 1,396

Sussex

3,489 631

Tazewell

16,601 610

Warren

11,491 636

Washington

19,901 766

Westmoreland

3,301 536

Wise

14,661 724

Wythe

11,467 575

York

20,393 641

Alexandria City

94,341 1,286

Bedford City

3,174 646

Bristol City

12,218 617

Buena Vista City

2,134 539

Charlottesville City

35,098 853

Chesapeake City

95,028 757

Colonial Heights City

10,793 547

Covington City

3,775 970

Danville City

26,342 634

Emporia City

3,826 500

Fairfax City

19,505 1,091

Falls Church City

10,889 1,140

Franklin City

4,346 591

Fredericksburg City

24,883 748

Galax City

6,041 563

Hampton City

54,291 819

Harrisonburg City

31,434 675

Hopewell City

7,907 914

Lexington City

5,056 697

Lynchburg City

50,292 799

Manassas City

24,142 1,087

Manassas Park City

2,801 798

Martinsville City

10,969 566

Newport News City

96,758 926

Norfolk City

137,922 927

Norton City

4,162 790

Petersburg City

13,883 720

Poquoson City

1,768 544

Portsmouth City

44,163 922

Radford City

6,194 816

Richmond City

148,371 1,113

Roanoke City

65,925 796

Salem City

22,509 888

Staunton City

11,407 575

Suffolk City

26,059 838

Virginia Beach City

161,218 745

Waynesboro City

9,495 664

Williamsburg City

13,123 667

Winchester City

25,432 785

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, 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 Virginia, first quarter 2013

Last Modified Date: November 5, 2013

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