Southwest Information Office

News Release Information

14-403-DAL

Thursday, March 27, 2014

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Further information:

County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2013


Employment rose in 25 of the 26 largest counties in Texas from September 2012 to September 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2012 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that rates of job growth in three Texas counties ranked in the top 10 nationwide. Fort Bend County’s 6.0-percent job gain led the nation and the Texas counties of Brazos (5.7 percent, 3rd) and Denton (4.9 percent, 8th) also shared in the top 10 ranking. (See table 1.)

Employment nationwide advanced 1.7 percent from September 2012 as 286 of the 334 largest U.S. counties registered increases. As noted, Fort Bend, Texas, recorded the fastest rate of employment growth in the country, up 6.0 percent, while Peoria, Ill., registered the largest decline, down 3.7 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,192,300) in September 2013, followed by Dallas County (1,509,000). Three other counties, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, had employment levels exceeding 600,000. Together, the 26 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013, average weekly wages nationwide increased 1.9 percent to $922. Among large counties in Texas, Gregg County registered the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 4.1 percent, while Brazos recorded the largest decrease, down 1.0 percent. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2013, Harris had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,187 and Cameron had the lowest at $587.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 228 counties in Texas with employment levels below 75,000 in 2012. Among these smaller counties, 89 percent (202) had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2013. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Fourteen of Texas’s 26 large counties recorded wage growth above the 1.9-percent national increase from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013. Gregg County’s 4.1-percent wage increase was the highest in the state and placed 15th in the national ranking. (See table 1.) Four additional Texas counties registered wage growth ranking in the top 50 nationally: Fort Bend (3.6 percent, 29th); Midland (3.5 percent, 31st); and Brazoria and Montgomery (3.4 percent each, tied 37th). In contrast, average weekly wages fell in Brazos and Webb Counties, decreasing 1.0 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Among the 334 largest U.S. counties, 291 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest increase with a gain of 9.9 percent. Dane, Wis., was second with wage growth of 9.3 percent, followed by Collier, Fla. (8.0 percent). Wage decreases were recorded in 40 large counties nationwide; Pinellas, Fla., experienced the largest over-the-year wage loss at 4.3 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Large county average weekly wages Average weekly wages in 5 of the 26 large Texas counties were at least 10 percent above the national average of $922 per week in the third quarter of 2013. Harris County led at $1,187 per week and ranked 20th among the 334 large counties nationwide. Harris was followed by Midland ($1,148, 25th), Dallas ($1,115, 33rd), Collin ($1,070, 43rd), and Travis ($1,028, 53rd). Two additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Fort Bend ($969, 75th), and Williamson ($928, 96th).

Texas had 4 of the 11 lowest-paying large counties in the United States, all located along the border with Mexico. These included Cameron ($587, 333rd), Hidalgo ($595, 332nd), Webb ($636, 330th) and El Paso ($666, 324th). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included Brazos ($711, 314th), Lubbock ($736, 296th), and McLennan ($748, 284th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 101 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $1,868. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,698, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,667), Washington, D.C. ($1,560), and San Francisco, Calif. ($1,549).

Of the largest counties in the United States, 232, or more than two-thirds, reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2013. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C., at $564 per week. Pasco, Fla. ($635), joined the Texas counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Webb among the bottom five. Wages in these five lowest-ranked counties were about one-third or less of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Twenty-six of the 228 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $922. Two of these smaller counties had wages that not only exceeded $1,000 per week, but were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,336), and Shackelford ($1,229). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $373 in the third quarter of 2013. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 33 had wages below the national average. Thirty-eight reported average weekly wages under $600, 78 registered wages from $600 to $699, 58 had wages from $700 to $799, 40 had wages from $800 to $899, and 40 had wages of $900 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest wages were generally concentrated around the metropolitan areas of Austin, Amarillo, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, and Odessa. Lower paying counties were generally located in the agricultural areas of central Texas and the Texas Panhandle, as well as along the Texas-Mexico border.

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 2012 edition of this publication 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.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 Service: 1-800-877-8339.


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 9.3 million employer reports covered 135.0 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 (see Technical Note below) 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 26 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2013 (2)
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (3)
September
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2012-13 (4)
National
ranking by
percent change (5)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (5)
Percent change,
third quarter
2012-13 (4)
National
ranking by
percent change (5)

United States (6)

134,957.5 1.7 -- $922 -- 1.9 --

Texas

11,091.9 2.8 -- 952 12 2.5 15

Bell, Texas

111.1 1.4 174 770 256 2.5 77

Bexar, Texas

773.3 2.6 77 827 197 1.2 208

Brazoria, Texas

96.2 3.2 48 908 116 3.4 37

Brazos, Texas

94.9 5.7 3 711 314 -1.0 318

Cameron, Texas

131.9 1.8 140 587 333 2.3 92

Collin, Texas

330.3 4.8 11 1,070 43 0.8 236

Dallas, Texas

1,509.0 3.2 48 1,115 33 2.8 59

Denton, Texas

195.5 4.9 8 837 187 1.6 172

El Paso, Texas

282.4 1.5 162 666 324 2.0 127

Fort Bend, Texas

157.8 6.0 1 969 75 3.6 29

Galveston, Texas

98.5 2.8 62 805 220 0.2 275

Gregg, Texas

77.1 0.9 225 846 174 4.1 15

Harris, Texas

2,192.3 2.9 60 1,187 20 2.9 51

Hidalgo, Texas

231.7 2.6 77 595 332 2.1 108

Jefferson, Texas

116.9 -2.0 331 921 103 0.9 224

Lubbock, Texas

129.1 2.3 97 736 296 2.6 70

McLennan, Texas

103.3 1.2 194 748 284 1.4 192

Midland, Texas

85.3 4.5 14 1,148 25 3.5 31

Montgomery, Texas

151.4 4.8 11 903 122 3.4 37

Nueces, Texas

159.7 1.8 140 817 199 2.4 87

Potter, Texas

77.3 1.3 187 778 251 1.8 146

Smith, Texas

95.2 2.5 85 784 248 1.6 172

Tarrant, Texas

812.6 3.0 57 912 110 0.6 248

Travis, Texas

637.8 4.1 20 1,028 53 2.4 87

Webb, Texas

92.8 1.9 130 636 330 -0.2 301

Williamson, Texas

139.9 4.3 16 928 96 1.5 181

(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 Texas 3rd quarter 2013 (2)
Area Employment September 2013 Average Weekly Wage (3)

United States (4)

134,957,493 $922

Texas

11,091,882 952

Anderson

18,290 754

Andrews

7,438 1,094

Angelina

36,149 709

Aransas

6,487 658

Archer

2,067 684

Armstrong

408 524

Atascosa

13,145 814

Austin

9,982 846

Bailey

2,557 634

Bandera

3,040 588

Bastrop

15,135 651

Baylor

1,158 602

Bee

10,308 771

Bell

111,073 770

Bexar

773,319 827

Blanco

2,743 784

Borden

222 527

Bosque

3,678 622

Bowie

40,768 689

Brazoria

96,157 908

Brazos

94,855 711

Brewster

3,765 745

Briscoe

314 524

Brooks

2,682 759

Brown

15,062 630

Burleson

4,404 828

Burnet

12,663 703

Caldwell

8,077 671

Calhoun

10,919 1,099

Callahan

2,013 697

Cameron

131,885 587

Camp

4,176 648

Carson

4,341 1,336

Cass

7,269 702

Castro

2,549 614

Chambers

13,037 1,070

Cherokee

14,882 618

Childress

2,383 588

Clay

1,435 604

Cochran

727 686

Coke

684 548

Coleman

2,036 529

Collin

330,301 1,070

Collingsworth

801 671

Colorado

6,971 691

Comal

43,384 693

Comanche

3,684 553

Concho

847 651

Cooke

16,310 859

Coryell

14,440 615

Cottle

430 635

Crane

1,777 1,185

Crockett

1,705 695

Crosby

1,439 614

Culberson

1,163 583

Dallam

4,219 729

Dallas

1,509,027 1,115

Dawson

4,331 863

De Witt

7,329 714

Deaf Smith

7,381 688

Delta

1,468 373

Denton

195,456 837

Dickens

437 592

Dimmit

5,965 893

Donley

1,076 805

Duval

3,713 859

Eastland

7,711 823

Ector

72,124 1,055

Edwards

359 626

El Paso

282,372 666

Ellis

43,254 721

Erath

15,265 598

Falls

3,140 610

Fannin

6,773 696

Fayette

9,054 719

Fisher

883 668

Floyd

1,738 613

Foard

322 535

Fort Bend

157,799 969

Franklin

3,115 631

Freestone

5,790 804

Frio

6,049 849

Gaines

5,945 825

Galveston

98,499 805

Garza

1,953 747

Gillespie

9,550 623

Glasscock

482 574

Goliad

1,427 747

Gonzales

6,874 690

Gray

9,238 842

Grayson

43,448 755

Gregg

77,052 846

Grimes

8,166 837

Guadalupe

31,577 740

Hale

12,101 621

Hall

829 601

Hamilton

2,476 619

Hansford

2,148 862

Hardeman

1,099 613

Hardin

12,508 742

Harris

2,192,332 1,187

Harrison

24,796 934

Hartley

2,158 661

Haskell

1,669 592

Hays

55,549 664

Hemphill

2,340 956

Henderson

16,002 614

Hidalgo

231,715 595

Hill

9,605 675

Hockley

10,504 912

Hood

15,892 810

Hopkins

12,295 688

Houston

6,135 811

Howard

12,765 817

Hudspeth

1,118 1,024

Hunt

28,119 810

Hutchinson

8,762 982

Irion

780 1,020

Jack

3,173 994

Jackson

5,564 753

Jasper

10,418 690

Jeff Davis

954 561

Jefferson

116,915 921

Jim Hogg

2,055 736

Jim Wells

19,857 905

Johnson

43,190 745

Jones

3,851 695

Karnes

4,765 769

Kaufman

27,467 703

Kendall

12,174 772

Kenedy

667 1,033

Kent

282 621

Kerr

16,961 693

Kimble

1,399 597

King

110 1,161

Kinney

793 786

Kleberg

13,655 651

Knox

1,214 793

La Salle

3,362 1,029

Lamar

18,924 734

Lamb

4,268 651

Lampasas

4,480 581

Lavaca

5,770 651

Lee

6,544 846

Leon

5,340 860

Liberty

16,791 757

Limestone

8,514 673

Lipscomb

1,226 761

Live Oak

4,455 743

Llano

4,348 620

Loving

75 1,065

Lubbock

129,064 736

Lynn

1,324 656

Madison

4,663 632

Marion

2,005 555

Martin

1,653 818

Mason

1,090 549

Matagorda

10,066 806

Maverick

16,683 588

McCulloch

3,309 740

McLennan

103,271 748

McMullen

570 913

Medina

8,793 636

Menard

435 464

Midland

85,325 1,148

Milam

5,472 833

Mills

1,368 564

Mitchell

2,322 764

Montague

5,751 745

Montgomery

151,433 903

Moore

10,627 738

Morris

4,839 895

Motley

309 494

Nacogdoches

22,063 634

Navarro

17,006 650

Newton

1,600 579

Nolan

5,880 719

Nueces

159,687 817

Ochiltree

5,191 899

Oldham

910 802

Orange

22,490 898

Palo Pinto

8,525 728

Panola

10,536 861

Parker

30,568 796

Parmer

5,479 722

Pecos

5,753 792

Polk

10,634 657

Potter

77,329 778

Presidio

2,451 755

Rains

1,744 535

Randall

28,565 704

Reagan

1,997 953

Real

660 447

Red River

2,472 562

Reeves

4,144 741

Refugio

2,603 750

Roberts

214 668

Robertson

3,738 784

Rockwall

23,567 697

Runnels

2,886 631

Rusk

14,279 794

Sabine

2,137 634

San Augustine

1,549 620

San Jacinto

2,102 591

San Patricio

18,781 829

San Saba

1,499 522

Schleicher

1,017 784

Scurry

8,375 962

Shackelford

1,594 1,229

Shelby

8,197 639

Sherman

1,065 689

Smith

95,213 784

Somervell

3,999 1,002

Starr

14,655 531

Stephens

3,279 717

Sterling

667 802

Stonewall

530 705

Sutton

2,556 1,176

Swisher

1,901 585

Tarrant

812,634 912

Taylor

59,002 714

Terrell

391 820

Terry

3,754 729

Throckmorton

453 571

Titus

15,173 637

Tom Green

46,134 711

Travis

637,814 1,028

Trinity

2,340 575

Tyler

3,847 611

Upshur

6,861 673

Upton

1,698 984

Uvalde

9,774 595

Val Verde

16,643 655

Van Zandt

9,952 607

Victoria

40,781 823

Walker

23,725 670

Waller

16,039 817

Ward

4,559 1,014

Washington

15,186 685

Webb

92,756 636

Wharton

15,465 682

Wheeler

2,926 707

Wichita

52,510 698

Wilbarger

6,478 673

Willacy

3,827 665

Williamson

139,873 928

Wilson

7,093 636

Winkler

2,825 1,083

Wise

21,823 894

Wood

9,202 632

Yoakum

4,221 994

Young

6,847 735

Zapata

4,857 981

Zavala

2,457 503

(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, third quarter 2013 (2)
State Employment Average weekly wage (3)
September
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2012-13
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
third quarter
2012-13
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (4)

134,957.5 1.7 $922 -- 1.9 --

Alabama

1,847.6 0.8 794 34 1.3 43

Alaska

345.0 0.4 990 9 3.0 7

Arizona

2,490.9 2.2 859 22 1.5 36

Arkansas

1,156.5 0.1 723 47 2.1 21

California

15,526.4 2.7 1,057 6 2.1 21

Colorado

2,355.7 3.1 952 12 1.7 31

Connecticut

1,650.3 0.7 1,109 3 1.9 28

Delaware

416.8 2.1 941 14 2.1 21

District of Columbia

726.2 1.5 1,560 1 3.0 7

Florida

7,501.8 2.6 808 31 1.1 46

Georgia

3,928.2 2.3 867 21 1.5 36

Hawaii

617.7 1.7 839 25 1.6 33

Idaho

644.7 2.3 703 50 2.3 19

Illinois

5,731.7 0.7 959 11 1.5 36

Indiana

2,883.6 1.2 784 38 1.6 33

Iowa

1,512.0 1.5 772 40 2.1 21

Kansas

1,347.6 1.8 776 39 2.0 26

Kentucky

1,794.5 1.0 760 43 1.1 46

Louisiana

1,893.4 1.4 827 28 2.9 10

Maine

601.5 0.7 735 46 1.8 30

Maryland

2,546.4 0.6 1,011 8 0.4 51

Massachusetts

3,318.3 1.2 1,131 2 2.6 11

Michigan

4,069.7 2.1 875 20 1.5 36

Minnesota

2,724.2 1.7 938 15 2.6 11

Mississippi

1,099.1 0.8 688 51 2.5 15

Missouri

2,661.0 1.3 805 32 1.4 40

Montana

446.7 1.2 705 49 2.3 19

Nebraska

937.5 1.3 766 41 3.4 3

Nevada

1,169.4 2.5 836 27 2.0 26

New Hampshire

624.5 0.6 895 18 2.4 17

New Jersey

3,851.9 1.2 1,068 5 1.3 43

New Mexico

793.7 0.5 766 41 0.7 49

New York

8,724.8 1.3 1,108 4 1.7 31

North Carolina

4,006.4 1.7 817 30 1.4 40

North Dakota

436.7 3.4 921 16 5.5 1

Ohio

5,147.5 1.4 837 26 1.2 45

Oklahoma

1,572.6 1.4 797 33 2.4 17

Oregon

1,709.8 2.4 856 23 2.6 11

Pennsylvania

5,622.4 0.3 913 17 1.6 33

Rhode Island

465.2 1.3 878 19 2.6 11

South Carolina

1,859.3 2.3 751 44 1.9 28

South Dakota

408.9 0.9 706 48 3.4 3

Tennessee

2,712.8 1.5 819 29 0.6 50

Texas

11,091.9 2.8 952 12 2.5 15

Utah

1,265.5 2.9 791 36 3.1 6

Vermont

302.5 0.0 788 37 3.4 3

Virginia

3,650.1 0.6 971 10 1.1 46

Washington

3,017.9 2.4 1,044 7 2.1 21

West Virginia

710.3 -0.7 751 44 3.7 2

Wisconsin

2,752.7 1.1 793 35 3.0 7

Wyoming

286.1 0.2 840 24 1.4 40

Puerto Rico

910.9 -2.5 501 (5) -0.6 (5)

Virgin Islands

37.9 -1.9 706 (5) -0.6 (5)
(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 Texas, third quarter 2013