The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Q2 figures were released this week. Regional employment and wage growth were impressive, though not always equally distributed among the three counties. While the number of establishments in the region also grew, Pierce and Snohomish counties posted larger gains than King County in this respect.
Notable highlights for our
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 51,358 year-over-year from 1,988,165 in Q2 2018 to 2,039,523 in Q2 2019.
That amounts to the 7th largest nominal gain among all MSAs and puts Greater Seattle ahead of notable metros such as San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and Austin (these are some of the peer cities featured in GSP’s Regional Dashboard).
On a percentage basis, our 2.6% year-over-year growth in covered employment also registered as the 8th highest among large metros (those representing over 1 million population) behind Austin, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Atlanta.
In the same time period, average weekly wages grew from $1,438 to $1,527. Expressed on an average annual-wage basis that means an improvement from $74,776 to $79,404.
The $89 nominal increase in weekly wages ranks Greater Seattle 2nd among large metros behind San Francisco.
On a percentage basis, the 6.2% increase in average wages was also only 2nd to San Francisco’s (which registered an 8.4% increase) among large metros.
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 40,969 year-over-year from 1,389,726 in Q2 2018 to 1,430,694 in Q2 2019.
In nominal terms, King County ranks 4th among all US counties for employment growth. On a percentage basis, employment in King County grew 3.0%.
Average weekly wages rose $107 in King County from $1,602 to $1,709 (or from $83,304 to $88,868 expressed on an average annual-wage basis). This ranks as the 2nd highest nominal wage increases for counties over 500,000 in population, behind only San Francisco County.
The 6.7% increase in average wages year-over-year ranked 2nd for counties over 500,000 in population behind only San Francisco County’s 16.7%. Total establishment count grew by only 91 year-over-year in King County.
The 0.10% growth in establishment count ranks almost last among large counties, with areas such as Maricopa County, Arizona, adding 7,850 establishments over the last year (equating to a rate of 8.0%).
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 5,516 year-over-year from 310,965 to 316,481. On a percentage basis, this translates into a 1.8% increase in employment.
Average weekly wages in Q2 rose $50 in Pierce County from the year prior, equating to an annual wage increase of $2,600 from $50,856 to $53,456. On a percentage basis this represents a 5.1% annual increase.
Establishment count grew by 509 from 22,825 to 23,334, representing a growth rate of 2.2%.
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 4,873 year-over-year from 287,475 to 292,348. On a percentage basis, that represents a 1.7% increase in employment.
Average weekly wages in Q2 rose $41 in Pierce County from the year prior, equating to an annual wage increase of $2,132 from $59,176 to $61,308.
On a percentage basis, that translates into a 3.6% annual increase. Establishment count in Snohomish County grew by 125 from 21,679 to 21,804, representing a growth rate of 0.6%.