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Thursday, October 29, 2015
Honolulu Average Weekly Wages Below US Average
By News Release @ 1:56 AM :: 5035 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Labor

County Employment and Wages in Hawaii – First Quarter 2015

News Release from US BLS, October 28, 2015

Hawaii’s only large county, Honolulu, reported an employment increase of 1.1 percent from March 2014 to March 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2014 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the rate of employment growth in Honolulu County was below the national increase of 2.1 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased in 323 of the 342 largest U.S. counties from March 2014 to March 2015. Utah County, Utah, had the largest percentage increase in employment at 6.7 percent. Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.3 percent.

Employment in Honolulu County stood at 461,900 in March 2015, accounting for 72.9 percent of total employment in Hawaii. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.3 percent of total U.S. employment which stood at 137.4 million in March 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the three counties in Hawaii with employment below 75,000. All three of these smaller counties had average weekly wages at least $250 below the national average. (See table 2 and chart 1.)

Large county wage changes

From the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, the average weekly wage in Honolulu County advanced 2.8 percent, above the national increase (2.1 percent), Honolulu’s percentage change in average weekly wages ranked 81st among the largest 342 U.S. counties. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 297 of the 342 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (11.7 percent). Washington, Pa., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by the counties of Riverside, Calif. (10.1 percent); Lake, Ill. (9.2 percent); and Orange, Calif. (9.1 percent).

Of the 342 largest U.S. counties, 39 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Snohomish, Wash., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 4.8 percent. Chester, Pa., had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-4.0 percent), followed by Williamson, Texas (-3.1 percent); Saginaw, Mich. (-2.4 percent); and Palm Beach, Fla. (-2.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Honolulu County had average weekly wages of $918 ranked near the middle (172nd) of the national ranking among the 342 largest counties. Nationally, the average weekly wage was $1,048 in the first quarter of 2015.

Nationwide, 93 large counties registered average weekly wage above the U.S. average in the first quarter of 2015. New York, N.Y., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,847, followed by Santa Clara, Calif., at $2,203. Rounding out the top five were Somerset, N.J. ($2,080); San Francisco, Calif. ($2,070); and San Mateo, Calif. ($2,066).

Seventy-three percent of the largest U.S. counties (248) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($583), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo ($593 and $607), Lake, Fla. ($649); and Yakima, Wash. ($658).

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

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2014 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 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

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