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EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 8:30 A.M. ET, Monday, December 21, 2009
BEA 09-56
County Compensation by Industry, 2008

Compensation grew in over 80 percent of the 3,112 counties in the U.S., as the average annual compensation per job in the U.S. grew by 2.6 percent to $56,116, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Total compensation of U.S. workers grew 2.3 percent in 2008, as net job losses partially offset compensation growth. Inflation measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures, grew 3.3 percent.

Map of US county compensation

Large counties, those with at least $10 billion in total compensation, represent 5.4 percent of the 3,112 counties in the U.S., but account for almost two-thirds (65.9 percent) of total national compensation. In these 168 counties, all metropolitan:

  • Total compensation grew by 1.9 percent in 2008, ranging from -5.9 percent in Lee County, Florida to 16.8 percent in St. Louis City, Missouri
  • Average annual compensation per job grew by 2.3 percent in 2008, ranging from $42,730 in El Paso County, Texas to $117,509 in New York County (Manhattan), New York
  • The mining sector had the largest rate of growth for total compensation in 2008 at 14.1 percent, while the real estate and rental and leasing sector had the largest rate of contraction at -2.3 percent
  • The professional, scientific, and technical services sector represented the largest share of 2008 total compensation at 10.7 percent

Medium sized counties, those with total compensation of at least $1 billion and less than $10 billion, represent 21.8 percent of all U.S. counties, and account for 25.8 percent of total national compensation. In these 679 counties:

  • Total compensation grew by 2.9 percent in 2008, ranging from -10.2 percent in Howard County, Indiana to 17.6 percent in Lea County, New Mexico
  • Average annual compensation per job grew by 3.1 percent in 2008, ranging from $32,827 in Sevier County, Tennessee to $98,417 in North Slope Borough, Alaska
  • The mining sector had the largest rate of growth for total compensation in 2008 at 15.1 percent, while the real estate and rental and leasing sector had the largest rate of contraction at -1.1 percent
  • The health care and social assistance sector represented the largest share of 2008 total compensation at 11.7 percent

Small counties, those with total compensation of less than $1 billion, represent the remaining 72.8 percent of all U.S. counties, but account for only 8.3 percent of total national compensation. In these 2,265 counties:

  • Total compensation grew by 3.1 percent in 2008, ranging from -22.6 percent in Jenkins County, Georgia to 94.2 percent in Trimble County, Kentucky
  • Average annual compensation per job grew by 3.7 percent in 2008, ranging from $27,285 in Petroleum County, Montana to $91,585 in Eureka County, Nevada
  • The mining sector had the largest rate of growth for total compensation in 2008 at 14.9 percent, while durable manufacturing sector had the largest rate of contraction at -2.0 percent
  • The local government sector represented the largest share of 2008 total compensation at 16.5 percent

The compensation by industry statistics cover 28 industries for 3,112 counties. The 2006-2007 statistics have been revised to incorporate newly available source data, while the 2008 statistics are released for the first time.

In addition to the county statistics, BEA is releasing compensation by industry for metropolitan areas, metropolitan divisions, micropolitan areas, combined statistical areas, and BEA economic areas. Table CA06, Compensation of Employees by Industry, for all areas for 1998-2008 can be accessed interactively at www.bea.gov/regional/reis.

Tables presenting the comprehensive measure of personal income for local areas-including CA05, Personal Income by Major Source and Earnings by Industry-will be released April 22, 2010.

 ╣Beginning with 2008 statistics, two new county equivalents were created for Alaska: Hoonah-Angoon Census Area (02-105) and Skagway Municipality (02-230). These county equivalents take the place of the former Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area (02-232).

 ▓The level of industry detail in these county estimates of compensation was reduced from a NAICS subsector level (3-digit codes) to a NAICS sector level (2-digit codes) beginning with 2008 statistics. See Programmatic Impacts of BEA's FY2008 Appropriations on the Regional Economic Accounts Directorate for more information.

Definitions

Compensation is the income received by employees as remuneration for their work. Compensation is the sum of wage and salary disbursements and supplements to wages and salaries. Supplements to wages and salaries consist of employer contributions for government social insurance and employer contributions for employee pension and insurance funds. Compensation is reported by place of work.

Average compensation per job is compensation of employees received, divided by total full-time and part-time wage and salary employment.

The metropolitan area definitions used by BEA for its entire series of personal income statistics are the county-based definitions developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for federal statistical purposes and last updated in November 2008. OMB's general concept of a metropolitan area is that of a geographic area consisting of a large population nucleus together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with the nucleus. Detailed personal income statistics for metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and combined statistical areas are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov.

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Last updated: Monday, December 21, 2009