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EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 8:30 A.M. ET, Tuesday, December 21, 2010
BEA 10-61
County Compensation by Industry, 2009

Compensation declined in two-thirds of the 3,113 counties in the U.S. in 2009, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Total compensation of U.S. workers contracted 3.2 percent in 2009, as a decline in employment more than offset the increase in average annual compensation per job, which grew 1.2 percent to $56,962. Inflation measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures, grew 0.2 percent.

Map of US county compensation

Regional Highlights

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Great Lakes

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Southeast

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Compensation in large counties

Counties with at least $10 billion in total compensation represent 5 percent of the 3,113 counties in the U.S., but account for almost two-thirds (65 percent) of total national compensation. In these 167 large counties:

  • Total compensation contracted by 3.7 percent in 2009, ranging from -15.9 percent in St. Louis City, Missouri to 5.3 percent in Arlington County, Virginia
  • Declines in finance and insurance, construction, and durable-goods manufacturing were the largest contributors to the contraction in 2009 total compensation
  • The professional, scientific, and technical services sector represented the largest share of 2009 total compensation at 10.7 percent
  • Average annual compensation per job grew by 0.8 percent in 2009, ranging from $44,750 in El Paso County, Texas to $109,028 in New York County (Manhattan), New York

Compensation in medium counties

Counties with total compensation of at least $1 billion and less than $10 billion represent 22 percent of all U.S. counties, and account for 26 percent of total national compensation. In these 672 medium counties:

  • Total compensation contracted by 2.2 percent in 2009, ranging from -15.1 percent in Elkhart County, Indiana to 11.4 percent in Onslow County, North Carolina
  • Declines in durable-goods manufacturing and construction were the largest contributors to the contraction in 2009 total compensation
  • The health care and social assistance sector represented the largest share of 2009 total compensation at 12.5 percent
  • Average annual compensation per job grew by 2.0 percent in 2009, ranging from $33,080 in Sevier County, Tennessee to $101,531 in North Slope Borough, Alaska

Compensation in small counties

Counties with total compensation of less than $1 billion represent the remaining 73 percent of all U.S. counties, but account for only 9 percent of total national compensation. In these 2,274 small counties:

  • Total compensation contracted by 2.3 percent in 2009, ranging from -43.8 percent in Slope County, North Dakota to 106.8 percent in Trimble County, Kentucky
  • Declines in durable-goods manufacturing and construction were the largest contributors to the contraction in 2009 total compensation
  • The local government sector represented the largest share of 2009 total compensation at 17.2 percent
  • Average annual compensation per job grew by 2.0 percent in 2009, ranging from $28,661 in Zavala County, Texas to $97,433 in Eureka County, Nevada

 ╣Beginning with 2009 statistics, new county equivalents were created for Alaska: Petersburg Census Area (02-195) and Wrangell City and Borough (02-275) take the place of the former Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area (02-280). Part of Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area (02-201) was annexed by Ketchikan Gateway Borough (02-130) and part (Meyers Chuck Area) was included in the new Wrangell City and Borough. The remainder of Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area was renamed Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (02-198).

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. The level of personal income in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) differs from the national total in the state personal income statistics because of differences in coverage and the timing of the availability of source data. See Personal Income in the NIPAs and State Personal Income for more information.

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 2009. 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.

Technical notes

The 2007-2008 statistics have been revised to incorporate newly available source data, while the 2009 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 1998-2009 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 21, 2011.

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

By visiting BEA's Web site, you can also subscribe to e-mail notifications of BEA's various news releases and announcements.

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