Benton County, Ark., home of the world’s largest retailer and one of the largest global shipping and logistics companies, ranked 33 among the nation’s 343 largest U.S. counties in terms of average weekly wages. Only three Arkansas counties are in the group of 343.
Average weekly wages in Benton County were $1,631 in the first quarter of 2021, up 8.2% compared with the 2020 quarter, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics posted Wednesday (Aug. 18). The county had an estimated 7,300 business establishments, the BLS reported. The county is home to Bentonville-based Walmart Inc. and Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services.
Pulaski County was 237 on the list with average weekly wages of $1,060 during the quarter, up 2.9% compared with the same quarter in 2020. The county, home to the state’s government, had an estimated 14,700 businesses.
Washington County ranked 289 with average weekly wages of $913 in the quarter, up 1.6% compared with the same quarter in 2020. The county had an estimated 6,500 businesses.
Average weekly wages in Arkansas during the quarter was $957, up 3.7% compared with the 2020 quarter.
From March 2020 to March 2021, employment decreased in 324 of the 343 largest U.S. counties. Among the 343 largest counties, 312 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. The average weekly wages in the U.S. totaled $1,289 during the quarter, up 5.6% during the same quarter in 2020.
Calcasieu County (Louisiana) had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in jobs at 14.9%. The largest employment decrease occurred in construction, which lost 3,520 jobs over the year, a decline of 27.6%. Utah County (Utah) had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 6.1%. Trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest employment increase in the county with a gain 10.6%.
San Francisco County (California) had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages at 33.9%. An average weekly wage gain of $2,398 (up 247.5%) in leisure and
hospitality made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. Clayton County (Georgia) had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 14.2%. Trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest impact, with an average weekly wage decrease of $420 (down 22.9%) over the year.
Following are the average weekly wages during the quarter for the top five largest U.S. counties.
• Los Angeles County (California): $1,431, up 7.2%
• Cook County (Illinois): $1,627, up 8.3%
• Harris County (Texas): $1,518, down 1.7%
• New York County (New York): $3,967, up 21%
• Maricopa County (Arizona): $1,219, up 5.2%
Following are the top five states by average weekly wages during the quarter.
• New York: $1,869, up 10.4%
• Massachusetts: $1,732, up 7.8%
• California: $1,623, up 11.3%
• Connecticut: $1,575, up 4.7%
• Washington: $1,540, up 9.1%