Monday, December 19, 2011

Compensation data available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis

The Bureau of Economic Analysis(BEA) recently released 2010 compensation data for counties throughout the United States. Total compensation increased by 2.2 percent nationally and by 1.8 percent here in Utah.

What is compensation, you ask? BEA defines compensation as:
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.
So, total compensation aggregates compensation for all individuals in a particular area.


As you can see, Juab, Beaver, Piute, Rich, Wayne, Iron, Washington, and Box Elder counties all experienced declines in total compensation during 2010. A decline in total compensation is most often associated with a loss in jobs. . .although several job-losing counties still managed to increase their total compensation during the year. Which counties experienced the fastest growth in total compensation? Carbon, San Juan, Garfield, Emery, and Summit counties all showed gains of 4 percent or better.



Interestingly, although total compensation dropped in Iron, Washington, Sanpete and Duchesne counties, the average wage per job in these counties actually increased in 2010. A loss of jobs at the lower end of the scale may account for this seeming improbability. The remaining counties with declining total compensation also showed declining average wages.

According to BEA estimates, Emery County with its high proportion of mining jobs, maintains the highest average wage per job, followed by Salt Lake, Uintah, Tooele, and Duchesne counties. That ranking proves very similar to the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) average wage data for 2010. 

On the low end of the scale, Rich, Piute, Wayne, Garfield, and Sanpete counties make a showing. Again, this ranking is very similar to the wage data that we publish. Why any differences at all between BEA and DWS? Basically, the differences result from slight differences in definition and methodology.

To access this recently released data, click here.

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