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16-1264-ATL
Thursday, June 23, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Georgia – Fourth Quarter 2015

Employment increased in all 10 of Georgia’s large counties from December 2014 to December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2014 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment increases ranged from 5.0 percent in Hall County to 0.1 percent in Muscogee County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.9 percent from December 2014 to December 2015 as 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., recorded the largest percentage increase, up 6.8 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the large U.S. counties, with a loss of 11.8 percent.

Among the 10 largest counties in Georgia, employment was highest in Fulton County (811,400) in December 2015, while Hall County had the smallest employment level (82,200). Together, Georgia’s large counties accounted for 57.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 141.9 million in December 2015.

Nine of Georgia’s 10 large counties had over-the-year wage increases in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the largest gain in Hall County, up 7.4 percent, followed by Muscogee County, up 6.6 percent. Fulton County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties ($1,402), followed by Cobb County ($1,118), DeKalb County ($1,048), and Gwinnett County ($1,041). Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 4.4 percent over the year to $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 149 counties in Georgia with employment below 75,000. With the exception of Burke County ($1,082), wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages increased in 9 of the 10 large counties in Georgia from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. The wage gains in three of the state’s large counties placed in the top third of the national ranking—Hall (7.4 percent, 20th), Muscogee (6.6 percent, 43rd), and Chatham (5.9 percent, 88th). (See table 1.) In contrast, Clayton County had an over-the-year wage decline, down 1.8 percent.

Nationally, 325 of the 342 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Wyandotte, Kan., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (10.4 percent). Sonoma, Calif., was second with a wage increase of 10.0 percent, followed by Lake, Ill. (9.8 percent); Passaic, N.J. (9.4 percent); and Santa Clara, Calif., and Anoka, Minn. (9.3 percent each).

Of the 342 largest counties, 10 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 11.5 percent. Ector, Texas, had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages (-8.0 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-4.3 percent); Gregg, Texas (-3.2 percent); and San Mateo, Calif. (-2.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 4 of Georgia’s 10 large counties placed in the top half of the national ranking in the fourth quarter of 2015. The highest paid counties—Fulton and Cobb—had average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,082 and ranked in the top 80 nationwide. Average weekly wages in DeKalb ($1,048) and Gwinnett ($1,041) ranked 126th and 130th, respectively.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,082) in 100 of the 342 largest counties in the fourth quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,335, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,235); San Mateo, Calif. ($2,095); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,961); and Suffolk Mass. ($1,943).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 241 had average weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2015. Cameron County, Texas ($649), reported the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Horry, S.C. ($653); Hidalgo, Texas ($661); Webb, Texas ($706); and Harrison, Miss. ($729).

Average weekly wages in Georgia’s smaller counties

With the exception of Burke County ($1,082), all of the smaller counties in Georgia, those with employment below 75,000, had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,082. Among the smaller counties, Forsyth had the second highest average weekly wage at $1,018, followed by Rockdale at $1,001. Glascock County had the lowest average weekly wage in state at $484. (See table 2.)

When all 159 counties in Georgia were considered, 19 reported average weekly wages below $600, 75 had wages from $600-$699, 30 had wages from $700-$799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 13 reported wages above $900. (See chart 1.)

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 www.bls.gov/cew.

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 http://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in December 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 7, 2016.


Technical Note

Average weekly wage data by county are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, also known as the ES-202 program. The data are derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) legislation and provided by State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The 9.7 million employer reports cover 141.9 million full- and part-time workers. The average weekly wage values are calculated by dividing quarterly total wages by the average of the three monthly employment levels of those covered by UI programs. The result is then divided by 13, the number of weeks in a quarter. It is to be noted, therefore, that over-the-year wage changes for geographic areas may reflect shifts in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and such other factors as hours of work. Thus, wages may vary among counties, metropolitan areas, or states for reasons other than changes in the average wage level. Data for all states, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), counties, and the nation are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/; however, data in QCEW press releases have been revised and may not match the data contained on the Bureau’s Web site.

QCEW data are not designed as a time series. QCEW data are simply the sums of individual establishment records reflecting the number of establishments that exist in a county or industry at a point in time. Establishments can move in or out of a county or industry for a number of reasons–some reflecting economic events, others reflecting administrative changes.

The preliminary QCEW data presented in this release may differ from data released by the individual states as well as from the data presented on the BLS Web site. These potential differences result from the states’ continuing receipt, review and editing of UI data over time. On the other hand, differences between data in this release and the data found on the BLS Web site are the result of adjustments made to improve over-the-year comparisons. Specifically, these adjustments account for administrative (noneconomic) changes such as a correction to a previously reported location or industry classification. Adjusting for these administrative changes allows users to more accurately assess changes of an economic nature (such as a firm moving from one county to another or changing its primary economic activity) over a 12-month period. Currently, adjusted data are available only from BLS press releases.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 10 largest counties in Georgia, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands) Percent change, December 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.5 1.9 -- $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Georgia

4,249.4 2.9 -- 1,001 21 4.5 27

Bibb, Ga.

84.8 1.1 235 838 307 4.5 196

Chatham, Ga.

147.9 3.3 69 921 236 5.9 88

Clayton, Ga.

121.9 4.8 13 957 197 -1.8 330

Cobb, Ga.

340.6 3.0 93 1,118 80 3.4 266

DeKalb, Ga.

301.0 3.8 37 1,048 126 3.4 266

Fulton, Ga.

811.4 2.8 108 1,402 19 4.5 196

Gwinnett, Ga.

341.9 2.9 102 1,041 130 4.0 230

Hall, Ga.

82.2 5.0 10 930 225 7.4 20

Muscogee, Ga.

94.9 0.1 306 860 290 6.6 43

Richmond, Ga.

105.3 1.2 221 875 281 4.8 172

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(3) Ranking does not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
 

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Georgia, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment December 2015 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924,459 $1,082

Georgia

4,249,419 1,001

Appling

6,666 793

Atkinson

1,960 688

Bacon

3,822 689

Baker

435 723

Baldwin

15,166 659

Banks

3,826 640

Barrow

17,995 720

Bartow

35,050 859

Ben Hill

5,410 643

Berrien

3,568 633

Bibb

84,824 838

Bleckley

2,693 573

Brantley

2,204 579

Brooks

3,054 664

Bryan

7,544 687

Bulloch

25,243 653

Burke

6,975 1,082

Butts

6,561 696

Calhoun

1,088 650

Camden

16,052 895

Candler

2,807 589

Carroll

40,179 804

Catoosa

14,893 683

Charlton

2,107 673

Chatham

147,911 921

Chattahoochee

2,237 907

Chattooga

6,386 636

Cherokee

55,041 810

Clarke

68,908 851

Clay

514 615

Clayton

121,926 957

Clinch

2,292 642

Cobb

340,632 1,118

Coffee

16,385 678

Colquitt

14,699 640

Columbia

31,991 771

Cook

4,003 593

Coweta

37,449 800

Crawford

1,293 698

Crisp

8,395 656

Dade

3,282 665

Dawson

8,564 573

Decatur

8,336 664

De Kalb

301,019 1,048

Dodge

4,974 588

Dooly

3,857 646

Dougherty

47,575 787

Douglas

40,400 732

Early

4,397 862

Echols

809 585

Effingham

9,516 813

Elbert

5,589 676

Emanuel

6,821 623

Evans

4,419 773

Fannin

5,938 607

Fayette

41,658 831

Floyd

39,261 835

Forsyth

70,689 1,018

Franklin

7,743 714

Fulton

811,405 1,402

Gilmer

7,213 596

Glascock

429 484

Glynn

36,811 846

Gordon

21,845 746

Grady

6,171 642

Greene

5,682 708

Gwinnett

341,892 1,041

Habersham

14,817 650

Hall

82,194 930

Hancock

1,552 664

Haralson

6,436 795

Harris

4,633 619

Hart

6,103 710

Heard

2,122 907

Henry

55,823 727

Houston

58,229 850

Irwin

1,941 594

Jackson

24,207 762

Jasper

2,092 613

Jeff Davis

4,674 654

Jefferson

4,628 685

Jenkins

1,351 568

Johnson

1,632 635

Jones

4,565 668

Lamar

3,659 665

Lanier

1,378 624

Laurens

18,050 746

Lee

6,063 646

Liberty

18,024 799

Lincoln

1,289 626

Long

900 605

Lowndes

49,378 675

Lumpkin

7,011 690

McDuffie

6,825 668

McIntosh

1,783 538

Macon

2,798 747

Madison

3,093 616

Marion

1,208 600

Meriwether

4,340 677

Miller

1,678 678

Mitchell

7,568 609

Monroe

7,511 751

Montgomery

1,646 689

Morgan

6,685 668

Murray

9,118 667

Muscogee

94,903 860

Newton

23,489 816

Oconee

9,964 798

Oglethorpe

1,545 622

Paulding

22,044 723

Peach

8,779 740

Pickens

7,417 878

Pierce

4,035 679

Pike

2,849 624

Polk

11,078 726

Pulaski

2,774 685

Putnam

5,499 607

Quitman

375 556

Rabun

4,585 592

Randolph

1,907 638

Richmond

105,325 875

Rockdale

33,103 1,001

Schley

982 652

Screven

3,303 666

Seminole

2,290 685

Spalding

22,118 680

Stephens

9,194 806

Stewart

1,171 755

Sumter

11,205 696

Talbot

697 686

Taliaferro

187 504

Tattnall

5,784 687

Taylor

1,700 754

Telfair

3,558 545

Terrell

2,381 684

Thomas

20,797 818

Tift

19,739 882

Toombs

11,978 659

Towns

3,243 560

Treutlen

1,140 562

Troup

39,310 850

Turner

2,086 639

Twiggs

1,148 666

Union

6,919 642

Upson

6,651 678

Walker

13,248 650

Walton

20,922 781

Ware

15,321 700

Warren

1,469 787

Washington

6,587 729

Wayne

7,917 748

Webster

506 733

Wheeler

1,134 646

White

7,243 652

Whitfield

55,086 867

Wilcox

1,160 538

Wilkes

2,976 631

Wilkinson

3,227 901

Worth

3,290 672

Footnotes
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
 

NOTE: Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

 

Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, fourth quarter 2015
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands) Percent change, December 2014-15 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

141,924.5 1.9 $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Alabama

1,916.2 1.4 912 37 3.4 37

Alaska

315.9 -0.5 1,095 13 2.9 43

Arizona

2,701.8 2.6 967 24 4.4 28

Arkansas

1,201.4 1.7 838 46 3.8 35

California

16,593.8 3.1 1,274 5 5.4 10

Colorado

2,537.5 2.5 1,103 11 3.3 40

Connecticut

1,685.1 0.3 1,334 4 4.3 29

Delaware

441.2 1.8 1,086 15 3.4 37

District of Columbia

754.2 2.2 1,756 1 3.4 37

Florida

8,308.1 3.7 958 26 5.2 16

Georgia

4,249.4 2.9 1,001 21 4.5 27

Hawaii

653.0 2.2 957 27 5.4 10

Idaho

670.1 3.4 803 50 2.6 45

Illinois

5,931.2 1.4 1,146 8 5.1 18

Indiana

2,996.3 1.7 891 40 5.3 14

Iowa

1,539.0 0.7 920 34 5.7 3

Kansas

1,382.1 0.4 898 38 5.0 20

Kentucky

1,881.3 1.6 885 41 5.9 1

Louisiana

1,937.4 -1.0 940 29 1.8 47

Maine

596.9 0.7 873 43 5.7 3

Maryland

2,636.7 1.7 1,175 7 5.6 5

Massachusetts

3,479.1 1.6 1,385 2 5.4 10

Michigan

4,218.9 1.5 1,043 18 5.9 1

Minnesota

2,805.8 1.5 1,073 16 4.8 22

Mississippi

1,133.8 1.3 770 51 3.1 41

Missouri

2,759.6 1.8 933 33 4.6 25

Montana

453.2 2.5 818 49 3.0 42

Nebraska

971.8 1.4 880 42 5.1 18

Nevada

1,272.2 3.5 935 32 4.0 31

New Hampshire

648.6 1.7 1,139 9 5.4 10

New Jersey

3,988.4 1.7 1,262 6 4.0 31

New Mexico

808.9 -0.1 865 44 1.8 47

New York

9,227.6 1.7 1,372 3 3.9 34

North Carolina

4,247.1 2.5 939 30 5.5 8

North Dakota

428.1 -5.9 1,021 20 -2.8 51

Ohio

5,328.8 1.2 964 25 4.6 25

Oklahoma

1,605.0 -0.7 896 39 2.3 46

Oregon

1,814.8 3.3 979 23 5.5 8

Pennsylvania

5,759.7 0.7 1,063 17 4.9 21

Rhode Island

478.1 1.5 1,043 18 4.0 31

South Carolina

1,987.1 2.8 860 45 5.3 14

South Dakota

417.7 1.2 832 47 5.2 16

Tennessee

2,898.1 2.8 980 22 5.6 5

Texas

11,832.1 1.4 1,099 12 2.7 44

Utah

1,375.6 3.8 913 36 4.7 23

Vermont

312.1 0.3 919 35 4.1 30

Virginia

3,806.2 3.0 1,094 14 3.5 36

Washington

3,137.2 2.3 1,132 10 4.7 23

West Virginia

703.7 -1.3 829 48 1.3 49

Wisconsin

2,820.5 1.1 944 28 5.6 5

Wyoming

276.0 -2.9 937 31 -1.7 50

Puerto Rico

929.9 -1.6 565 (3) 1.6 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 -0.3 787 (3) 4.7 (3)

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(3) Data not included in the national ranking.
 

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 23, 2016