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News Release Information

15-2476-ATL
Friday, January 15, 2016

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Technical information:
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County Employment and Wages in Alabama – Second Quarter 2015

Employment increased in all of Alabama’s six largest counties from June 2014 to June 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 3.3 percent in Tuscaloosa County to 0.1 percent in Mobile County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 2.0 percent from June 2014 to June 2015 as 319 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Utah, Utah, recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 7.5 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 4.2 percent.

Among the six largest counties in Alabama, employment was highest in Jefferson (339,400) in June 2015, while Shelby had the smallest employment (83,800). Together, Alabama’s large counties accounted for 52.5 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 140.6 million in June 2015.

All six of Alabama’s large counties posted over-the-year wage increases with Montgomery County (2.5 percent) experiencing the largest increase. Madison County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s six largest counties at $1,051. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.0 percent over the year to $968 in the second quarter of 2015. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 61 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000. Washington ($1,018) and Dale ($996) were the only small counties to have an average weekly wage above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages advanced in all of Alabama’s large counties from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015. Montgomery’s 2.5-percent wage increase ranked 160th among the nation’s 342 large counties and was the only large county in Alabama to rank in the top half of the national ranking. Average weekly wage growth in Alabama’s five other large counties ranged from 1.8 to 0.3 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 323 of the 342 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Ventura, Calif., had the largest wage gain, up 15.2 percent from the second quarter of 2014. Santa Clara, Calif., was second with a wage increase of 11.3 percent, followed by Forsyth, N.C. (10.9 percent), Riverside, Calif. (8.7 percent), and San Francisco, Calif. (8.6 percent).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 16 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest wage decline with a loss of 5.2 percent. Ector, Texas, had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 5.1 percent from second quarter 2014, followed by Midland, Texas (-3.2 percent), Hillsborough, N.H. (-2.6 percent), and Lorain, Ohio (-2.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Alabama’s 6 largest counties placed in the top half of the national ranking among the 342 largest counties in the second quarter of 2015. Madison County ($1,051, ranked 63rd) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, followed by Jefferson ($945) and Shelby ($901), which ranked 126th and 163rd, respectively. Average weekly wages in the remaining three counties placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($968) in 102 of the 342 largest counties in the second quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,109, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($1,863) and New York, N.Y. ($1,842).

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (240) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2015. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($568), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($586) and Hidalgo ($614). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than one-third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif. ($2,109).

Average weekly wages in Alabama’s smaller counties

Among the 61 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000, Washington ($1,018) and Dale ($996) were the only two counties to report a weekly wage above the national average of $968. Perry County reported the lowest weekly wage among all counties in the state, averaging $559 in the second quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Alabama were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages under $600, 35 reported wages from $600-$699, 11 had wages from $700-$799, and 13 had wages above $800. (See chart 1.)

Additional statistics and other information

Quarterly 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 the QCEW Web site at https://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 www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.6 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 6 largest counties in Alabama, second quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands)Percent change, June 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,594.92.0--$968--3.0--

Alabama

1,899.31.3--819371.641

Jefferson, Ala.

339.40.43039451261.7252

Madison, Ala.

186.11.71831,051630.3319

Mobile, Ala.

167.60.13158272401.7252

Montgomery, Ala.

129.70.52988212462.5160

Shelby, Ala.

83.82.41309011631.8240

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

91.23.3718112541.4276

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 Alabama, 2nd quarter 2015
AreaEmployment June 2015Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

140,594,927$968

Alabama

1,899,349819

Autauga

10,567666

Baldwin

70,839623

Barbour

8,203668

Bibb

4,147713

Blount

8,091621

Bullock

2,875616

Butler

6,910599

Calhoun

43,866705

Chambers

8,078642

Cherokee

5,114607

Chilton

9,375639

Choctaw

3,390911

Clarke

8,106705

Clay

3,806587

Cleburne

2,156809

Coffee

15,353606

Colbert

23,636778

Conecuh

3,547642

Coosa

1,288631

Covington

12,299628

Crenshaw

3,799682

Cullman

27,719675

Dale

16,362996

Dallas

12,640662

DeKalb

21,108639

Elmore

19,352634

Escambia

12,762697

Etowah

35,622660

Fayette

3,915599

Franklin

10,291627

Geneva

4,968570

Greene

1,803580

Hale

2,777627

Henry

3,354675

Houston

47,011728

Jackson

16,550656

Jefferson

339,412945

Lamar

3,391688

Lauderdale

28,935615

Lawrence

4,670618

Lee

54,723664

Limestone

23,527830

Lowndes

2,369847

Macon

4,728771

Madison

186,1411,051

Marengo

6,851717

Marion

9,632613

Marshall

35,053620

Mobile

167,640827

Monroe

6,107750

Montgomery

129,651821

Morgan

47,065786

Perry

2,110559

Pickens

3,793652

Pike

13,544738

Randolph

4,815573

Russell

13,530667

St. Clair

18,804659

Shelby

83,837901

Sumter

2,942678

Talladega

29,608825

Tallapoosa

13,547589

Tuscaloosa

91,225811

Walker

18,414662

Washington

3,5751,018

Wilcox

2,745742

Winston

7,294602

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, second quarter 2015
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands)Percent change, June 2014-15Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2014-15National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

140,594.92.0$968--3.0--

Alabama

1,899.31.3819371.641

Alaska

346.60.41,02882.430

Arizona

2,549.92.5904211.839

Arkansas

1,184.61.7762472.135

California

16,338.92.81,13155.51

Colorado

2,517.13.2989133.013

Connecticut

1,693.10.91,17742.038

Delaware

439.12.2991121.542

District of Columbia

745.11.81,59911.839

Florida

7,907.73.6861282.623

Georgia

4,167.83.4903222.430

Hawaii

635.91.6876243.86

Idaho

678.52.9713502.333

Illinois

5,925.51.51,015102.623

Indiana

2,966.01.7811403.47

Iowa

1,561.20.9802432.818

Kansas

1,382.10.7819372.818

Kentucky

1,850.51.7822353.013

Louisiana

1,930.60.5850300.847

Maine

615.80.8768462.916

Maryland

2,631.31.41,04672.623

Massachusetts

3,488.32.11,21124.72

Michigan

4,225.01.5916202.135

Minnesota

2,826.31.5977153.28

Mississippi

1,114.71.1709510.648

Missouri

2,746.61.7842322.818

Montana

461.51.8754482.721

Nebraska

968.71.2787444.13

Nevada

1,248.13.2855292.623

New Hampshire

647.71.5967161.346

New Jersey

4,000.21.51,12662.623

New Mexico

808.40.8805411.444

New York

9,136.91.91,18033.19

North Carolina

4,185.62.6850303.94

North Dakota

445.0-1.8939180.350

Ohio

5,308.11.4865262.430

Oklahoma

1,591.50.6818390.549

Oregon

1,810.43.4899233.013

Pennsylvania

5,763.90.8958172.721

Rhode Island

480.01.5925192.916

South Carolina

1,963.52.5782452.135

South Dakota

428.61.3740493.94

Tennessee

2,832.12.8863273.19

Texas

11,689.42.4988141.542

Utah

1,345.93.9821363.19

Vermont

309.30.6831342.234

Virginia

3,767.21.71,000112.529

Washington

3,197.63.31,02693.19

West Virginia

706.5-0.8803421.444

Wisconsin

2,839.81.0836332.623

Wyoming

291.5-1.586925-0.151

Puerto Rico

884.6-1.4513(3)2.0(3)

Virgin Islands

37.90.1748(3)2.2(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: Friday, January 15, 2016