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News Release Information

16-1264-ATL
Thursday, June 23, 2016

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Technical information:
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  • (404) 893-4220

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 https://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
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands)Percent change, December 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.51.9--$1,082--4.4--

Georgia

4,249.42.9--1,001214.527

Bibb, Ga.

84.81.12358383074.5196

Chatham, Ga.

147.93.3699212365.988

Clayton, Ga.

121.94.813957197-1.8330

Cobb, Ga.

340.63.0931,118803.4266

DeKalb, Ga.

301.03.8371,0481263.4266

Fulton, Ga.

811.42.81081,402194.5196

Gwinnett, Ga.

341.92.91021,0411304.0230

Hall, Ga.

82.25.0109302257.420

Muscogee, Ga.

94.90.13068602906.643

Richmond, Ga.

105.31.22218752814.8172

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
AreaEmployment December 2015Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924,459$1,082

Georgia

4,249,4191,001

Appling

6,666793

Atkinson

1,960688

Bacon

3,822689

Baker

435723

Baldwin

15,166659

Banks

3,826640

Barrow

17,995720

Bartow

35,050859

Ben Hill

5,410643

Berrien

3,568633

Bibb

84,824838

Bleckley

2,693573

Brantley

2,204579

Brooks

3,054664

Bryan

7,544687

Bulloch

25,243653

Burke

6,9751,082

Butts

6,561696

Calhoun

1,088650

Camden

16,052895

Candler

2,807589

Carroll

40,179804

Catoosa

14,893683

Charlton

2,107673

Chatham

147,911921

Chattahoochee

2,237907

Chattooga

6,386636

Cherokee

55,041810

Clarke

68,908851

Clay

514615

Clayton

121,926957

Clinch

2,292642

Cobb

340,6321,118

Coffee

16,385678

Colquitt

14,699640

Columbia

31,991771

Cook

4,003593

Coweta

37,449800

Crawford

1,293698

Crisp

8,395656

Dade

3,282665

Dawson

8,564573

Decatur

8,336664

De Kalb

301,0191,048

Dodge

4,974588

Dooly

3,857646

Dougherty

47,575787

Douglas

40,400732

Early

4,397862

Echols

809585

Effingham

9,516813

Elbert

5,589676

Emanuel

6,821623

Evans

4,419773

Fannin

5,938607

Fayette

41,658831

Floyd

39,261835

Forsyth

70,6891,018

Franklin

7,743714

Fulton

811,4051,402

Gilmer

7,213596

Glascock

429484

Glynn

36,811846

Gordon

21,845746

Grady

6,171642

Greene

5,682708

Gwinnett

341,8921,041

Habersham

14,817650

Hall

82,194930

Hancock

1,552664

Haralson

6,436795

Harris

4,633619

Hart

6,103710

Heard

2,122907

Henry

55,823727

Houston

58,229850

Irwin

1,941594

Jackson

24,207762

Jasper

2,092613

Jeff Davis

4,674654

Jefferson

4,628685

Jenkins

1,351568

Johnson

1,632635

Jones

4,565668

Lamar

3,659665

Lanier

1,378624

Laurens

18,050746

Lee

6,063646

Liberty

18,024799

Lincoln

1,289626

Long

900605

Lowndes

49,378675

Lumpkin

7,011690

McDuffie

6,825668

McIntosh

1,783538

Macon

2,798747

Madison

3,093616

Marion

1,208600

Meriwether

4,340677

Miller

1,678678

Mitchell

7,568609

Monroe

7,511751

Montgomery

1,646689

Morgan

6,685668

Murray

9,118667

Muscogee

94,903860

Newton

23,489816

Oconee

9,964798

Oglethorpe

1,545622

Paulding

22,044723

Peach

8,779740

Pickens

7,417878

Pierce

4,035679

Pike

2,849624

Polk

11,078726

Pulaski

2,774685

Putnam

5,499607

Quitman

375556

Rabun

4,585592

Randolph

1,907638

Richmond

105,325875

Rockdale

33,1031,001

Schley

982652

Screven

3,303666

Seminole

2,290685

Spalding

22,118680

Stephens

9,194806

Stewart

1,171755

Sumter

11,205696

Talbot

697686

Taliaferro

187504

Tattnall

5,784687

Taylor

1,700754

Telfair

3,558545

Terrell

2,381684

Thomas

20,797818

Tift

19,739882

Toombs

11,978659

Towns

3,243560

Treutlen

1,140562

Troup

39,310850

Turner

2,086639

Twiggs

1,148666

Union

6,919642

Upson

6,651678

Walker

13,248650

Walton

20,922781

Ware

15,321700

Warren

1,469787

Washington

6,587729

Wayne

7,917748

Webster

506733

Wheeler

1,134646

White

7,243652

Whitfield

55,086867

Wilcox

1,160538

Wilkes

2,976631

Wilkinson

3,227901

Worth

3,290672

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

United States (2)

141,924.51.9$1,082--4.4--

Alabama

1,916.21.4912373.437

Alaska

315.9-0.51,095132.943

Arizona

2,701.82.6967244.428

Arkansas

1,201.41.7838463.835

California

16,593.83.11,27455.410

Colorado

2,537.52.51,103113.340

Connecticut

1,685.10.31,33444.329

Delaware

441.21.81,086153.437

District of Columbia

754.22.21,75613.437

Florida

8,308.13.7958265.216

Georgia

4,249.42.91,001214.527

Hawaii

653.02.2957275.410

Idaho

670.13.4803502.645

Illinois

5,931.21.41,14685.118

Indiana

2,996.31.7891405.314

Iowa

1,539.00.7920345.73

Kansas

1,382.10.4898385.020

Kentucky

1,881.31.6885415.91

Louisiana

1,937.4-1.0940291.847

Maine

596.90.7873435.73

Maryland

2,636.71.71,17575.65

Massachusetts

3,479.11.61,38525.410

Michigan

4,218.91.51,043185.91

Minnesota

2,805.81.51,073164.822

Mississippi

1,133.81.3770513.141

Missouri

2,759.61.8933334.625

Montana

453.22.5818493.042

Nebraska

971.81.4880425.118

Nevada

1,272.23.5935324.031

New Hampshire

648.61.71,13995.410

New Jersey

3,988.41.71,26264.031

New Mexico

808.9-0.1865441.847

New York

9,227.61.71,37233.934

North Carolina

4,247.12.5939305.58

North Dakota

428.1-5.91,02120-2.851

Ohio

5,328.81.2964254.625

Oklahoma

1,605.0-0.7896392.346

Oregon

1,814.83.3979235.58

Pennsylvania

5,759.70.71,063174.921

Rhode Island

478.11.51,043184.031

South Carolina

1,987.12.8860455.314

South Dakota

417.71.2832475.216

Tennessee

2,898.12.8980225.65

Texas

11,832.11.41,099122.744

Utah

1,375.63.8913364.723

Vermont

312.10.3919354.130

Virginia

3,806.23.01,094143.536

Washington

3,137.22.31,132104.723

West Virginia

703.7-1.3829481.349

Wisconsin

2,820.51.1944285.65

Wyoming

276.0-2.993731-1.750

Puerto Rico

929.9-1.6565(3)1.6(3)

Virgin Islands

38.4-0.3787(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