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News Release Information

16-1872-ATL
Friday, September 23, 2016

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County Employment And Wages In Kentucky – First Quarter 2016

Each of Kentucky’s three large counties reported employment gains from March 2015 to March 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that the employment gains in Boone County and Jefferson Counties, at 3.8 and 2.8 percent, respectively, were above the national average. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 2.0 percent from March 2015 to March 2016 as 318 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 7.9 percent over the year. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest U.S. counties, with a loss of 9.0 percent.

Among the three large counties in Kentucky, employment was highest in Jefferson County (454,00) in March 2016, while Boone County had the smallest employment (82,300). Together, Kentucky’s large counties accounted for 39.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.6 percent of total U.S. employment.

Of Kentucky’s three large counties, only Boone County experienced an average weekly wage gain from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016—up 2.2 percent. Jefferson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,013. Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 0.5 percent over the year to $1,043 in the first quarter of 2016. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 117 counties in Kentucky with employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,267 to $488. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, Boone County was the only large county in Kentucky to have average weekly wages increase from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. At 2.2 percent, Boone County’s wage gain ranked 32nd among the nation’s 344 large counties. Jefferson County’s 0.3-percent decrease ranked 191st and Fayette County’s 2.4-percent decline ranked 287th. (See table 1.)

Of the 344 largest U.S. counties, 167 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage wage decrease nationwide (-13.3 percent). Washington, Pa., was second with a wage decrease of 12.0 percent, followed by the counties of Lafayette, La. (-10.3 percent); Mercer, N.J. (-8.5 percent); and Williamson, Texas (-7.8 percent).

Nationally, 164 large U.S. counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages (15.5 percent), followed by King, Wash. (5.1 percent); San Mateo, Calif. (4.8 percent); Ventura, Calif. (4.4 percent); and Merrimack, N.H. (4.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

While average weekly wages in Kentucky’s three large counties were below the U.S. average of $1,043, the average weekly wage in Jefferson County ($1,013, 112th) placed in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wages in Fayette ($861, 216th) and Boone ($853, 225th) placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, 91 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,043 in the first quarter of 2016. New York, N.Y., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,783, followed by Santa Clara, Calif., at $2,210. Rounding out the top five were San Mateo, Calif. ($2,195); San Francisco, Calif. ($2,054); and Somerset, N.J. ($2,022).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 253 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2016. Horry, S.C. ($587), had the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Cameron, Texas ($592); Hidalgo, Texas ($614); Webb, Texas ($650); and Lake, Fl. ($653).

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s smaller counties

Among the 117 counties in Kentucky with employment below 75,000, Hancock ($1,267) and Carroll ($1,051) were the only two to report an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,043. Robertson County reported the lowest wage in the state, averaging $488 in the first quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 120 counties in Kentucky were considered, 38 reported average weekly wages below $600, 43 reported average weekly wages from $600 to $699, 25 had wages from $700 to $799, 8 had wages from $800 to $899, and 6 had 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 September 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for 2nd quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 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 9.5 million employer reports cover 137.4 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 3 largest counties in Kentucky, first quarter 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2016 (thousands)Percent change, March 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,070.82.0--$1,043---0.5--

Kentucky

1,843.91.9--823410.119

Boone, Ky.

82.33.8338532252.232

Fayette, Ky.

187.61.7200861216-2.4287

Jefferson, Ky.

454.02.8991,013112-0.3191

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 Kentucky, 1st quarter 2016
AreaEmployment March 2016Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

140,070,814$1,043

Kentucky

1,843,903823

Adair

4,501552

Allen

4,418630

Anderson

4,547657

Ballard

1,861883

Barren

17,057633

Bath

1,983608

Bell

8,411599

Boone

82,255853

Bourbon

6,626733

Boyd

24,095843

Boyle

13,526725

Bracken

1,354641

Breathitt

3,164623

Breckinridge

3,319590

Bullitt

23,747624

Butler

2,954612

Caldwell

4,320581

Calloway

16,564612

Campbell

29,604798

Carlisle

1,003528

Carroll

6,8661,051

Carter

5,638574

Casey

3,890555

Christian

31,041714

Clark

14,123728

Clay

4,189634

Clinton

3,527548

Crittenden

1,941507

Cumberland

1,700629

Daviess

44,758730

Edmonson

1,470605

Elliott

943545

Estill

2,460590

Fayette

187,638861

Fleming

2,920584

Floyd

10,864699

Franklin

31,028795

Fulton

2,016649

Gallatin

2,509823

Garrard

2,330603

Grant

4,895703

Graves

10,792668

Grayson

7,846602

Green

1,699505

Greenup

7,873692

Hancock

4,1511,267

Hardin

48,084759

Harlan

6,042630

Harrison

4,768760

Hart

5,112609

Henderson

19,854753

Henry

2,680651

Hickman

1,081539

Hopkins

18,187746

Jackson

1,779578

Jefferson

453,9981,013

Jessamine

16,501676

Johnson

5,237612

Kenton

64,743952

Knott

2,370584

Knox

7,621566

Larue

2,583569

Laurel

25,977646

Lawrence

3,180687

Lee

1,459612

Leslie

1,683635

Letcher

4,328597

Lewis

1,987564

Lincoln

4,298568

Livingston

2,535777

Logan

8,351725

Lyon

2,269559

McCracken

39,478778

McCreary

2,627640

McLean

2,124610

Madison

33,584690

Magoffin

1,749506

Marion

8,574690

Marshall

11,041884

Martin

2,484754

Mason

8,659715

Meade

4,247677

Menifee

860573

Mercer

6,426885

Metcalfe

1,829585

Monroe

3,156527

Montgomery

10,957666

Morgan

2,810602

Muhlenberg

9,020767

Nelson

15,194689

Nicholas

820545

Ohio

7,487583

Oldham

15,424757

Owen

1,737694

Owsley

682493

Pendleton

2,280752

Perry

11,344655

Pike

20,239748

Powell

2,526562

Pulaski

25,495630

Robertson

285488

Rockcastle

3,402560

Rowan

10,364608

Russell

5,450533

Scott

25,571903

Shelby

15,899721

Simpson

8,621675

Spencer

1,850629

Taylor

11,558584

Todd

2,290545

Trigg

2,959588

Trimble

1,091928

Union

5,091754

Warren

62,068770

Washington

3,470667

Wayne

5,399552

Webster

3,189833

Whitley

11,609660

Wolfe

1,271515

Woodford

9,111760

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, first quarter 2016
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2016 (thousands)Percent change, March 2015-16Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2015-16National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

140,070.82.01043---0.5--

Alabama

1,902.61.684237-0.222

Alaska

317.6-1.4102815-243

Arizona

2,679.82.891823-0.830

Arkansas

1,191.12.1793450.513

California

16,455.52.612066020

Colorado

2,514.62.4105713-1.336

Connecticut

1,650.60.613623-1.438

Delaware

429.71.5107210-348

District of Columbia

749.62.0176610.414

Florida

8,301.83.5887270.218

Georgia

4,215.13.01008171.92

Hawaii

645.11.4896261.73

Idaho

670.43.572550-1.539

Illinois

5,800.61.211267-0.528

Indiana

2,949.51.985333-0.528

Iowa

1,518.20.984436-0.427

Kansas

1,362.30.483338-243

Kentucky

1,843.91.9823410.119

Louisiana

1,910.5-0.886032-2.647

Maine

580.51.8804441.18

Maryland

2,591.71.911039-0.830

Massachusetts

3,414.82.113274-133

Michigan

4,163.72.1976200.711

Minnesota

2,750.11.5106512-1.234

Mississippi

1,121.01.7713510.414

Missouri

2,729.51.987929-0.325

Montana

447.81.8751490.316

Nebraska

956.61.481742020

Nevada

1,264.13.0875301.25

New Hampshire

635.11.9998181.64

New Jersey

3,909.72.412685-1.741

New Mexico

800.40.079246-1.640

New York

9,042.22.014562-0.325

North Carolina

4,220.33.092822-0.222

North Dakota

409.4-6.290825-7.651

Ohio

5,236.21.891324-0.830

Oklahoma

1,578.6-0.983338-4.149

Oregon

1,808.23.2929211.25

Pennsylvania

5,662.21.1101216-1.942

Rhode Island

464.61.998519-2.246

South Carolina

1,974.62.7806430.810

South Dakota

410.50.9771481.25

Tennessee

2,859.23.3887270.316

Texas

11,638.70.7106611-2.145

Utah

1,369.23.8849350.612

Vermont

304.60.18324019

Virginia

3,748.12.6105713-1.234

Washington

3,147.73.11121831

West Virginia

683.9-1.278247-1.336

Wisconsin

2,771.41.387530-0.222

Wyoming

267.9-3.785034-4.750

Puerto Rico

895.2-1.2520(3)-0.4(3)

Virgin Islands

38.60.4769(3)2.9(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, September 23, 2016