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News Release Information

16-1917-ATL
Friday, September 23, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Tennessee – First Quarter 2016

Employment rose in each of the six large counties in Tennessee from March 2015 to March 2016, 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 2015 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that Williamson County had the largest employment gain in the country, up 7.9 percent over the previous year. Employment gains in Tennessee’s remaining large counties ranged from 5.5 percent in Rutherford County to 1.6 percent in Shelby County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 2.0 percent from March 2015 to March 2016 as 318 of the 344 largest U.S. counties had increases. As noted, Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 7.9 percent. 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 largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Shelby (487,200) in March 2016, followed by Davidson (462,000). Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 56.5 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.6 percent of total U.S. employment.

Of Tennessee’s six large counties, three had average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016—Knox (2.0 percent); Davidson (1.8 percent); and Hamilton (0.8 percent). Williamson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,198. 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 89 counties with employment levels below 75,000 in Tennessee. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,146 to $465. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages rose in three of Tennessee’s large counties from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. Knox’s 2.0-percent wage increase ranked 38th among the nation’s 344 largest counties while Davidson’s 1.8-percent gain ranked 47th and Hamilton’s 0.8-percent growth ranked 108th. (See table 1.) Wages declined in Tennessee’s three other large counties over the previous year. Williamson (-4.9 percent) had the highest rate of wage decrease and ranked 330th in the nation, followed by Shelby (-1.7 percent, 254th) and Rutherford (-1.1 percent, 224th).

Of the 344 largest counties, 167 had 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. (-10.3percent); 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

Average weekly wages in 3 of Tennessee’s 6 largest counties placed in the top half of the national ranking among the 344 largest counties in the first quarter of 2016. Williamson and Davidson Counties had average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,043 and ranked in the top 100 nationwide at 49th and 71st, respectively. Shelby County ($991), ranked 125th. Average weekly wages in the remaining three large counties 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 Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 counties in Tennessee with employment below 75,000, only Roane County ($1,146) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,043. Hancock County reported the lowest average weekly in the state, averaging $465 in the first quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 28 reported average weekly wages under $600, 35 had wages from $600 to $699, 18 had wages from $700 to $799, and 14 had wages above $800. (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 second quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, 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 6 largest counties in Tennessee, 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--

Tennessee

2,859.23.3--887270.316

Davidson, Tenn.

462.03.9311,097711.847

Hamilton, Tenn.

194.72.8998821980.8108

Knox, Tenn.

233.42.61168752052.038

Rutherford, Tenn.

117.85.54848235-1.1224

Shelby, Tenn.

487.21.6211991125-1.7254

Williamson, Tenn.

121.37.911,19849-4.9330

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

United States (2)

140,070,814$1,043

Tennessee

2,859,161887

Anderson

38,930999

Bedford

18,384688

Benton

4,096558

Bledsoe

2,186578

Blount

46,681857

Bradley

41,760725

Campbell

8,819604

Cannon

2,056569

Carroll

7,363613

Carter

10,904585

Cheatham

7,836799

Chester

3,820590

Claiborne

8,911610

Clay

1,570567

Cocke

7,566596

Coffee

25,325761

Crockett

3,549743

Cumberland

17,420591

Davidson

462,0261,097

Decatur

3,556651

De Kalb

5,303632

Dickson

16,540670

Dyer

15,292675

Fayette

7,788781

Fentress

4,771546

Franklin

12,110625

Gibson

13,774629

Giles

10,756683

Grainger

3,711602

Greene

25,581693

Grundy

2,008475

Hamblen

30,656679

Hamilton

194,732882

Hancock

860465

Hardeman

6,611720

Hardin

7,867753

Hawkins

12,600689

Haywood

4,904697

Henderson

7,772656

Henry

11,226660

Hickman

3,753635

Houston

1,475526

Humphreys

5,722858

Jackson

1,448587

Jefferson

13,092689

Johnson

4,186706

Knox

233,369875

Lake

1,796564

Lauderdale

5,979642

Lawrence

10,272602

Lewis

2,585523

Lincoln

9,548651

Loudon

14,975724

McMinn

17,730748

McNairy

5,971581

Macon

4,655575

Madison

57,178746

Marion

7,478660

Marshall

8,674686

Maury

31,330827

Meigs

1,913627

Monroe

13,665726

Montgomery

51,599652

Moore

1,980763

Morgan

2,904586

Obion

9,662642

Overton

4,560646

Perry

1,986531

Pickett

1,057568

Polk

2,160664

Putnam

34,874674

Rhea

10,765794

Roane

18,3131,146

Robertson

21,787681

Rutherford

117,779848

Scott

5,453545

Sequatchie

2,889549

Sevier

43,433523

Shelby

487,150991

Smith

4,781705

Stewart

2,626820

Sullivan

68,410881

Sumner

51,153725

Tipton

10,970659

Trousdale

1,534589

Unicoi

4,850833

Union

2,357559

Van Buren

788571

Warren

14,040663

Washington

60,764715

Wayne

3,609566

Weakley

10,996587

White

6,830618

Williamson

121,2981,198

Wilson

39,395741

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