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News Release Information

17-811-ATL
Thursday, June 22, 2017

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Technical information:
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  • (404) 893-4220

County Employment and Wages in Georgia – Fourth Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all 10 of Georgia’s large counties from December 2015 to December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 average annual employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment increases ranged from 3.7 percent in Fulton County to 0.6 percent in Richmond County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.2 percent from December 2015 to December 2016 as 280 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 5.1 percent over the year. Lafayette, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.1 percent.

Among the 10 largest counties in Georgia, employment was highest in Fulton County (845,700) in December 2016, while Bibb County had the smallest employment level (83,000). Together, Georgia’s large counties accounted for 57.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 143.7 million in December 2016.

Seven of Georgia’s 10 large counties had over-the-year wage decreases in the fourth quarter of 2016, with the largest losses in Chatham and Muscogee Counties (-3.7 percent each). Fulton County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties ($1,387), followed by Cobb ($1,094) and DeKalb ($1,067). Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 1.5 percent over the year to $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016. (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 ($1,339), wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Six of Georgia’s large counties had over-the-year wage decreases greater than the national decline of 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 1.) In contrast, Clayton County had an over-the-year wage increase, up 11.3 percent, ranking first among the nation’s 344 large counties. DeKalb County (0.5 percent, 33rd) and Hall County (0.1 percent, 40th) also had over-the-year wage increases.

Among the 344 largest U.S. counties, 290 had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage wage decrease (-9.2 percent). Clay, Mo., had the second-largest decrease (-8.3 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-8.0 percent); Douglas, Colo. (-6.8 percent); and Passaic, N.J. (-6.0 percent).

Nationally, 48 large counties registered over-the-year wage increases. As noted, Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages (11.3 percent). Washington, Pa., had the second-largest increase (4.9 percent), followed by Marin, Calif. (4.3 percent); Elkhart, Ind. (4.0 percent); San Francisco, Calif., and Champaign, Ill. (3.7 percent each).

Large county average weekly wages

Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties had average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average of $1,067 and ranked in the top-third nationwide.  Average weekly wages in Gwinnett ($1,022) and Clayton ($1,006) ranked 130th and 147th, respectively.   

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,067) in 100 of the 344 largest counties in the fourth quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,365, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,212); San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); and San Francisco, Calif. ($2,068).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 243 had weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2016. Cameron, Texas ($640) reported the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Hidalgo, Texas ($648); Horry, S.C. ($654); and Webb, Texas ($683).

Average weekly wages in Georgia’s smaller counties

With the exception of Burke County ($1,339), all of the smaller counties in Georgia—those with employment below 75,000— had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,067. Among the smaller counties, Forsyth had the second highest average weekly wage at $990, followed by Heard at $885. Taliaferro County had the lowest average weekly wage in state at $482. (See table 2.)

When all 159 counties in Georgia were considered, 19 reported average weekly wages below $600, 76 had wages from $600 to $699, 32 had wages from $700 to $799, 24 had wages from $800 to $899, and 8 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 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2015 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

Upcoming Industry Changes to QCEW Data

Beginning with the release of first quarter 2017 data, the program will switch to the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry. For more information on the change, please see the Federal Register notice at www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/federal_register_notices/notices/fr08au16.pdf.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 143.7 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 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands)Percent change, December 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

143,749.91.2--$1,067---1.5--

Georgia

4,349.32.4--99320-0.914

Bibb, Ga.

83.01.4156816311-2.6252

Chatham, Ga.

150.41.7130886253-3.7301

Clayton, Ga.

124.12.2901,00614711.31

Cobb, Ga.

353.42.6651,09478-1.9191

DeKalb, Ga.

298.71.21721,0671010.533

Fulton, Ga.

845.73.7111,38717-2.0198

Gwinnett, Ga.

350.22.6651,022130-1.2138

Hall, Ga.

84.42.4769292150.140

Muscogee, Ga.

94.00.7223841298-3.7301

Richmond, Ga.

105.50.6230869272-1.8183

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 2016
AreaEmployment December 2016Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

143,749,910$1,067

Georgia

4,349,343993

Appling

6,942773

Atkinson

1,965668

Bacon

3,882707

Baker

420688

Baldwin

15,579650

Banks

4,055623

Barrow

17,808740

Bartow

35,878848

Ben Hill

5,764632

Berrien

3,564621

Bibb

82,952816

Bleckley

2,768591

Brantley

2,188628

Brooks

3,074644

Bryan

8,049661

Bulloch

25,482667

Burke

10,5081,339

Butts

6,195701

Calhoun

1,054682

Camden

13,812821

Candler

2,837586

Carroll

39,750825

Catoosa

14,256655

Charlton

2,140636

Chatham

150,364886

Chattahoochee

2,207842

Chattooga

6,213634

Cherokee

57,165799

Clarke

70,410870

Clay

516574

Clayton

124,0551,006

Clinch

2,207701

Cobb

353,4331,094

Coffee

17,103669

Colquitt

15,202641

Columbia

32,768765

Cook

4,118584

Coweta

38,100782

Crawford

1,279650

Crisp

8,215688

Dade

3,285649

Dawson

9,157554

Decatur

8,383657

De Kalb

298,6801,067

Dodge

5,063600

Dooly

3,861666

Dougherty

48,619810

Douglas

41,723729

Early

4,322824

Echols

740666

Effingham

9,622783

Elbert

5,708672

Emanuel

6,806616

Evans

4,459695

Fannin

6,430598

Fayette

43,630825

Floyd

39,179813

Forsyth

72,775990

Franklin

7,856681

Fulton

845,6531,387

Gilmer

6,908587

Glascock

426511

Glynn

37,794797

Gordon

20,460754

Grady

5,523693

Greene

5,784714

Gwinnett

350,2401,022

Habersham

14,866679

Hall

84,398929

Hancock

1,596662

Haralson

6,460829

Harris

4,789577

Hart

6,565685

Heard

2,125885

Henry

59,090713

Houston

59,155883

Irwin

1,786617

Jackson

26,246763

Jasper

2,086609

Jeff Davis

4,329646

Jefferson

4,943690

Jenkins

1,383579

Johnson

1,580625

Jones

4,637678

Lamar

3,724656

Lanier

1,405611

Laurens

18,425734

Lee

6,551642

Liberty

18,198766

Lincoln

1,370615

Long

953639

Lowndes

50,007688

Lumpkin

7,576668

McDuffie

6,842655

McIntosh

1,699576

Macon

2,791763

Madison

3,082613

Marion

1,164607

Meriwether

4,762698

Miller

1,708632

Mitchell

7,212626

Monroe

7,581744

Montgomery

1,638665

Morgan

6,640664

Murray

10,083700

Muscogee

93,966841

Newton

23,958802

Oconee

11,083752

Oglethorpe

1,652632

Paulding

23,556705

Peach

9,224739

Pickens

7,634876

Pierce

4,140697

Pike

2,879651

Polk

10,906739

Pulaski

2,840719

Putnam

5,646622

Quitman

384559

Rabun

4,772596

Randolph

1,878608

Richmond

105,479869

Rockdale

32,353875

Schley

989664

Screven

3,396633

Seminole

2,217707

Spalding

22,642679

Stephens

9,243757

Stewart

1,183739

Sumter

10,832687

Talbot

713616

Taliaferro

198482

Tattnall

5,799689

Taylor

1,731746

Telfair

3,610547

Terrell

2,425665

Thomas

21,046833

Tift

19,171747

Toombs

11,231668

Towns

3,391615

Treutlen

1,149560

Troup

39,858827

Turner

2,097574

Twiggs

2,304534

Union

7,409641

Upson

6,456693

Walker

13,192643

Walton

22,489816

Ware

15,745659

Warren

1,506733

Washington

6,618694

Wayne

7,785749

Webster

477684

Wheeler

1,151638

White

7,591658

Whitfield

57,543857

Wilcox

1,045561

Wilkes

3,103641

Wilkinson

3,290883

Worth

3,107678

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

United States (2)

143,749.91.2$1,067---1.5--

Alabama

1,932.60.790135-1.321

Alaska

310.0-1.91,03817-5.251

Arizona

2,760.12.194525-2.234

Arkansas

1,205.40.482747-1.422

California

16,923.31.91,2715-0.34

Colorado

2,588.62.01,08612-1.524

Connecticut

1,685.50.01,2894-3.446

Delaware

441.2-0.11,05515-2.944

District of Columbia

760.90.51,76310.62

Florida

8,538.92.794227-1.828

Georgia

4,349.32.499320-0.914

Hawaii

658.30.795424-0.34

Idaho

691.63.280050-0.48

Illinois

5,947.60.41,1229-2.031

Indiana

3,021.70.988338-0.914

Iowa

1,542.00.191133-1.016

Kansas

1,384.50.187739-2.234

Kentucky

1,894.20.687441-1.422

Louisiana

1,907.4-1.691432-2.944

Maine

602.60.885543-2.133

Maryland

2,666.71.01,1697-0.48

Massachusetts

3,530.41.31,3522-2.439

Michigan

4,283.01.51,02619-1.625

Minnesota

2,839.71.21,06214-1.118

Mississippi

1,134.00.075651-1.828

Missouri

2,783.20.991831-1.727

Montana

456.50.7822480.53

Nebraska

972.40.087640-0.510

Nevada

1,307.82.792429-1.220

New Hampshire

656.91.31,09210-4.148

New Jersey

4,042.11.41,2396-1.930

New Mexico

811.40.084445-2.541

New York

9,332.51.21,3423-2.336

North Carolina

4,326.31.893228-0.713

North Dakota

414.4-3.297821-4.249

Ohio

5,365.60.794326-2.336

Oklahoma

1,587.7-1.286442-3.547

Oregon

1,860.72.497022-1.016

Pennsylvania

5,799.80.71,03916-2.336

Rhode Island

478.30.01,02718-1.625

South Carolina

2,024.31.885543-0.612

South Dakota

419.90.582846-0.510

Tennessee

2,947.51.897022-1.118

Texas

11,974.71.21,07213-2.541

Utah

1,415.12.991034-0.34

Vermont

312.60.189736-2.439

Virginia

3,831.60.61,09111-0.34

Washington

3,227.92.81,15081.71

West Virginia

693.1-1.680949-2.541

Wisconsin

2,842.40.592429-2.031

Wyoming

265.8-3.989437-4.750

Puerto Rico

928.2-0.3555(3)-1.9(3)

Virgin Islands

38.50.2769(3)-1.8(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 22, 2017