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News Release Information

17-1245-ATL
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Tennessee – First Quarter 2017

Employment rose in all six large counties in Tennessee from March 2016 to March 2017, 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 2016 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that Williamson County had the third largest employment gain in the country, up 4.6 percent over the previous year. Employment gains in Tennessee’s remaining large counties ranged from 3.7 percent in Rutherford County to 0.7 percent in Shelby County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.6 percent from March 2016 to March 2017 as 299 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registered increases. York, S.C., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 6.8 percent over the year. Kanawha, W.Va., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 2.7 percent.

Among the largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Shelby County (488,200) in March 2017, followed by Davidson County (474,500). Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 56.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 142.3 million in March 2017.

Each of Tennessee’s six large counties posted over-the-year wage increases in the first quarter of 2017. Knox County (7.9 percent) had the largest over-the-year wage gain, followed by Rutherford County (7.7 percent). Williamson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,287, followed by Davidson County at $1,150. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 6.6 percent over the year to $1,111 in the first quarter of 2017. (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 $1,256 to $490. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages rose in all of Tennessee’s large counties from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. Wage gains in three of the state’s large counties placed in the top 100 of the national ranking—Knox (7.9 percent, 63rd), Rutherford (7.7 percent, 73rd), and Hamilton (7.4 percent, 92nd). (See table 1.)

Nationally, 345 of the 346 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest wage gain, up 27.8 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Peoria, Ill., had the only percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-1.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Williamson and Davidson Counties, with average weekly wages of $1,287 and $1,150, respectively, placed in the top quarter among the 346 largest U.S. counties in the first quarter of 2017. With the exception of Shelby County ($1,059, 124th), average weekly wages in the remaining large counties in Tennessee placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, 94 large counties had average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average of $1,111 in the first quarter of 2017. New York, N.Y., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,954, followed by Santa Clara, Calif., at $2,450. Rounding out the top five were San Mateo, Calif. ($2,385); San Francisco, Calif. ($2,264); and Somerset, N.J. ($2,026).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 252 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2017. Cameron, Texas ($614), had the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Horry, S.C ($628); Hidalgo, Texas ($642); Webb, Texas ($675); and Lake, Fla. ($681).

Average weekly wages in Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 counties in Tennessee with employment below 75,000, only Roane County ($1,256) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,111. Grundy County reported the lowest average weekly in the state, averaging $490 in the first quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 15 reported average weekly wages below $600, 26 had wages from $600 to $699, 34 had wages from $700 to $799, and 20 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 2016 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 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2016 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.


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 142.3 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 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2017 (thousands)Percent change, March 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,309.21.6--$1,111--6.6--

Tennessee

2,906.21.8--945286.725

Davidson, Tenn.

474.53.0501,150744.9274

Hamilton, Tenn.

198.61.71579441967.492

Knox, Tenn.

235.00.82379411997.963

Rutherford, Tenn.

123.13.7109072287.773

Shelby, Tenn.

488.20.72481,0591247.1118

Williamson, Tenn.

127.04.631,287467.1118

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, first quarter 2017
AreaEmployment March 2017Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

142,309,185$1,111

Tennessee

2,906,192945

Anderson

39,5971,068

Bedford

17,254724

Benton

3,999605

Bledsoe

2,186622

Blount

47,558895

Bradley

40,933776

Campbell

9,017658

Cannon

2,219588

Carroll

7,366714

Carter

10,921650

Cheatham

8,133839

Chester

3,745600

Claiborne

8,902651

Clay

1,561595

Cocke

7,509614

Coffee

25,753821

Crockett

3,652727

Cumberland

17,441628

Davidson

474,5401,150

Decatur

3,557702

De Kalb

5,372702

Dickson

16,915710

Dyer

15,128728

Fayette

7,778810

Fentress

4,790579

Franklin

11,990663

Gibson

13,715677

Giles

11,189714

Grainger

3,733674

Greene

25,726708

Grundy

2,029490

Hamblen

30,966727

Hamilton

198,633944

Hancock

854494

Hardeman

6,667744

Hardin

7,819795

Hawkins

13,205801

Haywood

5,007727

Henderson

7,829711

Henry

11,287720

Hickman

3,659665

Houston

1,524565

Humphreys

5,874969

Jackson

1,403592

Jefferson

13,263738

Johnson

4,359762

Knox

234,976941

Lake

1,807594

Lauderdale

6,143676

Lawrence

10,068650

Lewis

2,595565

Lincoln

10,033677

Loudon

14,714755

McMinn

17,846811

McNairy

5,713602

Macon

4,917609

Madison

58,333781

Marion

7,431715

Marshall

10,079764

Maury

34,680937

Meigs

1,922755

Monroe

13,662721

Montgomery

52,641704

Moore

2,019803

Morgan

2,939645

Obion

9,617709

Overton

4,828682

Perry

1,941564

Pickett

1,132572

Polk

2,182578

Putnam

36,424704

Rhea

10,765765

Roane

18,3341,256

Robertson

22,214738

Rutherford

123,118907

Scott

5,411577

Sequatchie

3,016592

Sevier

44,563559

Shelby

488,1641,059

Smith

4,992719

Stewart

2,659877

Sullivan

67,936915

Sumner

52,650791

Tipton

11,169670

Trousdale

1,575624

Unicoi

4,775858

Union

2,397621

Van Buren

818625

Warren

13,333730

Washington

61,118756

Wayne

3,605611

Weakley

11,172614

White

7,035639

Williamson

127,0411,287

Wilson

41,139772

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 2017
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2017 (thousands)Percent change, March 2016-17Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2016-17National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,309.21.6$1,111--6.6--

Alabama

1,928.91.4893366.235

Alaska

312.8-1.81,061183.950

Arizona

2,743.02.4991218.14

Arkansas

1,199.90.7859458.53

California

16,831.42.31,29567.67

Colorado

2,573.22.31,136127.510

Connecticut

1,651.50.11,41744.049

Delaware

433.20.81,185910.71

District of Columbia

760.71.21,88517.016

Florida

8,532.62.8949277.213

Georgia

4,317.12.71,068176.137

Hawaii

653.60.9954256.822

Idaho

690.43.0775507.016

Illinois

5,842.00.51,19586.334

Indiana

2,985.81.2918327.67

Iowa

1,518.30.0899356.530

Kansas

1,368.00.4888386.725

Kentucky

1,864.11.1879416.918

Louisiana

1,901.3-0.5906335.543

Maine

586.71.0860447.213

Maryland

2,626.01.21,171105.842

Massachusetts

3,464.01.11,42837.76

Michigan

4,230.61.71,041206.822

Minnesota

2,806.42.11,149117.95

Mississippi

1,122.90.1750515.346

Missouri

2,767.01.4930315.938

Montana

451.51.4800496.530

Nebraska

960.70.4868426.433

Nevada

1,311.63.8932306.918

New Hampshire

643.21.21,070167.311

New Jersey

3,955.11.51,33355.047

New Mexico

803.30.2838465.938

New York

9,159.31.31,54125.938

North Carolina

4,287.01.8991216.918

North Dakota

405.7-1.0953265.047

Ohio

5,278.30.8976246.725

Oklahoma

1,563.9-1.0883395.938

Oregon

1,855.02.5984235.445

Pennsylvania

5,712.30.81,078156.530

Rhode Island

465.40.31,055197.213

South Carolina

2,017.92.2864437.311

South Dakota

413.40.7819486.235

Tennessee

2,906.21.8945286.725

Texas

11,924.51.71,124145.543

Utah

1,411.33.1905346.629

Vermont

305.60.2889376.725

Virginia

3,796.31.41,129136.918

Washington

3,225.92.61,21578.62

West Virginia

678.2-0.8837477.67

Wisconsin

2,803.71.1933296.822

Wyoming

262.4-2.3880403.351

Puerto Rico

887.7-0.9526(3)1.2(3)

Virgin Islands

38.70.0797(3)3.1(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: Tuesday, September 26, 2017