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News Release Information

18-1426-ATL
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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County Employment And Wages In Kentucky – First Quarter 2018

The three large counties in Kentucky reported employment gains from March 2017 to March 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2017 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that Boone County’s employment increased 5.9 percent over the year, the third-largest employment gain among the 349 largest U.S. counties. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.6 percent from March 2017 to March 2018 as 314 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 12.6 percent over the year. Kanawha, W.Va., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest U.S. counties, with a loss of 1.4 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Kentucky, employment was highest in Jefferson (464,400) in March 2018, while Boone had the smallest employment level (91,100). Together, Kentucky’s large counties accounted for 39.9 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.1 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 144.6 million in March 2018.

Each of Kentucky’s three large counties had an over-the-year wage increase in the first quarter of 2018, with the largest gain in Fayette County (2.5 percent). Jefferson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,118. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.7 percent over the year to $1,152 in the first quarter of 2018. (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 $1,390 to $494. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages rose in all of Kentucky’s large counties from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. At 2.5 percent, Fayette County’s wage gain ranked 214th among the nation’s 349 large counties. Jefferson County’s 2.0-percent increase ranked 273rd and Boone County’s 0.1-percent increase ranked 336th. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 336 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Peoria, Ill., had the largest percentage wage increase, up 23.8 percent from the first quarter of 2017. Suffolk, Mass., followed with an increase of 12.1 percent.

Of the 349 largest counties, 13 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Forsyth, N.C., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-4.8 percent), followed by Washington, Ark. (-3.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s three large counties were below the U.S. average of $1,152. The average weekly wage in Jefferson County ($1,118, 107th) placed in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wages in Fayette County ($925, 244th) and Boone County ($905, 260th) placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Among the 349 largest U.S. counties, 259 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2018. Cameron, Texas reported the lowest wage ($628), followed by Horry County, S.C. ($631), and the Texas counties of Hidalgo ($657) and Webb ($690).

Nationwide, 90 large counties had average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average of $1,152 in the first quarter of 2018. New York, N.Y., had the highest average weekly wage at $3,087. Santa Clara, Calif. ($2,651) was second, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,606); San Francisco, Calif. ($2,485); Suffolk, Mass. ($2,268); and Somerset, N.J. ($2,078).

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s smaller counties

Among the 117 counties in Kentucky with employment below 75,000, Hancock ($1,390) and Carroll ($1,171) were the only two with an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,152. Robertson County had the lowest wage in the state, averaging $494 in the first quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 120 counties in Kentucky were considered, 15 reported average weekly wages below $600, 46 had average weekly wages from $600 to $699, 31 had wages from $700 to $799, 14 had wages from $800 to $899, and 14 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 2017 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 2018 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2019.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 6, 2018.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 144.6 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 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2018 (thousands)Percent change, March 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

144,562.91.6--$1,152--3.7--

Kentucky

1,873.70.5--901412.539

Boone, Ky.

91.15.939052600.1336

Fayette, Ky.

191.40.13109252442.5214

Jefferson, Ky.

464.40.62671,1181072.0273

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, first quarter 2018
AreaEmployment March 2018Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

144,562,926$1,152

Kentucky

1,873,666901

Adair

4,587603

Allen

4,571669

Anderson

4,756686

Ballard

1,464936

Barren

16,667688

Bath

1,845713

Bell

8,171655

Boone

91,120905

Bourbon

6,536780

Boyd

24,179946

Boyle

14,182749

Bracken

1,324683

Breathitt

3,085644

Breckinridge

3,461629

Bullitt

25,250745

Butler

2,864679

Caldwell

4,105652

Calloway

16,551666

Campbell

30,433849

Carlisle

1,063585

Carroll

6,8231,171

Carter

5,490615

Casey

3,896576

Christian

31,630793

Clark

14,579789

Clay

3,904665

Clinton

3,756571

Crittenden

2,020598

Cumberland

1,777647

Daviess

46,513813

Edmonson

1,606621

Elliott

945612

Estill

2,396662

Fayette

191,435925

Fleming

3,093655

Floyd

10,248772

Franklin

30,797830

Fulton

1,997607

Gallatin

2,408999

Garrard

2,258659

Grant

4,935783

Graves

11,031719

Grayson

7,886671

Green

1,683652

Greenup

7,845738

Hancock

3,8941,390

Hardin

48,163806

Harlan

5,901677

Harrison

4,887795

Hart

5,329676

Henderson

19,302859

Henry

2,682722

Hickman

996579

Hopkins

17,290818

Jackson

1,614617

Jefferson

464,4221,118

Jessamine

16,573765

Johnson

5,127647

Kenton

66,3871,131

Knott

2221596

Knox

8,028635

Larue

2,559617

Laurel

26,763704

Lawrence

3,398655

Lee

1,651601

Leslie

1,561728

Letcher

4,547651

Lewis

1,958618

Lincoln

4,195623

Livingston

2,422832

Logan

8,755797

Lyon

2,365610

McCracken

38,528819

McCreary

2,643662

McLean

2,093707

Madison

33,628764

Magoffin

1,597588

Marion

8,649797

Marshall

10,827950

Martin

2,387830

Mason

8,490769

Meade

4,272704

Menifee

932595

Mercer

6,189963

Metcalfe

1,874648

Monroe

3,233607

Montgomery

10,367766

Morgan

2,861656

Muhlenberg

8,121783

Nelson

15,707792

Nicholas

893528

Ohio

7,725687

Oldham

15,874833

Owen

1,520785

Owsley

669532

Pendleton

2,381765

Perry

11,221740

Pike

20,965807

Powell

2,563593

Pulaski

24,754668

Robertson

327494

Rockcastle

3,890613

Rowan

10,638672

Russell

5,722596

Scott

26,326948

Shelby

17,180764

Simpson

9,002767

Spencer

1,921645

Taylor

11,782624

Todd

2,152604

Trigg

2,985607

Trimble

1,2991,107

Union

4,827855

Warren

64269820

Washington

3,374703

Wayne

5,870599

Webster

3,105910

Whitley

11,518708

Wolfe

1,245548

Woodford

9,064823

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 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2018 (thousands)Percent change, March 2017-18Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

144,562.91.6$1,152--3.7--

Alabama

1,948.91.1919362.934

Alaska

311.2-0.51,074202.344

Arizona

2,822.52.81,025223.519

Arkansas

1,211.40.9879442.440

California

17,152.52.11,35264.46

Colorado

2,639.52.51,175113.422

Connecticut

1,651.90.11,44742.440

Delaware

438.71.21,202101.351

District of Columbia

770.21.21,91711.949

Florida

8,716.82.2988254.19

Georgia

4,409.12.31,095172.344

Hawaii

658.40.3974292.344

Idaho

712.63.5809504.37

Illinois

5,909.31.01,24183.910

Indiana

3,018.81.2954323.910

Iowa

1,525.80.5921352.440

Kansas

1,370.60.2912402.738

Kentucky

1,873.70.5901412.539

Louisiana

1,914.70.5932343.030

Maine

592.10.9891433.616

Maryland

2,646.90.91,20993.226

Massachusetts

3,509.91.11,51035.62

Michigan

4,289.01.41,078193.422

Minnesota

2,823.60.71,175112.147

Mississippi

1,125.90.1765512.147

Missouri

2,777.60.5960313.128

Montana

455.51.0819492.440

Nebraska

966.00.4898423.616

Nevada

1,351.63.0977284.85

New Hampshire

648.20.81,122154.93

New Jersey

3,997.61.31,37353.030

New Mexico

813.31.0862472.934

New York

9,318.91.81,59723.422

North Carolina

4,370.61.81,022233.030

North Dakota

408.20.6988253.715

Ohio

5,328.50.91,005242.934

Oklahoma

1,600.91.8914383.519

Oregon

1,894.32.01,026214.37

Pennsylvania

5,787.21.41,115163.422

Rhode Island

469.91.11,086183.226

South Carolina

2,067.42.2877451.750

South Dakota

417.51.0842482.837

Tennessee

2,950.01.6978273.519

Texas

12,179.22.01,168133.910

Utah

1,458.83.3949334.93

Vermont

307.10.4917373.128

Virginia

3,854.41.51,162143.030

Washington

3,316.12.81,30677.71

West Virginia

684.80.6868463.616

Wisconsin

2,831.71.0968303.814

Wyoming

263.70.3914383.910

Puerto Rico

856.7-3.8563(3)7.0(3)

Virgin Islands

33.3-15.5969(3)24.4(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: Wednesday, September 19, 2018