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News Release Information

18-1525-ATL
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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County Employment and Wages in Tennessee – First Quarter 2018

Employment rose in all six large counties in Tennessee from March 2017 to March 2018, 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 2017 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment increases ranged from 4.2 percent in Williamson County to 0.9 percent in Knox County. (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 counties in the U.S., with a loss of 1.4 percent.

Among the largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Shelby County (492,500) in March 2018, followed by Davidson County (488,400). Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 57.1 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 Tennessee’s six large counties posted over-the-year wage increases in the first quarter of 2018. Davidson County (6.2 percent) had the largest over-the-year wage gain, followed by Knox County (4.4 percent). Williamson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,280, followed by Davidson County at $1,228. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.7 percent over the year, growing 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 89 counties with employment levels below 75,000 in Tennessee. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,355 to $498. (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 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. Wage gains in two of the state’s large counties placed in the top 75 of the national ranking—Davidson (6.2 percent, 19th), and Knox (4.4 percent, 59th). (See table 1.)

Nationally, 336 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Peoria, Ill., had the largest wage gain, 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

Williamson and Davidson Counties, with average weekly wages of $1,280 and $1,228, respectively, placed in the top quarter among the 349 largest U.S. counties in the first quarter of 2018. Average weekly wages in three large counties in Tennessee 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 Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 counties in Tennessee with employment below 75,000, only Roane County ($1,355) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,152. Grundy County reported the lowest average weekly in the state, averaging $498 in the first quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 9 reported average weekly wages below $600, 28 had wages from $600 to $699, 33 had wages from $700 to $799, 13 had wages from $800 to $899, and 12 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 Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2017 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 6 largest counties in Tennessee, 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--

Tennessee

2,950.01.6--978273.519

Davidson, Tenn.

488.42.7561,228686.219

Hamilton, Tenn.

203.52.01039632062.4228

Knox, Tenn.

237.30.92229821874.459

Rutherford, Tenn.

129.33.5259062590.3332

Shelby, Tenn.

492.51.12001,0741301.6302

Williamson, Tenn.

132.74.2131,280562.1264

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 2018
AreaEmployment March 2018Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

144,562,926$1,152

Tennessee

2,950,002978

Anderson

38,7881127

Bedford

17,647742

Benton

4,117664

Bledsoe

2,167641

Blount

48,852904

Bradley

41,624790

Campbell

9,345671

Cannon

2,260618

Carroll

7,219740

Carter

11,245651

Cheatham

8,545836

Chester

3,670627

Claiborne

9,149675

Clay

1,473565

Cocke

7,643661

Coffee

26,217852

Crockett

3,675788

Cumberland

17,763643

Davidson

488,4231,228

Decatur

3,601720

De Kalb

5,822717

Dickson

17,444727

Dyer

15,199764

Fayette

7,762851

Fentress

4,800586

Franklin

11,922678

Gibson

14,036693

Giles

10,696730

Grainger

3,915779

Greene

25,443721

Grundy

2,065498

Hamblen

31,266750

Hamilton

203,498963

Hancock

841520

Hardeman

6,602770

Hardin

8,090847

Hawkins

13,011810

Haywood

4,971751

Henderson

7,916783

Henry

11,596733

Hickman

3,691685

Houston

1,472593

Humphreys

5,7941013

Jackson

1,456605

Jefferson

13,235774

Johnson

4,248767

Knox

237,273982

Lake

1,737620

Lauderdale

6,656729

Lawrence

10,350664

Lewis

2,664574

Lincoln

10,048675

Loudon

15,132819

McMinn

5,025815

McNairy

58,766633

Macon

7,603631

Madison

9,694820

Marion

34,613716

Marshall

18,010786

Maury

5,580942

Meigs

2,160711

Monroe

14,382736

Montgomery

54,038724

Moore

2,042843

Morgan

2,999674

Obion

9,566702

Overton

4,899701

Perry

2,075596

Pickett

1178644

Polk

2,035600

Putnam

36,716738

Rhea

10,496795

Roane

17,9411,355

Robertson

22,338739

Rutherford

129,328906

Scott

5,761601

Sequatchie

2,956598

Sevier

45,658570

Shelby

492,4981,074

Smith

5,400802

Stewart

2,543891

Sullivan

68,6771000

Sumner

53,781820

Tipton

11,446685

Trousdale

1,874721

Unicoi

4,785883

Union

2,480647

Van Buren

829616

Warren

12,872743

Washington

61,646771

Wayne

3,604651

Weakley

11,115629

White

7,121662

Williamson

132,6841,280

Wilson

45,021779

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