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News Release Information

19-2132-ATL
Thursday, December 19, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Alabama – Second Quarter 2019

Employment increased in 4 of Alabama’s 6 largest counties from June 2018 to June 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment increases ranged from 2.9 percent in Tuscaloosa County to 0.4 percent in Mobile County. During this same period, employment declined in Montgomery and Shelby Counties, down 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment rose 1.1 percent from June 2018 to June 2019 as 279 of the 355 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Adams, CO, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment, with a gain of 5.3 percent. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 6.4 percent.

Among the largest counties in Alabama, employment was highest in Jefferson County (354,600) in June 2019, followed by Madison County (205,900). Together, Alabama’s large counties accounted for 52.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 149.1 million in June 2019.

Each of Alabama’s six large counties had over-the-year wage increases with the largest gain in Madison County (4.7 percent). Madison County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s six largest counties at $1,153. Nationally, the average weekly wage was $1,095, a 3.8 percent increase over the year. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 61 counties in Alabama with 2018 annual average employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,174 to $607. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

In the second quarter of 2019, Madison County (4.7 percent) was the only large county in Alabama to have an over-the-year wage gain above the national average of 3.8 percent. Over-the-year wage gains among Alabama’s other five large counties ranged from 3.6 percent to 2.6 percent.  (See table 1.)

Nationally, 347 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2019. Benton, AR, had the largest over-the-year wage gain at 16.3 percent, followed by San Francisco, CA (15.5 percent), and Bay, FL (9.2 percent).

Of the 355 largest U.S. counties, 8 had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. McLean, IL, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-5.8 percent), followed by Shawnee, KS (-2.9 percent), and Lake, IL (-2.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Madison County’s average weekly wage of $1,153 was above the U.S. average of $1,095, and ranked 76th nationwide. Jefferson County ($1,062) and Shelby County ($1,013) ranked 119th and 163rd, respectively.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were at or higher than the U.S. average in 95 of the 355 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,612, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,430), and San Mateo, CA ($2,373).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 260 had average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2019. Horry, SC ($649) had the lowest weekly wage, followed by Hidalgo, TX ($657), and Cameron TX ($659).

Average weekly wages in Alabama’s smaller counties

Among the 61 counties in Alabama—those with 2018 annual employment levels below 75,000—only Washington ($1,174) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,095. Perry County had the lowest average weekly wage in the state, averaging $607 in the second quarter of 2019. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Alabama were considered, 18 had average weekly wages at or below $699, 29 had wages from $700-$799, 11 had wages from $800-$899, and 9 had wages at or 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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 20, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

 


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 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 Alabama, second quarter 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2019 (thousands)Percent change, June 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

149,089.21.1--$1,095--3.8--

Alabama

1,993.71.1--911363.428

Jefferson, Ala.

354.60.81841,0621192.6258

Madison, Ala.

205.92.3541,153764.753

Mobile, Ala.

172.00.42369042633.3187

Montgomery, Ala.

131.5-0.53178912793.6156

Shelby, Ala.

85.5-0.22981,0131633.1210

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

96.12.9268832852.7253

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 Alabama, second quarter 2019
AreaEmployment June 2019Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

149,089,158$1,095

Alabama

1,993,680911

Autauga

11,117740

Baldwin

79,262717

Barbour

8,150699

Bibb

4,713800

Blount

8,831667

Bullock

2,981708

Butler

6,821657

Calhoun

44,829772

Chambers

8,507737

Cherokee

5,296677

Chilton

9,668728

Choctaw

3,584984

Clarke

8,011785

Clay

4,268684

Cleburne

2,068804

Coffee

16,674664

Colbert

24,112856

Conecuh

3,431697

Coosa

1,465656

Covington

12,269691

Crenshaw

3,796743

Cullman

28,991758

Dale

17,118991

Dallas

11,946745

DeKalb

22,651719

Elmore

20,000681

Escambia

12,902774

Etowah

35,880715

Fayette

4,034660

Franklin

11,178702

Geneva

5,218643

Greene

1,721712

Hale

2,657705

Henry

3,325731

Houston

49,071805

Jackson

15,810714

Jefferson

354,6171,062

Lamar

3,487793

Lauderdale

29,449682

Lawrence

5,072663

Lee

59,865771

Limestone

23,833947

Lowndes

2,295950

Macon

4,566881

Madison

205,8561,153

Marengo

7,276772

Marion

10,126697

Marshall

38,386703

Mobile

172,040904

Monroe

6,230805

Montgomery

131,505891

Morgan

50,110886

Perry

2,049607

Pickens

3,749753

Pike

14,167792

Randolph

4,690666

Russell

14,117719

St. Clair

20,014736

Shelby

85,4561,013

Sumter

2,930756

Talladega

29,957884

Tallapoosa

13,349681

Tuscaloosa

96,076883

Walker

18,591748

Washington

3,6091,174

Wilcox

2,839862

Winston

8,225712

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, second quarter 2019
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2019 (thousands)Percent change, June 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

149,089.21.1$1,095--3.8--

Alabama

1,993.71.1911363.428

Alaska

338.90.71,078153.626

Arizona

2,843.32.61,010233.816

Arkansas

1,222.50.6862474.64

California

17,717.41.51,32544.73

Colorado

2,765.72.21,12894.92

Connecticut

1,690.8-0.81,26663.911

Delaware

458.00.81,057173.428

District of Columbia

780.40.51,77813.816

Florida

8,722.91.8968263.911

Georgia

4,507.11.71,016223.911

Hawaii

652.2-1.2992243.722

Idaho

765.12.6820503.333

Illinois

6,074.70.31,122102.447

Indiana

3,089.80.5910383.139

Iowa

1,584.70.1902402.545

Kansas

1,403.00.6905392.842

Kentucky

1,909.70.3911363.333

Louisiana

1,920.2-0.2923352.447

Maine

639.60.4874453.722

Maryland

2,733.60.71,17883.333

Massachusetts

3,690.10.91,37724.35

Michigan

4,419.70.11,018212.447

Minnesota

2,952.60.81,101132.644

Mississippi

1,135.90.4767512.051

Missouri

2,836.70.3948302.545

Montana

483.11.0843483.333

Nebraska

991.50.1889423.527

Nevada

1,408.82.6961293.238

New Hampshire

676.10.81,090144.010

New Jersey

4,182.50.71,23673.041

New Mexico

834.01.0888444.35

New York

9,682.81.01,34733.911

North Carolina

4,527.32.0970253.911

North Dakota

431.81.31,026204.17

Ohio

5,486.70.4965273.428

Oklahoma

1,618.50.5900413.139

Oregon

1,976.51.31,036183.816

Pennsylvania

5,972.10.81,070163.816

Rhode Island

494.50.71,034193.428

South Carolina

2,144.21.3867463.722

South Dakota

441.80.4838493.816

Tennessee

3,047.81.8964283.333

Texas

12,585.62.01,102123.816

Utah

1,526.13.0936324.17

Vermont

314.00.0929342.743

Virginia

3,981.61.01,113113.722

Washington

3,500.61.81,28855.91

West Virginia

700.4-0.6889422.447

Wisconsin

2,945.30.3940314.17

Wyoming

287.61.7932333.428

Puerto Rico

867.71.5531(3)-1.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.010.0919(3)8.8(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, December 19, 2019