Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

19-1589-ATL
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

County Employment And Wages In Kentucky – First Quarter 2019

Employment increased in 2 of Kentucky’s 3 large counties from March 2018 to March 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 the employment gain in Boone, KY, at 2.5 percent, was above the national average. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.4 percent from March 2018 to March 2019 as 298 of the 355 largest U.S. counties had increases. Midland, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment, with a gain of 5.8 percent. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Kentucky, employment was highest in Jefferson (466,400) in March 2019. Together, Kentucky’s large counties accounted for 39.9 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 146.5 million in March 2019.

Each of Kentucky’s three large counties had over-the-year wage increases in the first quarter of 2019, with the largest gain in Fayette County (2.8 percent). Jefferson County ($1,140) had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 2.8 percent over the year to $1,184 in the first quarter of 2019. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 117 counties in Kentucky with 2018 average annual employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,479 to $546. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

In the first quarter of 2019, over-the-year weekly wage gains were at or above 2.0 percent for each of Kentucky’s large counties. Fayette County was the only large county in Kentucky to have an over-the-year weekly wage gain place in the top half of the national ranking (2.8 percent; 153rd). (See table 1.)

Nationally, 325 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage gain at 10.2 percent, followed by Bay, FL (9.3 percent).

Of the 355 largest counties, 28 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Elkhart, IN, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-7.6 percent), followed by Olmsted, MN (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in each of Kentucky’s three large counties were below the U.S. average of $1,184. The average weekly wage in Jefferson County ($1,140, 111th) placed in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wages in Fayette County ($952, 235th), and Boone County ($922, 269th) placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,184) in 92 of the 355 largest counties in the first quarter of 2019. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,153, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,759), and Santa Clara, CA ($2,758).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 263 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2019. Cameron, TX, reported the lowest wage ($648), followed by Horry, SC ($652), and Hidalgo, TX ($662).

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s smaller counties

Among the 117 counties in Kentucky—those with 2018 annual employment levels below 75,000—only Hancock ($1,479) and Carroll ($1,233) had average weekly wages above the national average of $1,184. Nicholas County had the lowest wage in the state, averaging $546 in the first quarter of 2019. (See table 2.)

When all 120 counties in Kentucky were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages below $600, 46 had average weekly wages from $600 to $699, 25 had wages from $700 to $799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 15 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 2018 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 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 second quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

QCEW Data Now Available in Census Business Builder Version 2.6

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data is now available in Census Business Builder Version 2.6, a suite of U.S. Census Bureau web tools that assists business owners and regional analysts in data-driven decision making. As the first collaboration of this type between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, this data-sharing project makes data more accessible for local users and enhances the efficiency of digital service delivery. The Census Business Builder is available at: www.census.gov/data/data-tools/cbb.html.


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 3 largest counties in Kentucky, first quarter 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2019 (thousands)Percent change, March 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

146,497.61.4--$1,184--2.8--

Kentucky

1,882.60.6--920412.238

Boone, KY

93.72.5439222692.0227

Fayette, KY

191.50.02999522352.8153

Jefferson, KY

466.40.52411,1401112.1218

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 2019
AreaEmployment March 2019Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

146,497,599$1,184

Kentucky

1,882,613920

Adair

4,461621

Allen

4,569706

Anderson

4,902736

Ballard

1,504920

Barren

16,393692

Bath

1,921722

Bell

8,228644

Boone

93,663922

Bourbon

6,756808

Boyd

24,115908

Boyle

14,171758

Bracken

1,229686

Breathitt

2,934643

Breckinridge

3,421637

Bullitt

25,539761

Butler

2,891708

Caldwell

4,156667

Calloway

16,544692

Campbell

30,070859

Carlisle

976635

Carroll

7,0771,233

Carter

5,493629

Casey

3,939578

Christian

30,617832

Clark

14,559828

Clay

3,987664

Clinton

3,885565

Crittenden

1,952623

Cumberland

1,853686

Daviess

45,758823

Edmonson

1,562631

Elliott

930595

Estill

2,223665

Fayette

191,546952

Fleming

3,221680

Floyd

10,636743

Franklin

30,809854

Fulton

2,038598

Gallatin

2,4781,117

Garrard

2,197675

Grant

4,841803

Graves

11,241739

Grayson

7,927684

Green

1,717614

Greenup

7,704752

Hancock

4,0981,479

Hardin

48,303827

Harlan

6,190706

Harrison

4,944839

Hart

5,193695

Henderson

18,972847

Henry

2,827721

Hickman

944590

Hopkins

16,531823

Jackson

1,639629

Jefferson

466,3511,140

Jessamine

17,121770

Johnson

5,072668

Kenton

67,4131,165

Knott

2,179688

Knox

7,956636

Larue

2,471639

Laurel

26,432697

Lawrence

3,423671

Lee

1,647661

Leslie

1,615709

Letcher

4,363679

Lewis

1,871660

Lincoln

4,160632

Livingston

2,418892

Logan

9,023834

Lyon

2,460616

McCracken

37,660837

McCreary

2,647642

McLean

2,202735

Madison

34,618778

Magoffin

1,750578

Marion

8,792794

Marshall

11,006972

Martin

2,408817

Mason

8,475801

Meade

4,338725

Menifee

954604

Mercer

6,379973

Metcalfe

1,836682

Monroe

3,171628

Montgomery

10,349763

Morgan

2,994665

Muhlenberg

8,380801

Nelson

16,352791

Nicholas

848546

Ohio

7,771699

Oldham

15,994870

Owen

1,322795

Owsley

670560

Pendleton

2,292785

Perry

11,343758

Pike

20,643831

Powell

2,584587

Pulaski

25,802693

Robertson

292564

Rockcastle

3,786638

Rowan

10,224695

Russell

5,588625

Scott

26,708974

Shelby

16,158806

Simpson

9,038793

Spencer

2,048629

Taylor

12,042635

Todd

2,262612

Trigg

3,074601

Trimble

1,1381,038

Union

5,069917

Warren

65,082826

Washington

3,397735

Wayne

5,666575

Webster

3,0931,009

Whitley

11,738722

Wolfe

1,250549

Woodford

9,199820

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

United States (2)

146,497.61.4$1,184--2.8--

Alabama

1,978.01.6944382.532

Alaska

312.40.31,108183.39

Arizona

2,895.12.51,056223.021

Arkansas

1,218.50.7896452.238

California

17,436.41.81,40153.84

Colorado

2,690.31.91,23194.82

Connecticut

1,650.60.01,48742.334

Delaware

444.11.31,19913-0.151

District of Columbia

773.50.51,92110.249

Florida

8,894.32.11,015262.725

Georgia

4,488.62.11,121172.628

Hawaii

658.1-0.41,006273.48

Idaho

732.32.7828502.334

Illinois

5,912.00.11,27582.725

Indiana

3,059.11.2963330.948

Iowa

1,527.10.1942392.334

Kansas

1,379.30.6940403.212

Kentucky

1,882.60.6920412.238

Louisiana

1,916.8-0.1954342.532

Maine

599.81.2919423.116

Maryland

2,670.30.91,228101.745

Massachusetts

3,558.11.11,56133.57

Michigan

4,307.40.61,078200.150

Minnesota

2,840.80.51,203122.334

Mississippi

1,129.80.4779511.843

Missouri

2,788.40.5986312.628

Montana

458.80.9844493.116

Nebraska

965.60.1917432.238

Nevada

1,392.23.0992291.547

New Hampshire

656.21.21,156153.116

New Jersey

4,040.21.31,39961.745

New Mexico

825.41.3890473.212

New York

9,453.51.51,63922.628

North Carolina

4,458.52.01,054233.212

North Dakota

414.31.51,021253.39

Ohio

5,363.20.71,035243.021

Oklahoma

1,617.01.1953354.33

Oregon

1,921.91.31,060213.39

Pennsylvania

5,850.31.11,146162.824

Rhode Island

474.70.81,104191.843

South Carolina

2,110.02.0901443.021

South Dakota

419.00.4865482.725

Tennessee

3,004.22.0996281.942

Texas

12,455.62.21,204113.116

Utah

1,501.43.0978323.116

Vermont

309.10.4950363.75

Virginia

3,896.91.21,186142.141

Washington

3,371.11.81,36874.91

West Virginia

687.10.3896453.212

Wisconsin

2,838.90.1992292.628

Wyoming

269.01.9948373.75

Puerto Rico

875.82.2553(3)-2.1(3)

Virgin Islands

36.69.6966(3)-1.0(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 18, 2019