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20-2187-ATL
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in Alabama — Second Quarter 2020

Employment declined in all of Alabama’s seven largest counties from June 2019 to June 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment decreases ranged from 10.3 percent in Tuscaloosa County to 3.8 percent in Madison County. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 9.4 percent over the year, with all of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 34.2 percent.

Among the seven largest counties in Alabama, employment was highest in Jefferson County (328,800) in June 2020. Within Jefferson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the seven largest Alabama counties accounted for 56.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 60 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 59 of the 60 smaller counties were below the national average in the second quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All seven large Alabama counties reported average weekly wage gains from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Madison County (+8.8 percent) and Baldwin County (+8.6 percent) had rates of wage gains that were at or above the national rate of 8.6 percent. Over-the-year wage gains among Alabama’s other five large counties ranged from 6.3 percent to 3.2 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 352 had over-the-year wage increases. The increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest percentage wage increase (+22.5 percent). Five large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-6.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Madison County’s average weekly wage ($1,255, 75th) was the only large county in Alabama that was above the U.S. average of $1,188. Jefferson County ($1,115, 149th) also had average weekly wages that ranked in the top half nationwide.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 101 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the second quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,045. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 256 counties. At $698 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Alabama’s smaller counties

Among the 60 smaller counties in Alabama—those with employment below 75,000—Washington ($1,233) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,188. Perry County ($649) had the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 67 counties in Alabama were considered, 6 had average weekly wages below $700, 32 had wages from $700-$799, 16 had wages from $800-$899, and 13 had wages of $900 or higher. (See chart 3.)

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 2019 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm. The 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on Second Quarter 2020 QCEW Data

Response rate tables for the second quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-second-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, see www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.

Special Notice: Imputation Methodology Improvements

QCEW implemented improvements to imputation methodology, effective with second quarter 2020 processing. For more information on QCEW imputation methodology and the impact of the improved methods, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.

Special Notice: Business Response Survey

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the novel coronavirus through September 2020. Data for the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic were released on December 7, 2020. For more information, please visit: www.bls.gov/brs/.


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 individuals with sensory impairments 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 seven largest counties in Alabama, second quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,451.0135,114.4-9.4--$1,188--8.6--

Alabama

131.21,868.7-6.4--964405.942

Baldwin

6.674.1-6.7887823538.6156

Jefferson

19.3328.8-7.71301,1151495.0317

Madison

10.1198.4-3.8191,255758.8144

Mobile

10.4160.2-6.7889612666.3275

Montgomery

6.4121.7-7.91369362965.9289

Shelby

5.980.0-6.3751,0561934.7323

Tuscaloosa

4.686.9-10.32199083203.2340

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 2020
AreaEmployment June 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

135,114,354$1,188

Alabama

1,868,735964

Autauga

10,674777

Baldwin

74,058782

Barbour

7,951728

Bibb

4,536839

Blount

8,525722

Bullock

2,831811

Butler

6,262718

Calhoun

42,092808

Chambers

8,078747

Cherokee

4,842698

Chilton

8,949747

Choctaw

3,451949

Clarke

7,757810

Clay

4,136707

Cleburne

2,111894

Coffee

15,520720

Colbert

22,642897

Conecuh

3,312707

Coosa

1,290728

Covington

11,421738

Crenshaw

3,405766

Cullman

27,516808

Dale

16,7021,041

Dallas

11,070775

DeKalb

21,209757

Elmore

18,866714

Escambia

12,330794

Etowah

30,911742

Fayette

3,670678

Franklin

10,382728

Geneva

5,158676

Greene

1,782694

Hale

2,481787

Henry

3,491796

Houston

46,338859

Jackson

14,221767

Jefferson

328,7611,115

Lamar

3,294820

Lauderdale

27,541743

Lawrence

4,809733

Lee

55,187852

Limestone

22,926957

Lowndes

2,194906

Macon

4,481921

Madison

198,4421,255

Marengo

6,823804

Marion

10,087727

Marshall

36,782741

Mobile

160,236961

Monroe

5,938856

Montgomery

121,652936

Morgan

48,404942

Perry

1,945649

Pickens

3,472794

Pike

14,169834

Randolph

4,628676

Russell

13,466763

St. Clair

18,780773

Shelby

80,0201,056

Sumter

2,738823

Talladega

28,974835

Tallapoosa

11,990721

Tuscaloosa

86,878908

Walker

16,972765

Washington

3,3571,233

Wilcox

2,636827

Winston

7,853747

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 2020
StateEstablishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,451.0135,114.4-9.4$1,188--8.6--

Alabama

131.21,868.7-6.4964405.942

Alaska

22.7296.2-12.71,1951411.211

Arizona

170.72,708.4-5.11,090227.930

Arkansas

93.01,156.5-5.5924477.333

California

1,633.115,911.2-10.21,468410.912

Colorado

216.42,545.9-8.01,22698.725

Connecticut

123.41,483.6-12.31,407611.39

Delaware

34.5416.0-9.31,156179.022

District of Columbia

41.7701.8-10.01,987111.77

Florida

738.08,113.8-7.11,032286.640

Georgia

307.24,196.0-7.01,075235.744

Hawaii

45.9524.9-20.11,1082112.06

Idaho

67.9748.3-2.3882507.632

Illinois

379.65,391.8-11.31,218108.626

Indiana

171.62,865.7-7.3960415.645

Iowa

104.71,458.8-8.0978368.427

Kansas

90.01,306.0-7.0969387.134

Kentucky

125.41,754.0-8.2970376.441

Louisiana

137.81,710.1-11.0985346.739

Maine

53.8572.5-10.89803512.35

Maryland

175.82,430.3-11.21,305810.713

Massachusetts

263.13,178.8-14.31,570214.01

Michigan

268.53,850.9-12.91,114209.516

Minnesota

185.42,644.6-10.51,200139.022

Mississippi

73.81,063.1-6.4812515.942

Missouri

215.92,622.2-7.51,015327.134

Montana

51.5459.5-4.9919489.119

Nebraska

72.9932.3-6.0960418.028

Nevada

85.91,191.6-15.41,048269.119

New Hampshire

54.8605.4-10.51,2151211.58

New Jersey

284.13,570.3-14.61,376711.39

New Mexico

62.4757.0-9.4958437.831

New York

652.08,142.6-15.91,520312.84

North Carolina

296.24,205.4-6.91,038276.937

North Dakota

32.4390.1-9.71,061243.351

Ohio

302.35,049.8-8.01,031297.036

Oklahoma

112.11,521.3-6.3940444.449

Oregon

160.91,789.3-9.61,1431910.315

Pennsylvania

362.85,314.5-11.11,170169.218

Rhode Island

39.5429.3-13.21,1721513.13

South Carolina

144.41,991.0-7.2928466.937

South Dakota

34.7415.9-5.9912499.022

Tennessee

171.12,847.2-6.61,016315.346

Texas

727.411,807.1-6.31,156175.047

Utah

111.61,474.8-3.01,017309.119

Vermont

26.1271.8-13.61,0552513.62

Virginia

283.33,635.2-8.81,218109.417

Washington

253.83,207.1-8.41,424510.614

West Virginia

51.3634.9-9.4933454.948

Wisconsin

179.22,690.0-8.71,014338.028

Wyoming

27.2260.5-9.6965393.750

Puerto Rico

46.1798.7-7.9556(3)4.7(3)

Virgin Islands

3.435.4-7.01,016(3)6.9(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, December 16, 2020