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News Release Information

20-1617-ATL
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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

County Employment And Wages In Kentucky – First Quarter 2020

Employment rose in each of Kentucky’s three large counties from March 2019 to March 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 Boone County had the largest over-the-year increase in employment at 2.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Employment in the U.S. (as measured by the QCEW program) increased 0.4 percent over the year with 202 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. St. Johns, FL, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 3.7 percent. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.5 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Kentucky, employment was highest in Jefferson (465,600) in March 2020. Within Jefferson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment share. Together, Kentucky’s large counties accounted for 40.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 117 counties in Kentucky with 2019 average annual employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,453 to $525. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All three large Kentucky counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Two counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 3.3 percent: Fayette (+3.6 percent), and Boone (+3.4 percent).

Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 335 had over-the-year wage increases. McLean, IL, had the largest percentage wage increase (+13.3 percent). Twenty large counties had wage declines during the period. Peoria, IL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-12.8 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in each of Kentucky’s three large counties were below the U.S. average of $1,222. The average weekly wage in Jefferson County ($1,172, 110th) placed in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wages in Fayette County ($989, 225th), and Boone County ($949, 263rd) placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 92 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the first quarter of 2020. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,270. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 265 counties. At $666 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s smaller counties

Among the 117 smaller counties in Kentucky–those with employment below 75,000–only Hancock ($1,453) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,222. Wolfe County ($525) had the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 120 counties in Kentucky were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages below $600, 44 had average weekly wages from $600 to $699, 30 had wages from $700 to $799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 16 had wages at or above $900. (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 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

QCEW Data and Response Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Beginning with this release of first quarter 2020 data, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program will publish response rate tables for establishments, employment, and total quarterly wages. Tables for the first quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-first-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, please visit www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.


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 three largest counties in Kentucky, first quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands)EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands)Percent change, March 2019-20 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)First quarter 2020National ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2019-20 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,447.2147,088.90.4--$1,222--3.3--

Kentucky

124.01,884.90.1--943432.538

Boone

4.596.52.3209492633.4150

Fayette

11.5193.10.71229892253.6128

Jefferson

26.0465.60.21821,1721102.6214

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 2020
AreaEmployment March 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

147,088,945$1,222

Kentucky

1,884,855943

Adair

4,386632

Allen

4,605712

Anderson

4,718717

Ballard

1,580975

Barren

16,024728

Bath

2,011739

Bell

8,024634

Boone

96,477949

Bourbon

6,651821

Boyd

23,863937

Boyle

14,091790

Bracken

1,256688

Breathitt

2,611644

Breckinridge

3,417678

Bullitt

26,038788

Butler

2,790677

Caldwell

4,263690

Calloway

15,912714

Campbell

29,873855

Carlisle

987649

Carroll

7,2551,186

Carter

5,443649

Casey

3,871622

Christian

31,035828

Clark

14,595808

Clay

3,972678

Clinton

3,972584

Crittenden

1,905609

Cumberland

2,005689

Daviess

45,368852

Edmonson

1,611646

Elliott

897616

Estill

2,339721

Fayette

193,116989

Fleming

3,115714

Floyd

10,506739

Franklin

31,469860

Fulton

2,185577

Gallatin

2,5301,058

Garrard

2,113646

Grant

5,093791

Graves

11,447759

Grayson

7,815707

Green

1,821624

Greenup

7,508765

Hancock

4,1151,453

Hardin

47,718844

Harlan

6,345658

Harrison

5,075833

Hart

4,901725

Henderson

18,946851

Henry

2,722728

Hickman

911616

Hopkins

16,618827

Jackson

1,656622

Jefferson

465,6301,172

Jessamine

17,178794

Johnson

5,031669

Kenton

67,9321,195

Knott

2,088759

Knox

7,965644

Larue

2,540672

Laurel

26,966698

Lawrence

3,559671

Lee

1,613699

Leslie

1,577686

Letcher

4,231675

Lewis

1,953626

Lincoln

4,036668

Livingston

2,421958

Logan

8,862839

Lyon

2,511635

McCracken

38,034884

McCreary

2,823657

McLean

1,881720

Madison

34,014795

Magoffin

1,812576

Marion

8,555808

Marshall

11,496993

Martin

2,042750

Mason

8,195802

Meade

4,267755

Menifee

937645

Mercer

6,323944

Metcalfe

1,848690

Monroe

3,146693

Montgomery

10,263769

Morgan

2,837676

Muhlenberg

8,099788

Nelson

16,395816

Nicholas

835559

Ohio

7,569695

Oldham

16,453925

Owen

1,365935

Owsley

649580

Pendleton

2,248786

Perry

11,476765

Pike

20,350819

Powell

2,717608

Pulaski

25,976703

Robertson

294595

Rockcastle

3,936633

Rowan

10,175714

Russell

5,692645

Scott

26,753989

Shelby

16,087835

Simpson

8,810812

Spencer

2,074676

Taylor

12,301657

Todd

2,195629

Trigg

2,879616

Trimble

1,2361,101

Union

5,064895

Warren

65,142857

Washington

3,324769

Wayne

5,711597

Webster

2,952855

Whitley

12,560700

Wolfe

1,377525

Woodford

8,843833

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 2020
StateEstablishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands)EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands)Percent change, March 2019-20First quarter 2020National ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2019-20National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

10,447.2147,088.90.4$1,222--3.3--

Alabama

132.61,983.80.3974363.223

Alaska

22.6312.8-0.11,130192.144

Arizona

170.42,957.21.91,098224.41

Arkansas

93.61,220.50.2922453.029

California

1,631.117,570.50.81,45954.23

Colorado

214.52,725.21.21,28494.32

Connecticut

124.11,639.4-0.71,51041.548

Delaware

34.6443.7-0.31,251111.745

District of Columbia

42.3778.10.61,99413.814

Florida

740.58,975.10.81,051253.618

Georgia

301.54,522.20.91,159173.419

Hawaii

45.4655.5-1.01,033273.029

Idaho

66.8755.23.1864504.23

Illinois

381.55,872.9-0.71,30282.341

Indiana

171.13,028.5-1.0994333.223

Iowa

104.81,523.4-0.2978353.716

Kansas

89.81,383.30.2969373.223

Kentucky

124.01,884.90.1943432.538

Louisiana

137.41,897.0-1.3969371.745

Maine

53.9601.00.1955404.011

Maryland

175.72,661.5-0.41,277104.18

Massachusetts

263.33,565.1-0.21,60533.029

Michigan

267.04,281.4-0.61,103202.341

Minnesota

183.92,838.2-0.11,235122.735

Mississippi

73.91,128.1-0.2801512.834

Missouri

214.82,795.70.31,016313.029

Montana

50.6465.21.5869493.127

Nebraska

72.3972.40.8956394.18

Nevada

86.11,410.81.31,033274.23

New Hampshire

54.3657.00.21,194153.320

New Jersey

285.84,052.70.41,45563.913

New Mexico

64.0835.60.9923443.716

New York

657.29,415.7-0.31,69323.320

North Carolina

296.04,501.10.91,094234.18

North Dakota

32.2414.30.01,046262.439

Ohio

304.45,349.6-0.31,063242.933

Oklahoma

112.81,598.0-1.394942-0.551

Oregon

162.41,938.90.71,103204.23

Pennsylvania

363.55,851.30.01,177162.735

Rhode Island

39.5473.9-0.21,132182.735

South Carolina

142.72,112.80.1922452.243

South Dakota

34.7420.60.4901484.23

Tennessee

171.23,033.51.01,027293.127

Texas

725.712,626.21.21,232142.439

Utah

109.81,526.81.81,026303.223

Vermont

26.1303.9-1.8980343.320

Virginia

282.93,921.00.61,233134.011

Washington

255.63,427.31.71,41473.814

West Virginia

51.2674.9-1.8904470.949

Wisconsin

178.22,836.5-0.21,008321.745

Wyoming

27.2268.5-0.5955400.650

Puerto Rico

47.5886.41.0551(3)0.0(3)

Virgin Islands

3.340.15.71,046(3)6.3(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 16, 2020