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News Release Information

20-1698-ATL
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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Technical information:
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  • (404) 893-4220

County Employment and Wages in Tennessee — First Quarter 2020

Employment rose in 5 of Tennessee’s 6 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 employment gains ranged from 2.6 percent in Williamson County to 0.4 percent in Hamilton County. (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 over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.5 percent.

Among the six largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Davidson County (513,200) in March 2020. Within Davidson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 57.1 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 89 counties in Tennessee with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 88 of the 89 smaller counties were below the national average in the first quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Among Tennessee’s six large counties, five reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Four counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 3.3 percent, with the largest gain in Davidson (+4.7 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

Weekly wages in 2 of the 6 large counties in Tennessee were above the national average of $1,222 in the first quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in both of these counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Williamson ($1,449, 44th), and Davidson ($1,282, 68th).

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 Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 smaller counties in Tennessee–those with employment below 75,000–Roane ($1,390) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,222. Hancock County ($539) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 31 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 33 had wages from $700 to $799, 16 had wages from $800 to $899, and 15 had average weekly 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 2019 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 six largest counties in Tennessee, 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--

Tennessee

171.23,033.51.0--1,027293.127

Davidson

25.4513.21.8411,282684.742

Hamilton

10.6206.80.41581,0311933.4150

Knox

13.4241.41.0919892253.8114

Rutherford

6.3134.41.5549472640.0336

Shelby

21.6495.5-0.32401,1171400.8312

Williamson

10.0140.62.6121,449443.7121

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 2020
AreaEmployment March 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

147,088,945$1,222

Tennessee

3,033,5371,027

Anderson

40,2191,188

Bedford

16,182767

Benton

4,121666

Bledsoe

2,171700

Blount

50,816920

Bradley

43,169833

Campbell

9,134690

Cannon

2,379666

Carroll

6,579628

Carter

11,634692

Cheatham

8,775905

Chester

3,636666

Claiborne

9,138708

Clay

1,300576

Cocke

7,310693

Coffee

26,284876

Crockett

3,633921

Cumberland

17,635668

Davidson

513,2281,282

Decatur

3,384727

De Kalb

5,551745

Dickson

17,769758

Dyer

15,161798

Fayette

7,863871

Fentress

5,166604

Franklin

11,568756

Gibson

14,136731

Giles

9,928763

Grainger

3,946756

Greene

24,514768

Grundy

2,167567

Hamblen

32,250782

Hamilton

206,8031,031

Hancock

943539

Hardeman

6,893771

Hardin

7,929863

Hawkins

12,303817

Haywood

4,816789

Henderson

7,968687

Henry

11,371745

Hickman

3,738762

Houston

1,502625

Humphreys

5,877944

Jackson

1,418663

Jefferson

13,308809

Johnson

4,303789

Knox

241,386989

Lake

1,526696

Lauderdale

6,855772

Lawrence

10,921718

Lewis

2,857598

Lincoln

9,109725

Loudon

17,109852

McMinn

19,306841

McNairy

5,569656

Macon

4,902645

Madison

59,174845

Marion

7,555740

Marshall

9,613794

Maury

37,698979

Meigs

2,186780

Monroe

14,508743

Montgomery

57,108786

Moore

2,458847

Morgan

3,074716

Obion

10,993723

Overton

5,038692

Perry

1,763602

Pickett

949577

Polk

2,103652

Putnam

37,997756

Rhea

10,967879

Roane

19,7391,390

Robertson

21,567769

Rutherford

134,426947

Scott

5,596605

Sequatchie

3,139633

Sevier

48,160619

Shelby

495,4551,117

Smith

5,091833

Stewart

2,811975

Sullivan

68,974955

Sumner

56,622858

Tipton

11,607758

Trousdale

1,833787

Unicoi

4,734880

Union

2,564695

Van Buren

776621

Warren

12,850750

Washington

61,391815

Wayne

3,869661

Weakley

11,111660

White

7,279676

Williamson

140,6451,449

Wilson

49,943828

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