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21-1007-ATL
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

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Technical information:
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County Employment and Wages in Georgia — Fourth Quarter 2020

Employment declined in all of Georgia’s 11 largest counties from December 2019 to December 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 10.1 percent in Clayton County to 2.0 percent in Hall County. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 6.1 percent over the year, with 352 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Maui + Kalawao, HI, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 22.8 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 3.8 percent.

Among the 11 largest counties in Georgia, employment was highest in Fulton County (858,500) in December 2020. Within Fulton County’s private industry, professional and technical services accounted for the largest employment. Together, the 11 largest Georgia counties accounted for 58.6 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 148 counties in Georgia with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 147 of the 148 smaller counties were below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All 11 large Georgia counties reported average weekly wage gains from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Gwinnett County had the largest wage gain at 13.3 percent, followed by Fulton County (+12.7 percent) and Hall County (+12.5 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Georgia’s other eight large counties ranged from 11.1 percent to 6.9 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 356 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, across most industries, increases in average weekly wages reflect substantial employment declines combined with wage increases. The lowest paying industry, leisure and hospitality, had the largest employment loss, which results in higher average weekly wages for the industry and the nation. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+44.3 percent). Ector, TX, had the only over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the 2 of the 11 largest counties in Georgia were above the national average of $1,339 in the fourth quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in these two counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Fulton ($1,707, 18th) and Cobb ($1,357, 85th).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 89 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,690. Average weekly wages were below the national average in the remaining 268 counties. At $760 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Georgia’s smaller counties

Among the 148 smaller counties in Georgia—those with employment below 75,000—Burke County ($1,851) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,339. Montgomery County ($626) had the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 159 counties in Georgia were considered, 56 reported average weekly wages of $799 or lower, 54 had wages from $800 to $899, 30 had wages from $900 to $999, 11 had wages from $1,000 to $1,099, and 8 had wages of $1,100 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 first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

QCEW Imputation Issue Caused by Pandemic-Related Challenges

In the spring of 2020, BLS modified its imputation process for QCEW to be more responsive to current economic conditions. While continuing work to improve this process, BLS made an unintended data processing error. This error affected data for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020. BLS has analyzed this issue and has determined that the impact on QCEW employment was negligible at the statewide level. In smaller areas and industries, revisions may be larger than usual. Wage data were not affected. Following the usual QCEW practice, these data will be revised and corrected with the full data update on September 1, 2021.

For more information on QCEW imputation methodology, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.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 11 largest counties in Georgia, fourth quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,675.8140,881.3-6.1--$1,339--13.0--

Georgia

319.74,405.9-4.0--1,2082310.942

Bibb

4.680.2-4.812098033110.5266

Chatham

9.0157.7-5.01271,0432979.0319

Clayton

4.5113.4-10.13301,1691956.9341

Cobb

24.6365.4-4.0831,3578513.3127

DeKalb

20.0291.9-5.21381,28511810.0291

Forsyth

6.676.2-2.9541,1352198.3327

Fulton

49.7858.5-6.72121,7071812.7161

Gwinnett

28.4352.8-4.71141,20416910.2282

Hall

5.090.2-2.0251,15720412.5174

Muscogee

4.891.9-4.711496733710.9255

Richmond

4.8102.2-2.8491,04729211.1242

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from 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 Georgia, fourth quarter 2020
AreaEmployment December 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,881,253$1,339

Georgia

4,405,9241,208

Appling

6,7551,068

Atkinson

2,329807

Bacon

3,608832

Baker

445731

Baldwin

14,848746

Banks

4,203750

Barrow

20,420933

Bartow

40,760977

Ben Hill

5,341756

Berrien

3,599748

Bibb

80,213980

Bleckley

2,516723

Brantley

2,608767

Brooks

3,265838

Bryan

9,003824

Bulloch

25,584824

Burke

13,9161,851

Butts

7,229874

Calhoun

1,097724

Camden

14,491976

Candler

3,185665

Carroll

41,097984

Catoosa

15,220814

Charlton

1,946846

Chatham

157,6971,043

Chattahoochee

2,314989

Chattooga

4,958737

Cherokee

66,737975

Clarke

67,4651,049

Clay

672680

Clayton

113,4171,169

Clinch

2,381819

Cobb

365,4021,357

Coffee

17,119798

Colquitt

14,836820

Columbia

36,668900

Cook

4,327766

Coweta

41,329937

Crawford

1,215709

Crisp

8,353809

Dade

3,851783

Dawson

9,083749

Decatur

8,066804

De Kalb

291,8521,285

Dodge

4,679683

Dooly

3,263825

Dougherty

46,272954

Douglas

43,139949

Early

3,996989

Echols

673823

Effingham

10,700917

Elbert

5,604815

Emanuel

6,793822

Evans

4,584682

Fannin

6,359772

Fayette

44,9161,014

Floyd

38,516960

Forsyth

76,1681,135

Franklin

8,027790

Fulton

858,5251,707

Gilmer

6,989721

Glascock

401634

Glynn

36,734969

Gordon

23,397965

Grady

6,015854

Greene

6,187886

Gwinnett

352,8351,204

Habersham

13,180834

Hall

90,2261,157

Hancock

1,372749

Haralson

7,339915

Harris

5,281822

Hart

6,527808

Heard

2,0651,028

Henry

68,994895

Houston

62,4121,033

Irwin

1,981798

Jackson

35,983832

Jasper

2,305771

Jeff Davis

4,206792

Jefferson

4,704868

Jenkins

1,418738

Johnson

1,399688

Jones

3,975842

Lamar

3,674866

Lanier

1,347712

Laurens

18,996889

Lee

6,923825

Liberty

18,291937

Lincoln

1,298726

Long

1,054690

Lowndes

48,787842

Lumpkin

7,368843

McDuffie

6,809823

McIntosh

1,616717

Macon

2,691894

Madison

3,560740

Marion

1,113684

Meriwether

4,283841

Miller

1,713919

Mitchell

6,493786

Monroe

7,575852

Montgomery

1,679626

Morgan

7,728861

Murray

7,569830

Muscogee

91,865967

Newton

26,274964

Oconee

13,4681,017

Oglethorpe

1,813793

Paulding

25,872842

Peach

9,817845

Pickens

7,5841,047

Pierce

4,298757

Pike

3,020815

Polk

10,996856

Pulaski

2,655849

Putnam

5,711805

Quitman

335679

Rabun

5,210724

Randolph

1,707784

Richmond

102,1611,047

Rockdale

32,5561,086

Schley

981766

Screven

2,970721

Seminole

2,323912

Spalding

22,026836

Stephens

8,313870

Stewart

1,434991

Sumter

10,210848

Talbot

713799

Taliaferro

191684

Tattnall

5,650834

Taylor

1,480902

Telfair

2,228700

Terrell

1,779845

Thomas

19,718989

Tift

20,941901

Toombs

11,925770

Towns

3,310744

Treutlen

1,031747

Troup

38,773995

Turner

1,895771

Twiggs

1,815811

Union

6,975829

Upson

6,467825

Walker

13,364821

Walton

23,2091,000

Ware

15,131768

Warren

1,434918

Washington

6,034842

Wayne

8,112929

Webster

523777

Wheeler

1,032787

White

8,892739

Whitfield

54,760974

Wilcox

1,099736

Wilkes

2,495807

Wilkinson

3,528873

Worth

2,833781

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, fourth quarter 2020
StateEstablishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,675.8140,881.3-6.1$1,339--13.0--

Alabama

134.61,951.2-2.91,0963511.436

Alaska

23.1290.1-6.41,2601710.644

Arizona

173.92,908.7-3.31,2142214.69

Arkansas

94.61,194.8-3.29994911.436

California

1,660.216,380.1-8.31,724318.51

Colorado

219.62,613.7-5.71,3781012.325

Connecticut

126.81,578.4-6.51,551612.227

Delaware

35.1432.9-5.21,2621611.338

District of Columbia

43.8713.0-8.92,293115.26

Florida

765.48,642.8-5.01,1802413.117

Georgia

319.74,405.9-4.01,2082310.942

Hawaii

47.3561.1-16.11,2192116.04

Idaho

71.8763.50.81,0344712.821

Illinois

386.35,573.8-7.81,3781013.018

Indiana

173.12,985.1-4.01,0763911.239

Iowa

105.61,494.3-4.31,0993411.632

Kansas

89.91,346.9-4.51,0704011.534

Kentucky

130.41,839.6-4.81,0574210.843

Louisiana

140.81,796.9-7.01,078388.648

Maine

55.4594.3-4.31,0923614.510

Maryland

174.52,546.1-6.71,445813.616

Massachusetts

266.73,365.8-8.31,766217.03

Michigan

265.33,998.2-8.91,2571912.821

Minnesota

186.42,684.1-7.91,3221312.325

Mississippi

76.11,119.1-2.49015110.445

Missouri

221.52,724.4-4.31,1273311.632

Montana

54.6467.4-1.41,0354512.723

Nebraska

72.5962.7-2.91,0793711.534

Nevada

90.21,283.1-10.71,1782514.411

New Hampshire

57.1637.3-5.21,406917.92

New Jersey

291.03,860.5-7.21,517713.915

New Mexico

64.8767.1-9.51,0524311.829

New York

662.48,693.4-10.31,712414.213

North Carolina

301.74,431.0-2.71,1522911.239

North Dakota

32.6394.4-7.11,136314.750

Ohio

307.35,199.9-5.11,1612712.028

Oklahoma

113.61,569.1-4.41,013487.349

Oregon

167.31,824.3-7.51,2562014.213

Pennsylvania

370.55,549.4-7.41,2871512.624

Rhode Island

40.7449.6-8.31,2591814.77

South Carolina

149.22,074.4-3.51,0354511.141

South Dakota

35.5422.8-1.91,0484414.411

Tennessee

176.23,002.5-2.71,1722611.730

Texas

743.112,251.1-4.31,294149.047

Utah

117.91,557.80.61,1542812.920

Vermont

26.6286.1-8.91,1333214.77

Virginia

289.83,796.1-4.71,3601213.018

Washington

259.73,219.7-6.81,589516.04

West Virginia

51.9654.1-5.39975010.346

Wisconsin

184.22,762.5-4.81,1403011.730

Wyoming

27.7260.2-5.31,061414.651

Puerto Rico

46.0873.8-4.0621(3)8.0(3)

Virgin Islands

3.535.3-11.51,057(3)-1.3(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, June 16, 2021