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21-1610-ATL
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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County Employment and Wages in Tennessee — First Quarter 2021

Employment fell in Tennessee’s six largest counties from March 2020 to March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2020.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that Davidson County had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment at 5.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 4.5 percent over the year, with 324 of the 343 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Calcasieu, LA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 14.9 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 6.1 percent.

Among the six largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Davidson County (484,600) in March 2021. Within Davidson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the six largest Tennessee counties accounted for 56.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 343 largest counties made up 72.3 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 2021. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All six large Tennessee counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. (See chart 2.) Four counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 5.6 percent. Williamson County had the largest gain (+7.9 percent), followed by Davidson County (+7.7 percent).   


Among the 343 largest counties in the United States, 312 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 resulted in higher average weekly wages for the industry and the nation. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+33.9 percent). Clayton, GA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-14.2 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in 2 of the 6 largest counties in Tennessee were above the national average of $1,289 in the first quarter of 2021. Average weekly wages in each of these counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Williamson ($1,562, 37th) and Davidson ($1,378, 61st).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 84 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the first quarter of 2021. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,967. Average weekly wages were below the national average in the remaining 259 counties. At $685 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 ($1,403) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,289. Hancock County ($535) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 22 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 38 registered wages from $700 to $799, 18 had wages from $800 to $899, 9 had wages from $900 to $999, and 8 had average weekly wages of $1,000 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. This publication is typically published in September of the following year of the reference period or shortly after the QCEW first quarter full data update. The Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online is available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 2021
AreaEstablishments,
first quarter 2021
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2021
(thousands)
Percent change,
March 2020–21 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
First quarter
2021
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
first quarter 2020–21 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,755.4140,455.8-4.5--$1,289--5.6--

Tennessee

180.22,968.7-2.1--1,077285.014

Davidson

27.2484.6-5.31981,378617.743

Hamilton

11.1199.8-3.71111,0671913.5208

Knox

14.0235.7-2.1491,0492056.281

Rutherford

6.7133.5-0.3149682651.8279

Shelby

22.2477.3-3.51001,1811295.891

Williamson

10.8139.7-0.3141,562377.941

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 Tennessee, first quarter 2021
AreaEmployment March 2021Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,455,819$1,289

Tennessee

2,968,6691,077

Anderson

40,2651,196

Bedford

16,099778

Benton

4,068719

Bledsoe

2,109721

Blount

50,052955

Bradley

42,652854

Campbell

9,123682

Cannon

2,421688

Carroll

6,228659

Carter

11,549701

Cheatham

8,955924

Chester

3,837695

Claiborne

8,858714

Clay

1,292591

Cocke

7,264708

Coffee

25,396898

Crockett

3,680872

Cumberland

16,954694

Davidson

484,5781,378

Decatur

3,118741

De Kalb

5,657740

Dickson

17,771766

Dyer

14,990840

Fayette

8,117905

Fentress

5,162606

Franklin

10,836773

Gibson

14,199743

Giles

9,620775

Grainger

4,026793

Greene

24,253766

Grundy

2,093573

Hamblen

31,721792

Hamilton

199,7501,067

Hancock

981535

Hardeman

6,381763

Hardin

7,835844

Hawkins

11,972824

Haywood

4,898838

Henderson

7,768798

Henry

11,540732

Hickman

3,897749

Houston

1,434620

Humphreys

5,606940

Jackson

1,458701

Jefferson

13,455804

Johnson

4,415763

Knox

235,7051,049

Lake

1,516696

Lauderdale

6,736784

Lawrence

10,947725

Lewis

2,959608

Lincoln

9,107742

Loudon

17,119872

McMinn

18,164843

McNairy

5,128694

Macon

4,879666

Madison

58,283864

Marion

7,619764

Marshall

9,380811

Maury

36,245984

Meigs

2,186818

Monroe

14,456762

Montgomery

56,815783

Moore

2,229876

Morgan

3,084705

Obion

10,984733

Overton

5,005716

Perry

1,575609

Pickett

931574

Polk

2,081673

Putnam

38,020762

Rhea

10,905919

Roane

19,4321,403

Robertson

21,782798

Rutherford

133,547968

Scott

5,397605

Sequatchie

3,116670

Sevier

46,791640

Shelby

477,2701,181

Smith

5,134801

Stewart

2,778997

Sullivan

66,3861,060

Sumner

57,224878

Tipton

12,103755

Trousdale

1,851782

Unicoi

4,788945

Union

2,459721

Van Buren

751685

Warren

12,499769

Washington

61,329852

Wayne

3,729723

Weakley

10,910694

White

6,917753

Williamson

139,6941,562

Wilson

53,542849

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 2021
StateEstablishments,
first quarter 2021
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2021
(thousands)
Percent change,
March 2020–21
First quarter
2021
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
first quarter 2020–21
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,755.4140,455.8-4.5$1,289--5.6--

Alabama

135.91,924.3-3.0996372.540

Alaska

23.3295.0-5.51,12523-0.648

Arizona

176.52,894.2-2.31,150214.817

Arkansas

95.31,194.2-2.0957433.730

California

1,651.416,507.7-5.91,623411.31

Colorado

224.72,634.7-3.51,335104.125

Connecticut

128.31,550.5-5.41,57554.719

Delaware

35.2425.6-4.11,264131.644

District of Columbia

44.0708.1-9.02,16618.74

Florida

780.88,701.9-3.11,104245.113

Georgia

329.24,393.8-2.61,198173.633

Hawaii

48.0564.4-14.11,091265.79

Idaho

74.2768.61.9906504.915

Illinois

390.05,559.6-5.51,38786.77

Indiana

176.22,956.4-2.51,026343.337

Iowa

105.11,473.6-3.31,004352.639

Kansas

90.41,335.4-3.3986391.943

Kentucky

130.71,835.2-2.5965412.342

Louisiana

141.51,787.6-5.9977401.046

Maine

56.2585.0-2.81,000364.719

Maryland

174.32,522.1-5.01,38698.55

Massachusetts

271.23,334.9-6.61,73237.86

Michigan

267.54,026.6-5.91,155204.817

Minnesota

189.72,695.4-5.11,290114.622

Mississippi

75.31,098.4-2.5811511.145

Missouri

221.82,705.5-3.01,055303.730

Montana

53.2465.20.1915485.410

Nebraska

73.4944.7-2.8990383.633

Nevada

92.81,291.5-8.41,080274.719

New Hampshire

56.8631.8-3.91,258155.410

New Jersey

297.03,818.6-5.51,53375.312

New Mexico

65.2774.5-7.4958423.828

New York

664.68,587.8-8.71,869210.42

North Carolina

302.74,423.2-1.71,137224.125

North Dakota

32.3388.7-6.11,03732-0.951

Ohio

310.15,136.8-3.91,098253.337

Oklahoma

114.41,549.7-3.793946-0.850

Oregon

169.41,841.9-5.21,172186.48

Pennsylvania

369.75,531.3-5.41,226164.323

Rhode Island

41.2447.8-5.61,171193.435

South Carolina

150.12,056.2-2.6957433.828

South Dakota

35.6417.1-0.9932473.435

Tennessee

180.22,968.7-2.11,077285.014

Texas

750.112,216.7-3.41,261142.441

Utah

117.31,548.81.51,065293.730

Vermont

27.0283.7-6.91,028334.915

Virginia

291.33,765.8-3.91,285124.224

Washington

261.23,252.0-5.11,54069.13

West Virginia

52.3648.6-3.8911490.847

Wisconsin

183.12,730.0-3.71,047313.927

Wyoming

27.8255.9-4.695345-0.648

Puerto Rico

47.1856.5-3.1562(3)2.0(3)

Virgin Islands

3.634.7-14.0961(3)-8.0(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 15, 2021