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16-2306-ATL
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Alabama – Second Quarter 2016

Employment increased in five of Alabama’s six largest counties from June 2015 to June 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2015 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment increases ranged from 2.7 percent in Madison County to 0.6 percent in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. Employment in Tuscaloosa County declined 0.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from June 2015 to June 2016 as 291 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., recorded the largest percentage increase, up 6.7 percent over the year. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 8.3 percent.

Among the six largest counties in Alabama, employment was highest in Jefferson (341,200) in June 2016, while Shelby had the smallest employment (84,500). Together, Alabama’s large counties accounted for 52.6 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 142.7 million in June 2016.

Five of Alabama’s six large counties had over-the-year wage increases with Shelby County (2.8 percent) experiencing the largest increase. Madison County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s six largest counties at $1,050. Nationally, the average weekly wage was $989, a 2.2 percent increase from a year ago. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 61 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,117 to $571. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages advanced in five of Alabama’s largest counties from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016. Shelby’s 2.8-percent wage increase ranked 107th among the nation’s 344 largest counties and was the only large county in Alabama to rank in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wage growth in Alabama’s four other large counties ranged from 2.3 to 0.1 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 304 of the 344 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (21.0 percent). Elkhart, Ind., was second with a wage increase of 8.5 percent, followed by the counties of King, Wash. (8.1 percent); Washington, Ore. (7.4 percent); and Albany, N.Y. (7.0 percent).

Of the 344 largest counties, 36 had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Ventura, Calif., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-8.4 percent), followed by Forsyth, N.C. (-6.5 percent); Lafayette, La. (-6.2 percent); Gregg, Texas (-3.7 percent); and Midland, Texas (-3.2 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Alabama’s 6 largest counties placed in the top half of the national ranking among the 344 largest counties in the second quarter of 2016. Madison County’s average weekly wage of $1,050 was above the U.S. average of $989, and ranked 70th nationwide. Jefferson County ($967) and Shelby County ($922), ranked 122nd and 161st, respectively. Average weekly wages in the remaining three counties placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 102 of the 344 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,252. San Mateo, Calif., was second with an average weekly wage of $1,871, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,866).

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (241) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2016. Horry, S.C. ($598) had the lowest weekly wage, followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($602) and Hidalgo ($626).

Average weekly wages in Alabama’s smaller counties

Among the 61 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000, Washington ($1,117) and Dale ($1,010) were the only two counties that had a weekly wage above the national average of $989. Perry County had the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $571 in the second quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Alabama were considered, 23 reported average weekly wages under $650, 24 had wages from $650-$749, 12 had wages from $750-$849, and 8 had wages above $850. (See chart 1.)

Additional statistics and other information

Quarterly 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 the QCEW Web site at https://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 2015 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2015 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.


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 9.7 million employer reports cover 142.7 million full- and part-time workers. 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 sensory impaired individuals 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 6 largest counties in Alabama, second quarter 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2016 (thousands) Percent change, June 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, second quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,717.2 1.5 -- $989 -- 2.2 --

Alabama

1,923.5 1.2 -- 835 37 2.0 29

Jefferson, Ala.

341.2 0.6 257 967 122 2.3 172

Madison, Ala.

191.7 2.7 76 1,050 70 -0.2 311

Mobile, Ala.

170.3 1.4 179 844 239 2.2 181

Montgomery, Ala.

132.0 1.7 148 834 250 1.5 241

Shelby, Ala.

84.5 0.6 257 922 161 2.8 107

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

91.2 -0.2 303 811 276 0.1 304

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 2016
Area Employment June 2016 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

142,717,157 $989

Alabama

1,923,544 835

Autauga

10,755 681

Baldwin

73,741 637

Barbour

7,888 665

Bibb

4,198 754

Blount

8,196 632

Bullock

2,999 623

Butler

6,853 631

Calhoun

43,831 714

Chambers

7,919 671

Cherokee

5,119 620

Chilton

9,434 646

Choctaw

3,326 901

Clarke

8,255 709

Clay

3,869 619

Cleburne

2,211 813

Coffee

15,245 621

Colbert

24,009 795

Conecuh

3,483 650

Coosa

1,363 638

Covington

12,227 650

Crenshaw

3,826 691

Cullman

28,958 693

Dale

16,855 1,010

Dallas

12,603 676

DeKalb

21,023 647

Elmore

19,824 642

Escambia

12,969 699

Etowah

36,569 672

Fayette

4,084 604

Franklin

10,309 645

Geneva

5,095 597

Greene

1,761 624

Hale

2,760 667

Henry

3,147 710

Houston

46,841 745

Jackson

16,447 665

Jefferson

341,187 967

Lamar

3,437 699

Lauderdale

29,243 620

Lawrence

4,790 608

Lee

56,392 692

Limestone

22,139 873

Lowndes

2,452 858

Macon

4,685 784

Madison

191,694 1,050

Marengo

6,999 754

Marion

9,738 626

Marshall

35,969 643

Mobile

170,250 844

Monroe

6,122 772

Montgomery

131,996 834

Morgan

47,264 828

Perry

2,034 571

Pickens

3,787 689

Pike

13,908 770

Randolph

4,682 614

Russell

13,553 670

St. Clair

19,412 671

Shelby

84,477 922

Sumter

3,016 716

Talladega

29,110 848

Tallapoosa

13,804 586

Tuscaloosa

91,205 811

Walker

18,250 665

Washington

3,613 1,117

Wilcox

2,677 749

Winston

7,443 642

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 2016
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2016 (thousands) Percent change, June 2015-16 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2015-16 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,717.2 1.5 $989 -- 2.2 --

Alabama

1,923.5 1.2 835 37 2.0 29

Alaska

338.7 -2.4 1,011 10 -1.7 49

Arizona

2,619.6 2.6 921 22 1.9 33

Arkansas

1,197.5 1.1 785 47 3.0 7

California

16,754.1 2.5 1,157 5 2.4 19

Colorado

2,574.5 2.3 999 14 1.0 43

Connecticut

1,689.9 -0.1 1,213 3 3.0 7

Delaware

444.0 0.9 990 16 -0.6 48

District of Columbia

756.0 1.7 1,623 1 1.1 42

Florida

8,161.8 3.2 883 25 2.6 14

Georgia

4,269.5 2.7 929 21 2.7 11

Hawaii

643.4 1.0 906 24 3.5 5

Idaho

699.7 3.3 740 50 3.8 3

Illinois

5,945.0 0.2 1,038 9 2.4 19

Indiana

2,995.4 1.0 828 39 2.1 27

Iowa

1,566.0 0.3 825 40 2.9 9

Kansas

1,378.4 -0.2 829 38 1.2 39

Kentucky

1,877.2 1.5 838 36 1.9 33

Louisiana

1,905.2 -1.4 852 32 0.2 46

Maine

622.8 1.0 795 46 3.5 5

Maryland

2,656.0 0.9 1,070 8 2.5 15

Massachusetts

3,538.2 1.2 1,233 2 2.0 29

Michigan

4,300.9 1.9 942 19 2.7 11

Minnesota

2,846.8 0.7 997 15 2.0 29

Mississippi

1,120.1 0.5 727 51 2.5 15

Missouri

2,785.6 1.4 863 30 2.4 19

Montana

468.6 2.2 767 48 1.7 35

Nebraska

978.3 0.9 805 43 2.4 19

Nevada

1,289.4 3.3 874 27 2.2 26

New Hampshire

655.1 1.1 1,003 12 3.7 4

New Jersey

4,051.2 1.7 1,147 6 1.7 35

New Mexico

808.1 -0.3 812 42 0.9 44

New York

9,264.0 1.5 1,210 4 2.5 15

North Carolina

4,285.3 2.5 865 29 2.1 27

North Dakota

423.3 -4.9 908 23 -3.3 51

Ohio

5,353.1 0.8 882 26 2.0 29

Oklahoma

1,570.5 -1.4 823 41 0.6 45

Oregon

1,867.8 2.7 933 20 4.1 2

Pennsylvania

5,786.8 0.4 971 17 1.4 37

Rhode Island

482.9 0.6 949 18 2.5 15

South Carolina

2,013.7 2.4 804 44 2.8 10

South Dakota

432.7 1.0 760 49 2.7 11

Tennessee

2,900.4 2.4 874 27 1.3 38

Texas

11,810.7 1.0 1,000 13 1.2 39

Utah

1,395.9 3.8 840 35 2.3 25

Vermont

310.6 -0.1 850 33 2.4 19

Virginia

3,833.4 1.6 1,011 10 1.2 39

Washington

3,281.6 2.8 1,083 7 5.4 1

West Virginia

693.2 -1.9 800 45 -0.4 47

Wisconsin

2,869.1 0.9 856 31 2.4 19

Wyoming

281.7 -3.7 849 34 -2.2 50

Puerto Rico

879.5 -0.7 512 (3) 0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 0.9 743 (3) -0.4 (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: Tuesday, December 20, 2016