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20-2187-ATL
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in Alabama — Second Quarter 2020

Employment declined in all of Alabama’s seven largest counties from June 2019 to June 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 10.3 percent in Tuscaloosa County to 3.8 percent in Madison County. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 9.4 percent over the year, with all of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 34.2 percent.

Among the seven largest counties in Alabama, employment was highest in Jefferson County (328,800) in June 2020. Within Jefferson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the seven largest Alabama counties accounted for 56.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 60 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 59 of the 60 smaller counties were below the national average in the second quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All seven large Alabama counties reported average weekly wage gains from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Madison County (+8.8 percent) and Baldwin County (+8.6 percent) had rates of wage gains that were at or above the national rate of 8.6 percent. Over-the-year wage gains among Alabama’s other five large counties ranged from 6.3 percent to 3.2 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 352 had over-the-year wage increases. The increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest percentage wage increase (+22.5 percent). Five large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-6.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Madison County’s average weekly wage ($1,255, 75th) was the only large county in Alabama that was above the U.S. average of $1,188. Jefferson County ($1,115, 149th) also had average weekly wages that ranked in the top half nationwide.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 101 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the second quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,045. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 256 counties. At $698 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Alabama’s smaller counties

Among the 60 smaller counties in Alabama—those with employment below 75,000—Washington ($1,233) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,188. Perry County ($649) had the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 67 counties in Alabama were considered, 6 had average weekly wages below $700, 32 had wages from $700-$799, 16 had wages from $800-$899, and 13 had 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 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on Second Quarter 2020 QCEW Data

Response rate tables for the second quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-second-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, see www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.

Special Notice: Imputation Methodology Improvements

QCEW implemented improvements to imputation methodology, effective with second quarter 2020 processing. For more information on QCEW imputation methodology and the impact of the improved methods, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.

Special Notice: Business Response Survey

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the novel coronavirus through September 2020. Data for the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic were released on December 7, 2020. For more information, please visit: www.bls.gov/brs/.


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 seven largest counties in Alabama, second quarter 2020
Area Establishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,451.0 135,114.4 -9.4 -- $1,188 -- 8.6 --

Alabama

131.2 1,868.7 -6.4 -- 964 40 5.9 42

Baldwin

6.6 74.1 -6.7 88 782 353 8.6 156

Jefferson

19.3 328.8 -7.7 130 1,115 149 5.0 317

Madison

10.1 198.4 -3.8 19 1,255 75 8.8 144

Mobile

10.4 160.2 -6.7 88 961 266 6.3 275

Montgomery

6.4 121.7 -7.9 136 936 296 5.9 289

Shelby

5.9 80.0 -6.3 75 1,056 193 4.7 323

Tuscaloosa

4.6 86.9 -10.3 219 908 320 3.2 340

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 2020
Area Employment June 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

135,114,354 $1,188

Alabama

1,868,735 964

Autauga

10,674 777

Baldwin

74,058 782

Barbour

7,951 728

Bibb

4,536 839

Blount

8,525 722

Bullock

2,831 811

Butler

6,262 718

Calhoun

42,092 808

Chambers

8,078 747

Cherokee

4,842 698

Chilton

8,949 747

Choctaw

3,451 949

Clarke

7,757 810

Clay

4,136 707

Cleburne

2,111 894

Coffee

15,520 720

Colbert

22,642 897

Conecuh

3,312 707

Coosa

1,290 728

Covington

11,421 738

Crenshaw

3,405 766

Cullman

27,516 808

Dale

16,702 1,041

Dallas

11,070 775

DeKalb

21,209 757

Elmore

18,866 714

Escambia

12,330 794

Etowah

30,911 742

Fayette

3,670 678

Franklin

10,382 728

Geneva

5,158 676

Greene

1,782 694

Hale

2,481 787

Henry

3,491 796

Houston

46,338 859

Jackson

14,221 767

Jefferson

328,761 1,115

Lamar

3,294 820

Lauderdale

27,541 743

Lawrence

4,809 733

Lee

55,187 852

Limestone

22,926 957

Lowndes

2,194 906

Macon

4,481 921

Madison

198,442 1,255

Marengo

6,823 804

Marion

10,087 727

Marshall

36,782 741

Mobile

160,236 961

Monroe

5,938 856

Montgomery

121,652 936

Morgan

48,404 942

Perry

1,945 649

Pickens

3,472 794

Pike

14,169 834

Randolph

4,628 676

Russell

13,466 763

St. Clair

18,780 773

Shelby

80,020 1,056

Sumter

2,738 823

Talladega

28,974 835

Tallapoosa

11,990 721

Tuscaloosa

86,878 908

Walker

16,972 765

Washington

3,357 1,233

Wilcox

2,636 827

Winston

7,853 747

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 2020
State Establishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,451.0 135,114.4 -9.4 $1,188 -- 8.6 --

Alabama

131.2 1,868.7 -6.4 964 40 5.9 42

Alaska

22.7 296.2 -12.7 1,195 14 11.2 11

Arizona

170.7 2,708.4 -5.1 1,090 22 7.9 30

Arkansas

93.0 1,156.5 -5.5 924 47 7.3 33

California

1,633.1 15,911.2 -10.2 1,468 4 10.9 12

Colorado

216.4 2,545.9 -8.0 1,226 9 8.7 25

Connecticut

123.4 1,483.6 -12.3 1,407 6 11.3 9

Delaware

34.5 416.0 -9.3 1,156 17 9.0 22

District of Columbia

41.7 701.8 -10.0 1,987 1 11.7 7

Florida

738.0 8,113.8 -7.1 1,032 28 6.6 40

Georgia

307.2 4,196.0 -7.0 1,075 23 5.7 44

Hawaii

45.9 524.9 -20.1 1,108 21 12.0 6

Idaho

67.9 748.3 -2.3 882 50 7.6 32

Illinois

379.6 5,391.8 -11.3 1,218 10 8.6 26

Indiana

171.6 2,865.7 -7.3 960 41 5.6 45

Iowa

104.7 1,458.8 -8.0 978 36 8.4 27

Kansas

90.0 1,306.0 -7.0 969 38 7.1 34

Kentucky

125.4 1,754.0 -8.2 970 37 6.4 41

Louisiana

137.8 1,710.1 -11.0 985 34 6.7 39

Maine

53.8 572.5 -10.8 980 35 12.3 5

Maryland

175.8 2,430.3 -11.2 1,305 8 10.7 13

Massachusetts

263.1 3,178.8 -14.3 1,570 2 14.0 1

Michigan

268.5 3,850.9 -12.9 1,114 20 9.5 16

Minnesota

185.4 2,644.6 -10.5 1,200 13 9.0 22

Mississippi

73.8 1,063.1 -6.4 812 51 5.9 42

Missouri

215.9 2,622.2 -7.5 1,015 32 7.1 34

Montana

51.5 459.5 -4.9 919 48 9.1 19

Nebraska

72.9 932.3 -6.0 960 41 8.0 28

Nevada

85.9 1,191.6 -15.4 1,048 26 9.1 19

New Hampshire

54.8 605.4 -10.5 1,215 12 11.5 8

New Jersey

284.1 3,570.3 -14.6 1,376 7 11.3 9

New Mexico

62.4 757.0 -9.4 958 43 7.8 31

New York

652.0 8,142.6 -15.9 1,520 3 12.8 4

North Carolina

296.2 4,205.4 -6.9 1,038 27 6.9 37

North Dakota

32.4 390.1 -9.7 1,061 24 3.3 51

Ohio

302.3 5,049.8 -8.0 1,031 29 7.0 36

Oklahoma

112.1 1,521.3 -6.3 940 44 4.4 49

Oregon

160.9 1,789.3 -9.6 1,143 19 10.3 15

Pennsylvania

362.8 5,314.5 -11.1 1,170 16 9.2 18

Rhode Island

39.5 429.3 -13.2 1,172 15 13.1 3

South Carolina

144.4 1,991.0 -7.2 928 46 6.9 37

South Dakota

34.7 415.9 -5.9 912 49 9.0 22

Tennessee

171.1 2,847.2 -6.6 1,016 31 5.3 46

Texas

727.4 11,807.1 -6.3 1,156 17 5.0 47

Utah

111.6 1,474.8 -3.0 1,017 30 9.1 19

Vermont

26.1 271.8 -13.6 1,055 25 13.6 2

Virginia

283.3 3,635.2 -8.8 1,218 10 9.4 17

Washington

253.8 3,207.1 -8.4 1,424 5 10.6 14

West Virginia

51.3 634.9 -9.4 933 45 4.9 48

Wisconsin

179.2 2,690.0 -8.7 1,014 33 8.0 28

Wyoming

27.2 260.5 -9.6 965 39 3.7 50

Puerto Rico

46.1 798.7 -7.9 556 (3) 4.7 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.4 35.4 -7.0 1,016 (3) 6.9 (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, December 16, 2020