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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
Area Establishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average 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)

10,675.8 140,881.3 -6.1 -- $1,339 -- 13.0 --

Georgia

319.7 4,405.9 -4.0 -- 1,208 23 10.9 42

Bibb

4.6 80.2 -4.8 120 980 331 10.5 266

Chatham

9.0 157.7 -5.0 127 1,043 297 9.0 319

Clayton

4.5 113.4 -10.1 330 1,169 195 6.9 341

Cobb

24.6 365.4 -4.0 83 1,357 85 13.3 127

DeKalb

20.0 291.9 -5.2 138 1,285 118 10.0 291

Forsyth

6.6 76.2 -2.9 54 1,135 219 8.3 327

Fulton

49.7 858.5 -6.7 212 1,707 18 12.7 161

Gwinnett

28.4 352.8 -4.7 114 1,204 169 10.2 282

Hall

5.0 90.2 -2.0 25 1,157 204 12.5 174

Muscogee

4.8 91.9 -4.7 114 967 337 10.9 255

Richmond

4.8 102.2 -2.8 49 1,047 292 11.1 242

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
Area Employment December 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,881,253 $1,339

Georgia

4,405,924 1,208

Appling

6,755 1,068

Atkinson

2,329 807

Bacon

3,608 832

Baker

445 731

Baldwin

14,848 746

Banks

4,203 750

Barrow

20,420 933

Bartow

40,760 977

Ben Hill

5,341 756

Berrien

3,599 748

Bibb

80,213 980

Bleckley

2,516 723

Brantley

2,608 767

Brooks

3,265 838

Bryan

9,003 824

Bulloch

25,584 824

Burke

13,916 1,851

Butts

7,229 874

Calhoun

1,097 724

Camden

14,491 976

Candler

3,185 665

Carroll

41,097 984

Catoosa

15,220 814

Charlton

1,946 846

Chatham

157,697 1,043

Chattahoochee

2,314 989

Chattooga

4,958 737

Cherokee

66,737 975

Clarke

67,465 1,049

Clay

672 680

Clayton

113,417 1,169

Clinch

2,381 819

Cobb

365,402 1,357

Coffee

17,119 798

Colquitt

14,836 820

Columbia

36,668 900

Cook

4,327 766

Coweta

41,329 937

Crawford

1,215 709

Crisp

8,353 809

Dade

3,851 783

Dawson

9,083 749

Decatur

8,066 804

De Kalb

291,852 1,285

Dodge

4,679 683

Dooly

3,263 825

Dougherty

46,272 954

Douglas

43,139 949

Early

3,996 989

Echols

673 823

Effingham

10,700 917

Elbert

5,604 815

Emanuel

6,793 822

Evans

4,584 682

Fannin

6,359 772

Fayette

44,916 1,014

Floyd

38,516 960

Forsyth

76,168 1,135

Franklin

8,027 790

Fulton

858,525 1,707

Gilmer

6,989 721

Glascock

401 634

Glynn

36,734 969

Gordon

23,397 965

Grady

6,015 854

Greene

6,187 886

Gwinnett

352,835 1,204

Habersham

13,180 834

Hall

90,226 1,157

Hancock

1,372 749

Haralson

7,339 915

Harris

5,281 822

Hart

6,527 808

Heard

2,065 1,028

Henry

68,994 895

Houston

62,412 1,033

Irwin

1,981 798

Jackson

35,983 832

Jasper

2,305 771

Jeff Davis

4,206 792

Jefferson

4,704 868

Jenkins

1,418 738

Johnson

1,399 688

Jones

3,975 842

Lamar

3,674 866

Lanier

1,347 712

Laurens

18,996 889

Lee

6,923 825

Liberty

18,291 937

Lincoln

1,298 726

Long

1,054 690

Lowndes

48,787 842

Lumpkin

7,368 843

McDuffie

6,809 823

McIntosh

1,616 717

Macon

2,691 894

Madison

3,560 740

Marion

1,113 684

Meriwether

4,283 841

Miller

1,713 919

Mitchell

6,493 786

Monroe

7,575 852

Montgomery

1,679 626

Morgan

7,728 861

Murray

7,569 830

Muscogee

91,865 967

Newton

26,274 964

Oconee

13,468 1,017

Oglethorpe

1,813 793

Paulding

25,872 842

Peach

9,817 845

Pickens

7,584 1,047

Pierce

4,298 757

Pike

3,020 815

Polk

10,996 856

Pulaski

2,655 849

Putnam

5,711 805

Quitman

335 679

Rabun

5,210 724

Randolph

1,707 784

Richmond

102,161 1,047

Rockdale

32,556 1,086

Schley

981 766

Screven

2,970 721

Seminole

2,323 912

Spalding

22,026 836

Stephens

8,313 870

Stewart

1,434 991

Sumter

10,210 848

Talbot

713 799

Taliaferro

191 684

Tattnall

5,650 834

Taylor

1,480 902

Telfair

2,228 700

Terrell

1,779 845

Thomas

19,718 989

Tift

20,941 901

Toombs

11,925 770

Towns

3,310 744

Treutlen

1,031 747

Troup

38,773 995

Turner

1,895 771

Twiggs

1,815 811

Union

6,975 829

Upson

6,467 825

Walker

13,364 821

Walton

23,209 1,000

Ware

15,131 768

Warren

1,434 918

Washington

6,034 842

Wayne

8,112 929

Webster

523 777

Wheeler

1,032 787

White

8,892 739

Whitfield

54,760 974

Wilcox

1,099 736

Wilkes

2,495 807

Wilkinson

3,528 873

Worth

2,833 781

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
State Establishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average 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)

10,675.8 140,881.3 -6.1 $1,339 -- 13.0 --

Alabama

134.6 1,951.2 -2.9 1,096 35 11.4 36

Alaska

23.1 290.1 -6.4 1,260 17 10.6 44

Arizona

173.9 2,908.7 -3.3 1,214 22 14.6 9

Arkansas

94.6 1,194.8 -3.2 999 49 11.4 36

California

1,660.2 16,380.1 -8.3 1,724 3 18.5 1

Colorado

219.6 2,613.7 -5.7 1,378 10 12.3 25

Connecticut

126.8 1,578.4 -6.5 1,551 6 12.2 27

Delaware

35.1 432.9 -5.2 1,262 16 11.3 38

District of Columbia

43.8 713.0 -8.9 2,293 1 15.2 6

Florida

765.4 8,642.8 -5.0 1,180 24 13.1 17

Georgia

319.7 4,405.9 -4.0 1,208 23 10.9 42

Hawaii

47.3 561.1 -16.1 1,219 21 16.0 4

Idaho

71.8 763.5 0.8 1,034 47 12.8 21

Illinois

386.3 5,573.8 -7.8 1,378 10 13.0 18

Indiana

173.1 2,985.1 -4.0 1,076 39 11.2 39

Iowa

105.6 1,494.3 -4.3 1,099 34 11.6 32

Kansas

89.9 1,346.9 -4.5 1,070 40 11.5 34

Kentucky

130.4 1,839.6 -4.8 1,057 42 10.8 43

Louisiana

140.8 1,796.9 -7.0 1,078 38 8.6 48

Maine

55.4 594.3 -4.3 1,092 36 14.5 10

Maryland

174.5 2,546.1 -6.7 1,445 8 13.6 16

Massachusetts

266.7 3,365.8 -8.3 1,766 2 17.0 3

Michigan

265.3 3,998.2 -8.9 1,257 19 12.8 21

Minnesota

186.4 2,684.1 -7.9 1,322 13 12.3 25

Mississippi

76.1 1,119.1 -2.4 901 51 10.4 45

Missouri

221.5 2,724.4 -4.3 1,127 33 11.6 32

Montana

54.6 467.4 -1.4 1,035 45 12.7 23

Nebraska

72.5 962.7 -2.9 1,079 37 11.5 34

Nevada

90.2 1,283.1 -10.7 1,178 25 14.4 11

New Hampshire

57.1 637.3 -5.2 1,406 9 17.9 2

New Jersey

291.0 3,860.5 -7.2 1,517 7 13.9 15

New Mexico

64.8 767.1 -9.5 1,052 43 11.8 29

New York

662.4 8,693.4 -10.3 1,712 4 14.2 13

North Carolina

301.7 4,431.0 -2.7 1,152 29 11.2 39

North Dakota

32.6 394.4 -7.1 1,136 31 4.7 50

Ohio

307.3 5,199.9 -5.1 1,161 27 12.0 28

Oklahoma

113.6 1,569.1 -4.4 1,013 48 7.3 49

Oregon

167.3 1,824.3 -7.5 1,256 20 14.2 13

Pennsylvania

370.5 5,549.4 -7.4 1,287 15 12.6 24

Rhode Island

40.7 449.6 -8.3 1,259 18 14.7 7

South Carolina

149.2 2,074.4 -3.5 1,035 45 11.1 41

South Dakota

35.5 422.8 -1.9 1,048 44 14.4 11

Tennessee

176.2 3,002.5 -2.7 1,172 26 11.7 30

Texas

743.1 12,251.1 -4.3 1,294 14 9.0 47

Utah

117.9 1,557.8 0.6 1,154 28 12.9 20

Vermont

26.6 286.1 -8.9 1,133 32 14.7 7

Virginia

289.8 3,796.1 -4.7 1,360 12 13.0 18

Washington

259.7 3,219.7 -6.8 1,589 5 16.0 4

West Virginia

51.9 654.1 -5.3 997 50 10.3 46

Wisconsin

184.2 2,762.5 -4.8 1,140 30 11.7 30

Wyoming

27.7 260.2 -5.3 1,061 41 4.6 51

Puerto Rico

46.0 873.8 -4.0 621 (3) 8.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.5 35.3 -11.5 1,057 (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