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News Release Information

19-1589-ATL
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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County Employment And Wages In Kentucky – First Quarter 2019

Employment increased in 2 of Kentucky’s 3 large counties from March 2018 to March 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that the employment gain in Boone, KY, at 2.5 percent, was above the national average. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.4 percent from March 2018 to March 2019 as 298 of the 355 largest U.S. counties had increases. Midland, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment, with a gain of 5.8 percent. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Kentucky, employment was highest in Jefferson (466,400) in March 2019. Together, Kentucky’s large counties accounted for 39.9 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 146.5 million in March 2019.

Each of Kentucky’s three large counties had over-the-year wage increases in the first quarter of 2019, with the largest gain in Fayette County (2.8 percent). Jefferson County ($1,140) had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 2.8 percent over the year to $1,184 in the first quarter of 2019. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 117 counties in Kentucky with 2018 average annual employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,479 to $546. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

In the first quarter of 2019, over-the-year weekly wage gains were at or above 2.0 percent for each of Kentucky’s large counties. Fayette County was the only large county in Kentucky to have an over-the-year weekly wage gain place in the top half of the national ranking (2.8 percent; 153rd). (See table 1.)

Nationally, 325 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage gain at 10.2 percent, followed by Bay, FL (9.3 percent).

Of the 355 largest counties, 28 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Elkhart, IN, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-7.6 percent), followed by Olmsted, MN (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in each of Kentucky’s three large counties were below the U.S. average of $1,184. The average weekly wage in Jefferson County ($1,140, 111th) placed in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wages in Fayette County ($952, 235th), and Boone County ($922, 269th) placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,184) in 92 of the 355 largest counties in the first quarter of 2019. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,153, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,759), and Santa Clara, CA ($2,758).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 263 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2019. Cameron, TX, reported the lowest wage ($648), followed by Horry, SC ($652), and Hidalgo, TX ($662).

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s smaller counties

Among the 117 counties in Kentucky—those with 2018 annual employment levels below 75,000—only Hancock ($1,479) and Carroll ($1,233) had average weekly wages above the national average of $1,184. Nicholas County had the lowest wage in the state, averaging $546 in the first quarter of 2019. (See table 2.)

When all 120 counties in Kentucky were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages below $600, 46 had average weekly wages from $600 to $699, 25 had wages from $700 to $799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 15 had wages above $900. (See chart 1.)

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 2018 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 2019 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

QCEW Data Now Available in Census Business Builder Version 2.6

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data is now available in Census Business Builder Version 2.6, a suite of U.S. Census Bureau web tools that assists business owners and regional analysts in data-driven decision making. As the first collaboration of this type between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, this data-sharing project makes data more accessible for local users and enhances the efficiency of digital service delivery. The Census Business Builder is available at: www.census.gov/data/data-tools/cbb.html.


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 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 3 largest counties in Kentucky, first quarter 2019
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2019 (thousands) Percent change, March 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

146,497.6 1.4 -- $1,184 -- 2.8 --

Kentucky

1,882.6 0.6 -- 920 41 2.2 38

Boone, KY

93.7 2.5 43 922 269 2.0 227

Fayette, KY

191.5 0.0 299 952 235 2.8 153

Jefferson, KY

466.4 0.5 241 1,140 111 2.1 218

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 Kentucky, first quarter 2019
Area Employment March 2019 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

146,497,599 $1,184

Kentucky

1,882,613 920

Adair

4,461 621

Allen

4,569 706

Anderson

4,902 736

Ballard

1,504 920

Barren

16,393 692

Bath

1,921 722

Bell

8,228 644

Boone

93,663 922

Bourbon

6,756 808

Boyd

24,115 908

Boyle

14,171 758

Bracken

1,229 686

Breathitt

2,934 643

Breckinridge

3,421 637

Bullitt

25,539 761

Butler

2,891 708

Caldwell

4,156 667

Calloway

16,544 692

Campbell

30,070 859

Carlisle

976 635

Carroll

7,077 1,233

Carter

5,493 629

Casey

3,939 578

Christian

30,617 832

Clark

14,559 828

Clay

3,987 664

Clinton

3,885 565

Crittenden

1,952 623

Cumberland

1,853 686

Daviess

45,758 823

Edmonson

1,562 631

Elliott

930 595

Estill

2,223 665

Fayette

191,546 952

Fleming

3,221 680

Floyd

10,636 743

Franklin

30,809 854

Fulton

2,038 598

Gallatin

2,478 1,117

Garrard

2,197 675

Grant

4,841 803

Graves

11,241 739

Grayson

7,927 684

Green

1,717 614

Greenup

7,704 752

Hancock

4,098 1,479

Hardin

48,303 827

Harlan

6,190 706

Harrison

4,944 839

Hart

5,193 695

Henderson

18,972 847

Henry

2,827 721

Hickman

944 590

Hopkins

16,531 823

Jackson

1,639 629

Jefferson

466,351 1,140

Jessamine

17,121 770

Johnson

5,072 668

Kenton

67,413 1,165

Knott

2,179 688

Knox

7,956 636

Larue

2,471 639

Laurel

26,432 697

Lawrence

3,423 671

Lee

1,647 661

Leslie

1,615 709

Letcher

4,363 679

Lewis

1,871 660

Lincoln

4,160 632

Livingston

2,418 892

Logan

9,023 834

Lyon

2,460 616

McCracken

37,660 837

McCreary

2,647 642

McLean

2,202 735

Madison

34,618 778

Magoffin

1,750 578

Marion

8,792 794

Marshall

11,006 972

Martin

2,408 817

Mason

8,475 801

Meade

4,338 725

Menifee

954 604

Mercer

6,379 973

Metcalfe

1,836 682

Monroe

3,171 628

Montgomery

10,349 763

Morgan

2,994 665

Muhlenberg

8,380 801

Nelson

16,352 791

Nicholas

848 546

Ohio

7,771 699

Oldham

15,994 870

Owen

1,322 795

Owsley

670 560

Pendleton

2,292 785

Perry

11,343 758

Pike

20,643 831

Powell

2,584 587

Pulaski

25,802 693

Robertson

292 564

Rockcastle

3,786 638

Rowan

10,224 695

Russell

5,588 625

Scott

26,708 974

Shelby

16,158 806

Simpson

9,038 793

Spencer

2,048 629

Taylor

12,042 635

Todd

2,262 612

Trigg

3,074 601

Trimble

1,138 1,038

Union

5,069 917

Warren

65,082 826

Washington

3,397 735

Wayne

5,666 575

Webster

3,093 1,009

Whitley

11,738 722

Wolfe

1,250 549

Woodford

9,199 820

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 2019
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2019 (thousands) Percent change, March 2018-19 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2018-19 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

146,497.6 1.4 $1,184 -- 2.8 --

Alabama

1,978.0 1.6 944 38 2.5 32

Alaska

312.4 0.3 1,108 18 3.3 9

Arizona

2,895.1 2.5 1,056 22 3.0 21

Arkansas

1,218.5 0.7 896 45 2.2 38

California

17,436.4 1.8 1,401 5 3.8 4

Colorado

2,690.3 1.9 1,231 9 4.8 2

Connecticut

1,650.6 0.0 1,487 4 2.3 34

Delaware

444.1 1.3 1,199 13 -0.1 51

District of Columbia

773.5 0.5 1,921 1 0.2 49

Florida

8,894.3 2.1 1,015 26 2.7 25

Georgia

4,488.6 2.1 1,121 17 2.6 28

Hawaii

658.1 -0.4 1,006 27 3.4 8

Idaho

732.3 2.7 828 50 2.3 34

Illinois

5,912.0 0.1 1,275 8 2.7 25

Indiana

3,059.1 1.2 963 33 0.9 48

Iowa

1,527.1 0.1 942 39 2.3 34

Kansas

1,379.3 0.6 940 40 3.2 12

Kentucky

1,882.6 0.6 920 41 2.2 38

Louisiana

1,916.8 -0.1 954 34 2.5 32

Maine

599.8 1.2 919 42 3.1 16

Maryland

2,670.3 0.9 1,228 10 1.7 45

Massachusetts

3,558.1 1.1 1,561 3 3.5 7

Michigan

4,307.4 0.6 1,078 20 0.1 50

Minnesota

2,840.8 0.5 1,203 12 2.3 34

Mississippi

1,129.8 0.4 779 51 1.8 43

Missouri

2,788.4 0.5 986 31 2.6 28

Montana

458.8 0.9 844 49 3.1 16

Nebraska

965.6 0.1 917 43 2.2 38

Nevada

1,392.2 3.0 992 29 1.5 47

New Hampshire

656.2 1.2 1,156 15 3.1 16

New Jersey

4,040.2 1.3 1,399 6 1.7 45

New Mexico

825.4 1.3 890 47 3.2 12

New York

9,453.5 1.5 1,639 2 2.6 28

North Carolina

4,458.5 2.0 1,054 23 3.2 12

North Dakota

414.3 1.5 1,021 25 3.3 9

Ohio

5,363.2 0.7 1,035 24 3.0 21

Oklahoma

1,617.0 1.1 953 35 4.3 3

Oregon

1,921.9 1.3 1,060 21 3.3 9

Pennsylvania

5,850.3 1.1 1,146 16 2.8 24

Rhode Island

474.7 0.8 1,104 19 1.8 43

South Carolina

2,110.0 2.0 901 44 3.0 21

South Dakota

419.0 0.4 865 48 2.7 25

Tennessee

3,004.2 2.0 996 28 1.9 42

Texas

12,455.6 2.2 1,204 11 3.1 16

Utah

1,501.4 3.0 978 32 3.1 16

Vermont

309.1 0.4 950 36 3.7 5

Virginia

3,896.9 1.2 1,186 14 2.1 41

Washington

3,371.1 1.8 1,368 7 4.9 1

West Virginia

687.1 0.3 896 45 3.2 12

Wisconsin

2,838.9 0.1 992 29 2.6 28

Wyoming

269.0 1.9 948 37 3.7 5

Puerto Rico

875.8 2.2 553 (3) -2.1 (3)

Virgin Islands

36.6 9.6 966 (3) -1.0 (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 18, 2019