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News Release Information

20-1617-ATL
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

County Employment And Wages In Kentucky – First Quarter 2020

Employment rose in each of Kentucky’s three large counties from March 2019 to March 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 Boone County had the largest over-the-year increase in employment at 2.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Employment in the U.S. (as measured by the QCEW program) increased 0.4 percent over the year with 202 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. St. Johns, FL, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 3.7 percent. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.5 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Kentucky, employment was highest in Jefferson (465,600) in March 2020. Within Jefferson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment share. Together, Kentucky’s large counties accounted for 40.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 117 counties in Kentucky with 2019 average annual employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,453 to $525. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All three large Kentucky counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Two counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 3.3 percent: Fayette (+3.6 percent), and Boone (+3.4 percent).

Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 335 had over-the-year wage increases. McLean, IL, had the largest percentage wage increase (+13.3 percent). Twenty large counties had wage declines during the period. Peoria, IL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-12.8 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in each of Kentucky’s three large counties were below the U.S. average of $1,222. The average weekly wage in Jefferson County ($1,172, 110th) placed in the top third of the national ranking. Average weekly wages in Fayette County ($989, 225th), and Boone County ($949, 263rd) placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 92 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the first quarter of 2020. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,270. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 265 counties. At $666 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Kentucky’s smaller counties

Among the 117 smaller counties in Kentucky–those with employment below 75,000–only Hancock ($1,453) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,222. Wolfe County ($525) had the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 120 counties in Kentucky were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages below $600, 44 had average weekly wages from $600 to $699, 30 had wages from $700 to $799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 16 had wages at or above $900. (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 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

QCEW Data and Response Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Beginning with this release of first quarter 2020 data, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program will publish response rate tables for establishments, employment, and total quarterly wages. Tables for the first quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-first-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, please visit www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.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 three largest counties in Kentucky, first quarter 2020
Area Establishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands) Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands) Percent change, March 2019-20 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) First quarter 2020 National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2019-20 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,447.2 147,088.9 0.4 -- $1,222 -- 3.3 --

Kentucky

124.0 1,884.9 0.1 -- 943 43 2.5 38

Boone

4.5 96.5 2.3 20 949 263 3.4 150

Fayette

11.5 193.1 0.7 122 989 225 3.6 128

Jefferson

26.0 465.6 0.2 182 1,172 110 2.6 214

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 2020
Area Employment March 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

147,088,945 $1,222

Kentucky

1,884,855 943

Adair

4,386 632

Allen

4,605 712

Anderson

4,718 717

Ballard

1,580 975

Barren

16,024 728

Bath

2,011 739

Bell

8,024 634

Boone

96,477 949

Bourbon

6,651 821

Boyd

23,863 937

Boyle

14,091 790

Bracken

1,256 688

Breathitt

2,611 644

Breckinridge

3,417 678

Bullitt

26,038 788

Butler

2,790 677

Caldwell

4,263 690

Calloway

15,912 714

Campbell

29,873 855

Carlisle

987 649

Carroll

7,255 1,186

Carter

5,443 649

Casey

3,871 622

Christian

31,035 828

Clark

14,595 808

Clay

3,972 678

Clinton

3,972 584

Crittenden

1,905 609

Cumberland

2,005 689

Daviess

45,368 852

Edmonson

1,611 646

Elliott

897 616

Estill

2,339 721

Fayette

193,116 989

Fleming

3,115 714

Floyd

10,506 739

Franklin

31,469 860

Fulton

2,185 577

Gallatin

2,530 1,058

Garrard

2,113 646

Grant

5,093 791

Graves

11,447 759

Grayson

7,815 707

Green

1,821 624

Greenup

7,508 765

Hancock

4,115 1,453

Hardin

47,718 844

Harlan

6,345 658

Harrison

5,075 833

Hart

4,901 725

Henderson

18,946 851

Henry

2,722 728

Hickman

911 616

Hopkins

16,618 827

Jackson

1,656 622

Jefferson

465,630 1,172

Jessamine

17,178 794

Johnson

5,031 669

Kenton

67,932 1,195

Knott

2,088 759

Knox

7,965 644

Larue

2,540 672

Laurel

26,966 698

Lawrence

3,559 671

Lee

1,613 699

Leslie

1,577 686

Letcher

4,231 675

Lewis

1,953 626

Lincoln

4,036 668

Livingston

2,421 958

Logan

8,862 839

Lyon

2,511 635

McCracken

38,034 884

McCreary

2,823 657

McLean

1,881 720

Madison

34,014 795

Magoffin

1,812 576

Marion

8,555 808

Marshall

11,496 993

Martin

2,042 750

Mason

8,195 802

Meade

4,267 755

Menifee

937 645

Mercer

6,323 944

Metcalfe

1,848 690

Monroe

3,146 693

Montgomery

10,263 769

Morgan

2,837 676

Muhlenberg

8,099 788

Nelson

16,395 816

Nicholas

835 559

Ohio

7,569 695

Oldham

16,453 925

Owen

1,365 935

Owsley

649 580

Pendleton

2,248 786

Perry

11,476 765

Pike

20,350 819

Powell

2,717 608

Pulaski

25,976 703

Robertson

294 595

Rockcastle

3,936 633

Rowan

10,175 714

Russell

5,692 645

Scott

26,753 989

Shelby

16,087 835

Simpson

8,810 812

Spencer

2,074 676

Taylor

12,301 657

Todd

2,195 629

Trigg

2,879 616

Trimble

1,236 1,101

Union

5,064 895

Warren

65,142 857

Washington

3,324 769

Wayne

5,711 597

Webster

2,952 855

Whitley

12,560 700

Wolfe

1,377 525

Woodford

8,843 833

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 2020
State Establishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands) Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands) Percent change, March 2019-20 First quarter 2020 National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2019-20 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

10,447.2 147,088.9 0.4 $1,222 -- 3.3 --

Alabama

132.6 1,983.8 0.3 974 36 3.2 23

Alaska

22.6 312.8 -0.1 1,130 19 2.1 44

Arizona

170.4 2,957.2 1.9 1,098 22 4.4 1

Arkansas

93.6 1,220.5 0.2 922 45 3.0 29

California

1,631.1 17,570.5 0.8 1,459 5 4.2 3

Colorado

214.5 2,725.2 1.2 1,284 9 4.3 2

Connecticut

124.1 1,639.4 -0.7 1,510 4 1.5 48

Delaware

34.6 443.7 -0.3 1,251 11 1.7 45

District of Columbia

42.3 778.1 0.6 1,994 1 3.8 14

Florida

740.5 8,975.1 0.8 1,051 25 3.6 18

Georgia

301.5 4,522.2 0.9 1,159 17 3.4 19

Hawaii

45.4 655.5 -1.0 1,033 27 3.0 29

Idaho

66.8 755.2 3.1 864 50 4.2 3

Illinois

381.5 5,872.9 -0.7 1,302 8 2.3 41

Indiana

171.1 3,028.5 -1.0 994 33 3.2 23

Iowa

104.8 1,523.4 -0.2 978 35 3.7 16

Kansas

89.8 1,383.3 0.2 969 37 3.2 23

Kentucky

124.0 1,884.9 0.1 943 43 2.5 38

Louisiana

137.4 1,897.0 -1.3 969 37 1.7 45

Maine

53.9 601.0 0.1 955 40 4.0 11

Maryland

175.7 2,661.5 -0.4 1,277 10 4.1 8

Massachusetts

263.3 3,565.1 -0.2 1,605 3 3.0 29

Michigan

267.0 4,281.4 -0.6 1,103 20 2.3 41

Minnesota

183.9 2,838.2 -0.1 1,235 12 2.7 35

Mississippi

73.9 1,128.1 -0.2 801 51 2.8 34

Missouri

214.8 2,795.7 0.3 1,016 31 3.0 29

Montana

50.6 465.2 1.5 869 49 3.1 27

Nebraska

72.3 972.4 0.8 956 39 4.1 8

Nevada

86.1 1,410.8 1.3 1,033 27 4.2 3

New Hampshire

54.3 657.0 0.2 1,194 15 3.3 20

New Jersey

285.8 4,052.7 0.4 1,455 6 3.9 13

New Mexico

64.0 835.6 0.9 923 44 3.7 16

New York

657.2 9,415.7 -0.3 1,693 2 3.3 20

North Carolina

296.0 4,501.1 0.9 1,094 23 4.1 8

North Dakota

32.2 414.3 0.0 1,046 26 2.4 39

Ohio

304.4 5,349.6 -0.3 1,063 24 2.9 33

Oklahoma

112.8 1,598.0 -1.3 949 42 -0.5 51

Oregon

162.4 1,938.9 0.7 1,103 20 4.2 3

Pennsylvania

363.5 5,851.3 0.0 1,177 16 2.7 35

Rhode Island

39.5 473.9 -0.2 1,132 18 2.7 35

South Carolina

142.7 2,112.8 0.1 922 45 2.2 43

South Dakota

34.7 420.6 0.4 901 48 4.2 3

Tennessee

171.2 3,033.5 1.0 1,027 29 3.1 27

Texas

725.7 12,626.2 1.2 1,232 14 2.4 39

Utah

109.8 1,526.8 1.8 1,026 30 3.2 23

Vermont

26.1 303.9 -1.8 980 34 3.3 20

Virginia

282.9 3,921.0 0.6 1,233 13 4.0 11

Washington

255.6 3,427.3 1.7 1,414 7 3.8 14

West Virginia

51.2 674.9 -1.8 904 47 0.9 49

Wisconsin

178.2 2,836.5 -0.2 1,008 32 1.7 45

Wyoming

27.2 268.5 -0.5 955 40 0.6 50

Puerto Rico

47.5 886.4 1.0 551 (3) 0.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.3 40.1 5.7 1,046 (3) 6.3 (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, September 16, 2020