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News Release Information

20-1698-ATL
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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

County Employment and Wages in Tennessee — First Quarter 2020

Employment rose in 5 of Tennessee’s 6 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 employment gains ranged from 2.6 percent in Williamson County to 0.4 percent in Hamilton County. (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 over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.5 percent.

Among the six largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Davidson County (513,200) in March 2020. Within Davidson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 57.1 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 89 counties in Tennessee with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 88 of the 89 smaller counties were below the national average in the first quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Among Tennessee’s six large counties, five reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Four counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 3.3 percent, with the largest gain in Davidson (+4.7 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

Weekly wages in 2 of the 6 large counties in Tennessee were above the national average of $1,222 in the first quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in both of these counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Williamson ($1,449, 44th), and Davidson ($1,282, 68th).

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 Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 smaller counties in Tennessee–those with employment below 75,000–Roane ($1,390) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,222. Hancock County ($539) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 31 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 33 had wages from $700 to $799, 16 had wages from $800 to $899, and 15 had average weekly 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 2019 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 six largest counties in Tennessee, 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 --

Tennessee

171.2 3,033.5 1.0 -- 1,027 29 3.1 27

Davidson

25.4 513.2 1.8 41 1,282 68 4.7 42

Hamilton

10.6 206.8 0.4 158 1,031 193 3.4 150

Knox

13.4 241.4 1.0 91 989 225 3.8 114

Rutherford

6.3 134.4 1.5 54 947 264 0.0 336

Shelby

21.6 495.5 -0.3 240 1,117 140 0.8 312

Williamson

10.0 140.6 2.6 12 1,449 44 3.7 121

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 Tennessee, first quarter 2020
Area Employment March 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

147,088,945 $1,222

Tennessee

3,033,537 1,027

Anderson

40,219 1,188

Bedford

16,182 767

Benton

4,121 666

Bledsoe

2,171 700

Blount

50,816 920

Bradley

43,169 833

Campbell

9,134 690

Cannon

2,379 666

Carroll

6,579 628

Carter

11,634 692

Cheatham

8,775 905

Chester

3,636 666

Claiborne

9,138 708

Clay

1,300 576

Cocke

7,310 693

Coffee

26,284 876

Crockett

3,633 921

Cumberland

17,635 668

Davidson

513,228 1,282

Decatur

3,384 727

De Kalb

5,551 745

Dickson

17,769 758

Dyer

15,161 798

Fayette

7,863 871

Fentress

5,166 604

Franklin

11,568 756

Gibson

14,136 731

Giles

9,928 763

Grainger

3,946 756

Greene

24,514 768

Grundy

2,167 567

Hamblen

32,250 782

Hamilton

206,803 1,031

Hancock

943 539

Hardeman

6,893 771

Hardin

7,929 863

Hawkins

12,303 817

Haywood

4,816 789

Henderson

7,968 687

Henry

11,371 745

Hickman

3,738 762

Houston

1,502 625

Humphreys

5,877 944

Jackson

1,418 663

Jefferson

13,308 809

Johnson

4,303 789

Knox

241,386 989

Lake

1,526 696

Lauderdale

6,855 772

Lawrence

10,921 718

Lewis

2,857 598

Lincoln

9,109 725

Loudon

17,109 852

McMinn

19,306 841

McNairy

5,569 656

Macon

4,902 645

Madison

59,174 845

Marion

7,555 740

Marshall

9,613 794

Maury

37,698 979

Meigs

2,186 780

Monroe

14,508 743

Montgomery

57,108 786

Moore

2,458 847

Morgan

3,074 716

Obion

10,993 723

Overton

5,038 692

Perry

1,763 602

Pickett

949 577

Polk

2,103 652

Putnam

37,997 756

Rhea

10,967 879

Roane

19,739 1,390

Robertson

21,567 769

Rutherford

134,426 947

Scott

5,596 605

Sequatchie

3,139 633

Sevier

48,160 619

Shelby

495,455 1,117

Smith

5,091 833

Stewart

2,811 975

Sullivan

68,974 955

Sumner

56,622 858

Tipton

11,607 758

Trousdale

1,833 787

Unicoi

4,734 880

Union

2,564 695

Van Buren

776 621

Warren

12,850 750

Washington

61,391 815

Wayne

3,869 661

Weakley

11,111 660

White

7,279 676

Williamson

140,645 1,449

Wilson

49,943 828

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