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17-1245-ATL
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Tennessee – First Quarter 2017

Employment rose in all six large counties in Tennessee from March 2016 to March 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2016 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that Williamson County had the third largest employment gain in the country, up 4.6 percent over the previous year. Employment gains in Tennessee’s remaining large counties ranged from 3.7 percent in Rutherford County to 0.7 percent in Shelby County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.6 percent from March 2016 to March 2017 as 299 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registered increases. York, S.C., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 6.8 percent over the year. Kanawha, W.Va., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 2.7 percent.

Among the largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Shelby County (488,200) in March 2017, followed by Davidson County (474,500). Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 56.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 142.3 million in March 2017.

Each of Tennessee’s six large counties posted over-the-year wage increases in the first quarter of 2017. Knox County (7.9 percent) had the largest over-the-year wage gain, followed by Rutherford County (7.7 percent). Williamson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,287, followed by Davidson County at $1,150. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 6.6 percent over the year to $1,111 in the first quarter of 2017. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties with employment levels below 75,000 in Tennessee. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,256 to $490. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages rose in all of Tennessee’s large counties from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. Wage gains in three of the state’s large counties placed in the top 100 of the national ranking—Knox (7.9 percent, 63rd), Rutherford (7.7 percent, 73rd), and Hamilton (7.4 percent, 92nd). (See table 1.)

Nationally, 345 of the 346 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest wage gain, up 27.8 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Peoria, Ill., had the only percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-1.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Williamson and Davidson Counties, with average weekly wages of $1,287 and $1,150, respectively, placed in the top quarter among the 346 largest U.S. counties in the first quarter of 2017. With the exception of Shelby County ($1,059, 124th), average weekly wages in the remaining large counties in Tennessee placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Nationwide, 94 large counties had average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average of $1,111 in the first quarter of 2017. New York, N.Y., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,954, followed by Santa Clara, Calif., at $2,450. Rounding out the top five were San Mateo, Calif. ($2,385); San Francisco, Calif. ($2,264); and Somerset, N.J. ($2,026).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 252 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2017. Cameron, Texas ($614), had the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Horry, S.C ($628); Hidalgo, Texas ($642); Webb, Texas ($675); and Lake, Fla. ($681).

Average weekly wages in Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 counties in Tennessee with employment below 75,000, only Roane County ($1,256) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,111. Grundy County reported the lowest average weekly in the state, averaging $490 in the first quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 15 reported average weekly wages below $600, 26 had wages from $600 to $699, 34 had wages from $700 to $799, and 20 had wages above $800. (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 2016 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 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2016 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 142.3 million full- and part-time workers. 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 6 largest counties in Tennessee, first quarter 2017
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2017 (thousands) Percent change, March 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,309.2 1.6 -- $1,111 -- 6.6 --

Tennessee

2,906.2 1.8 -- 945 28 6.7 25

Davidson, Tenn.

474.5 3.0 50 1,150 74 4.9 274

Hamilton, Tenn.

198.6 1.7 157 944 196 7.4 92

Knox, Tenn.

235.0 0.8 237 941 199 7.9 63

Rutherford, Tenn.

123.1 3.7 10 907 228 7.7 73

Shelby, Tenn.

488.2 0.7 248 1,059 124 7.1 118

Williamson, Tenn.

127.0 4.6 3 1,287 46 7.1 118

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 2017
Area Employment March 2017 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

142,309,185 $1,111

Tennessee

2,906,192 945

Anderson

39,597 1,068

Bedford

17,254 724

Benton

3,999 605

Bledsoe

2,186 622

Blount

47,558 895

Bradley

40,933 776

Campbell

9,017 658

Cannon

2,219 588

Carroll

7,366 714

Carter

10,921 650

Cheatham

8,133 839

Chester

3,745 600

Claiborne

8,902 651

Clay

1,561 595

Cocke

7,509 614

Coffee

25,753 821

Crockett

3,652 727

Cumberland

17,441 628

Davidson

474,540 1,150

Decatur

3,557 702

De Kalb

5,372 702

Dickson

16,915 710

Dyer

15,128 728

Fayette

7,778 810

Fentress

4,790 579

Franklin

11,990 663

Gibson

13,715 677

Giles

11,189 714

Grainger

3,733 674

Greene

25,726 708

Grundy

2,029 490

Hamblen

30,966 727

Hamilton

198,633 944

Hancock

854 494

Hardeman

6,667 744

Hardin

7,819 795

Hawkins

13,205 801

Haywood

5,007 727

Henderson

7,829 711

Henry

11,287 720

Hickman

3,659 665

Houston

1,524 565

Humphreys

5,874 969

Jackson

1,403 592

Jefferson

13,263 738

Johnson

4,359 762

Knox

234,976 941

Lake

1,807 594

Lauderdale

6,143 676

Lawrence

10,068 650

Lewis

2,595 565

Lincoln

10,033 677

Loudon

14,714 755

McMinn

17,846 811

McNairy

5,713 602

Macon

4,917 609

Madison

58,333 781

Marion

7,431 715

Marshall

10,079 764

Maury

34,680 937

Meigs

1,922 755

Monroe

13,662 721

Montgomery

52,641 704

Moore

2,019 803

Morgan

2,939 645

Obion

9,617 709

Overton

4,828 682

Perry

1,941 564

Pickett

1,132 572

Polk

2,182 578

Putnam

36,424 704

Rhea

10,765 765

Roane

18,334 1,256

Robertson

22,214 738

Rutherford

123,118 907

Scott

5,411 577

Sequatchie

3,016 592

Sevier

44,563 559

Shelby

488,164 1,059

Smith

4,992 719

Stewart

2,659 877

Sullivan

67,936 915

Sumner

52,650 791

Tipton

11,169 670

Trousdale

1,575 624

Unicoi

4,775 858

Union

2,397 621

Van Buren

818 625

Warren

13,333 730

Washington

61,118 756

Wayne

3,605 611

Weakley

11,172 614

White

7,035 639

Williamson

127,041 1,287

Wilson

41,139 772

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 2017
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2017 (thousands) Percent change, March 2016-17 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2016-17 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,309.2 1.6 $1,111 -- 6.6 --

Alabama

1,928.9 1.4 893 36 6.2 35

Alaska

312.8 -1.8 1,061 18 3.9 50

Arizona

2,743.0 2.4 991 21 8.1 4

Arkansas

1,199.9 0.7 859 45 8.5 3

California

16,831.4 2.3 1,295 6 7.6 7

Colorado

2,573.2 2.3 1,136 12 7.5 10

Connecticut

1,651.5 0.1 1,417 4 4.0 49

Delaware

433.2 0.8 1,185 9 10.7 1

District of Columbia

760.7 1.2 1,885 1 7.0 16

Florida

8,532.6 2.8 949 27 7.2 13

Georgia

4,317.1 2.7 1,068 17 6.1 37

Hawaii

653.6 0.9 954 25 6.8 22

Idaho

690.4 3.0 775 50 7.0 16

Illinois

5,842.0 0.5 1,195 8 6.3 34

Indiana

2,985.8 1.2 918 32 7.6 7

Iowa

1,518.3 0.0 899 35 6.5 30

Kansas

1,368.0 0.4 888 38 6.7 25

Kentucky

1,864.1 1.1 879 41 6.9 18

Louisiana

1,901.3 -0.5 906 33 5.5 43

Maine

586.7 1.0 860 44 7.2 13

Maryland

2,626.0 1.2 1,171 10 5.8 42

Massachusetts

3,464.0 1.1 1,428 3 7.7 6

Michigan

4,230.6 1.7 1,041 20 6.8 22

Minnesota

2,806.4 2.1 1,149 11 7.9 5

Mississippi

1,122.9 0.1 750 51 5.3 46

Missouri

2,767.0 1.4 930 31 5.9 38

Montana

451.5 1.4 800 49 6.5 30

Nebraska

960.7 0.4 868 42 6.4 33

Nevada

1,311.6 3.8 932 30 6.9 18

New Hampshire

643.2 1.2 1,070 16 7.3 11

New Jersey

3,955.1 1.5 1,333 5 5.0 47

New Mexico

803.3 0.2 838 46 5.9 38

New York

9,159.3 1.3 1,541 2 5.9 38

North Carolina

4,287.0 1.8 991 21 6.9 18

North Dakota

405.7 -1.0 953 26 5.0 47

Ohio

5,278.3 0.8 976 24 6.7 25

Oklahoma

1,563.9 -1.0 883 39 5.9 38

Oregon

1,855.0 2.5 984 23 5.4 45

Pennsylvania

5,712.3 0.8 1,078 15 6.5 30

Rhode Island

465.4 0.3 1,055 19 7.2 13

South Carolina

2,017.9 2.2 864 43 7.3 11

South Dakota

413.4 0.7 819 48 6.2 35

Tennessee

2,906.2 1.8 945 28 6.7 25

Texas

11,924.5 1.7 1,124 14 5.5 43

Utah

1,411.3 3.1 905 34 6.6 29

Vermont

305.6 0.2 889 37 6.7 25

Virginia

3,796.3 1.4 1,129 13 6.9 18

Washington

3,225.9 2.6 1,215 7 8.6 2

West Virginia

678.2 -0.8 837 47 7.6 7

Wisconsin

2,803.7 1.1 933 29 6.8 22

Wyoming

262.4 -2.3 880 40 3.3 51

Puerto Rico

887.7 -0.9 526 (3) 1.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.7 0.0 797 (3) 3.1 (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: Tuesday, September 26, 2017