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News Release Information

20-1549-DAL
Monday, September 14, 2020

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Technical information:
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Parish Employment and Wages in Louisiana – First Quarter 2020

Employment fell in 6 of the 7 largest Louisiana parishes from March 2019 to March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties and parishes are those with 2019 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that St. Tammany was the only large parish in Louisiana to experience employment growth, up 0.7 percent, ranking 122nd among the 357 large U.S. counties. (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. John’s, 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 seven largest parishes in Louisiana, employment was highest in East Baton Rouge (261,600) in March 2020. Together, the seven largest Louisiana parishes accounted for 56.6 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 57 parishes in Louisiana with employment levels below 75,000. Wage levels in 52 of these smaller parishes were below the national average in the first quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large parish wage changes

Six of the seven large parishes in Louisiana reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, though all six were below the national rate of 3.3 percent. Jefferson Parish had the largest gain (+3.1 percent). (See chart 2.) The five other large parishes registering over-the-year wage gains ranged from 2.6 percent to 1.4 percent. Wages fell over the year in Calcasieu Parish (-1.1 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 parish average weekly wages

Weekly wages in all seven large parishes in Louisiana were below the nationwide average of $1,222 in the first quarter of 2020. Only two large parishes had average weekly wages ranking in the top half of the 357 large U.S. counties: Orleans ($1,078, 162nd) and East Baton Rouge ($1,074, 165th). Average weekly wages in the five remaining large parishes ranged from $1,007 to $879 and 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. New York’s average weekly wage was nearly five times the average weekly wage in Cameron, TX.

Average weekly wages in Louisiana's smaller parishes

For smaller parishes in Louisiana – those with employment of less than 75,000 – 52 of 57 reported weekly wages below the national average of $1,222 in the first quarter of 2020. In the five remaining smaller parishes, wages not only exceeded the national average, but were also the highest in the state, ranging from $1,826 in Cameron to $1,399 in Iberville. Franklin Parish had the lowest weekly wages in the state at $594.

When all 64 parishes in Louisiana were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages of $649 or less, 19 registered wages from $650 to $749, 13 had wages from $750 to $849, 5 had wages from $850 to $949, and 19 had wages of $950 or more. (See chart 3.) The higher-paying parishes were concentrated in the southern half of the state around the metropolitan areas of Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and New Orleans. The lowest-paid parishes, those with weekly wages under $650, were concentrated in non-metropolitan areas in the northeastern quadrant of the state.

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 was published in September 2019. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

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 seven largest parishes in Louisiana, first quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
first quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage 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)

10,447.2147,088.90.4--$1,222--3.3--

Louisiana

137.41,897.0-1.3--969371.745

Caddo

7.4108.9-1.93408793162.3241

Calcasieu

5.597.0-5.43561,007211-1.1349

East Baton Rouge

16.6261.6-2.73541,0741652.6214

Jefferson

14.6188.3-0.62639872283.1174

Lafayette

10.3130.7-0.32409292841.9263

Orleans

13.9197.0-0.92871,0781621.4291

St. Tammany

9.089.70.71229352792.4230

(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 parishes in Louisiana, first quarter 2020
AreaEmployment
March
2020
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

147,088,945$1,222

Louisiana

1,897,014969

Acadia

14,052687

Allen

7,837760

Ascension

47,0471,188

Assumption

3,638810

Avoyelles

10,252638

Beauregard

8,429844

Bienville

4,078799

Bossier

44,308795

Caddo

108,896879

Calcasieu

96,9641,007

Caldwell

2,226639

Cameron

8,2841,826

Catahoula

2,056599

Claiborne

3,081767

Concordia

5,319708

De Soto

6,7561,046

East Baton Rouge

261,5811,074

East Carroll

1,565666

East Feliciana

4,765875

Evangeline

7,748645

Franklin

4,822594

Grant

3,317763

Iberia

26,190959

Iberville

14,8571,399

Jackson

3,419798

Jefferson

188,314987

Jefferson Davis

8,124688

La Salle

4,835745

Lafayette

130,679929

Lafourche

34,2411,039

Lincoln

18,953709

Livingston

29,300736

Madison

3,071616

Morehouse

6,589683

Natchitoches

13,529712

Orleans

196,9991,078

Ouachita

69,230807

Plaquemines

11,8301,401

Pointe Coupee

5,251853

Rapides

56,031823

Red River

2,436765

Richland

6,280664

Sabine

5,526692

St. Bernard

9,9901,038

St. Charles

23,5511,498

St. Helena

1,564733

St. James

8,2131,437

St. John the Baptist

13,9681,150

St. Landry

23,668720

St. Martin

11,806838

St. Mary

20,597972

St. Tammany

89,717935

Tangipahoa

44,431707

Tensas

839628

Terrebonne

48,994987

Union

4,987655

Vermilion

12,743778

Vernon

12,246740

Washington

10,178684

Webster

11,608736

West Baton Rouge

12,5161,159

West Carroll

2,060602

West Feliciana

5,4361,198

Winn

4,465727

(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: Covered employment and wages 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
StateEstablishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands)EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands)Percent change, March 2019-20First quarter 2020National ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2019-20National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

10,447.2147,088.90.4$1,222--3.3--

Alabama

132.61,983.80.3974363.223

Alaska

22.6312.8-0.11,130192.144

Arizona

170.42,957.21.91,098224.41

Arkansas

93.61,220.50.2922453.029

California

1,631.117,570.50.81,45954.23

Colorado

214.52,725.21.21,28494.32

Connecticut

124.11,639.4-0.71,51041.548

Delaware

34.6443.7-0.31,251111.745

District of Columbia

42.3778.10.61,99413.814

Florida

740.58,975.10.81,051253.618

Georgia

301.54,522.20.91,159173.419

Hawaii

45.4655.5-1.01,033273.029

Idaho

66.8755.23.1864504.23

Illinois

381.55,872.9-0.71,30282.341

Indiana

171.13,028.5-1.0994333.223

Iowa

104.81,523.4-0.2978353.716

Kansas

89.81,383.30.2969373.223

Kentucky

124.01,884.90.1943432.538

Louisiana

137.41,897.0-1.3969371.745

Maine

53.9601.00.1955404.011

Maryland

175.72,661.5-0.41,277104.18

Massachusetts

263.33,565.1-0.21,60533.029

Michigan

267.04,281.4-0.61,103202.341

Minnesota

183.92,838.2-0.11,235122.735

Mississippi

73.91,128.1-0.2801512.834

Missouri

214.82,795.70.31,016313.029

Montana

50.6465.21.5869493.127

Nebraska

72.3972.40.8956394.18

Nevada

86.11,410.81.31,033274.23

New Hampshire

54.3657.00.21,194153.320

New Jersey

285.84,052.70.41,45563.913

New Mexico

64.0835.60.9923443.716

New York

657.29,415.7-0.31,69323.320

North Carolina

296.04,501.10.91,094234.18

North Dakota

32.2414.30.01,046262.439

Ohio

304.45,349.6-0.31,063242.933

Oklahoma

112.81,598.0-1.394942-0.551

Oregon

162.41,938.90.71,103204.23

Pennsylvania

363.55,851.30.01,177162.735

Rhode Island

39.5473.9-0.21,132182.735

South Carolina

142.72,112.80.1922452.243

South Dakota

34.7420.60.4901484.23

Tennessee

171.23,033.51.01,027293.127

Texas

725.712,626.21.21,232142.439

Utah

109.81,526.81.81,026303.223

Vermont

26.1303.9-1.8980343.320

Virginia

282.93,921.00.61,233134.011

Washington

255.63,427.31.71,41473.814

West Virginia

51.2674.9-1.8904470.949

Wisconsin

178.22,836.5-0.21,008321.745

Wyoming

27.2268.5-0.5955400.650

Puerto Rico

47.5886.41.0551(3)0.0(3)

Virgin Islands

3.340.15.71,046(3)6.3(3)

(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: Monday, September 14, 2020