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15-1782-DAL
Thursday, September 24, 2015

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Parish Employment and Wages in Louisiana – First Quarter 2015

Employment rose in 6 of the 7 largest parishes in Louisiana from March 2014 to March 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties/parishes are those with 2014 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that one Louisiana parish ranked among the top 10 nationwide for job growth. The 5.3-percent employment gain in Calcasieu Parish was the fastest in the state and ranked sixth in the country. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 2.1 percent from March 2014 to March 2015 as 323 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Utah County, Utah, recorded the largest percentage increase among the large counties in the U.S., up 6.7 percent over the year. Atlantic, N.J., registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 4.3 percent.

Among the seven largest parishes in Louisiana, employment was highest in East Baton Rouge (268,200) in March 2015, followed by Jefferson (194,500) and Orleans (189,400). Together, Louisiana's seven large parishes accounted for 56.2 percent of the state’s total employment. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.3 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, East Baton Rouge recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages among the seven large parishes in Louisiana, registering a gain of 3.1 percent. (See table 1.) Orleans had the highest average wage among the largest parishes at $1,004 per week. Nationally, average weekly wages increased 2.1 percent over the year to $1,048.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 57 parishes in Louisiana with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in six of these smaller parishes were above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large parish wage changes

Three of Louisiana’s seven large parishes recorded wage growth above the 2.1-percent national increase during the year ending in the first quarter of 2015. East Baton Rouge Parish’s 3.1-percent rise in average weekly wages ranked 62nd among the nation’s 342 largest counties. Wage growth in Orleans (3.0 percent) and St. Tammany (2.6 percent) also ranked in the top 100 nationwide. (See table 1.) In three other large parishes, weekly wages rose at a slower pace than the national average: Caddo (1.5 percent); Jefferson (1.3 percent); and Calcasieu (0.2 percent). In contrast, average weekly wages fell in Lafayette Parish, down 0.5 percent.

Nationally, 297 of the 342 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Olmsted, Minn., experienced the largest wage gain in the nation, up 11.7 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Washington, Pa., had the second largest increase (10.7 percent), followed by Riverside, Calif. (10.1 percent).

Among the nation’s 342 largest counties, 39 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Snohomish, Wash., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 4.8 percent. Chester, Pa., had the second largest wage decline (-4.0 percent), followed by Williamson, Texas (-3.1 percent).

Large parish average weekly wages

Weekly wages in all of the state’s seven large parishes were below the national average of $1,048 in the first quarter of 2015. However, average weekly wages in three of these parishes were high enough to place in the top half of the national ranking. Orleans ($1,004) had the highest average weekly wage among the state's largest parishes and ranked 122nd in the country. Other parishes ranking in the top half nationally were Lafayette ($952, 152nd) and East Baton Rouge ($942, 155th). Average weekly wages in the four remaining large parishes placed in bottom half of the national ranking, ranging from $887 to $794.

In the first quarter of 2015, nearly three-fourths of the largest U.S. counties (248) reported wages below the national weekly average of $1,048. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($583), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($593) and Hidalgo ($607).

Among the nation’s 342 largest counties, 93 registered weekly wages above the U.S. average. New York, N.Y., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,847. Santa Clara, Calif., was second at $2,203, followed by Somerset, N.J. ($2,080), San Francisco, Calif. ($2,070), and San Mateo, Calif. ($2,066). Average wages in the highest-ranked county, New York, N.Y., were nearly five times the average wage in the lowest-ranked county, Horry, S.C. ($583).

Average weekly wages in Louisiana's smaller parishes

For smaller parishes in Louisiana – those with employment below 75,000 – 51 of 57 reported weekly wages below the national average ($1,048) in the first quarter of 2015. In the six remaining smaller parishes, wages not only exceeded the national average, but also were the highest in the state, ranging from $1,385 in St. James to $1,062 in West Feliciana. The parishes of Madison and West Carroll reported the lowest weekly wages in the state at $531 and $534, respectively. (See table 2.)

When all 64 parishes were considered, 5 reported average wages of $549 or less per week, 27 registered wages from $550 to $699, 11 had wages from $700 to $849, 10 had wages from $850 to $999, and 11 had wages of $1,000 or more. (See chart 1.) The higher-paying parishes were concentrated in the southern half of the state around the metropolitan areas of Baton Rouge, Houma, Lake Charles, and New Orleans. The lowest-paid parishes, those with weekly wages under $549, were generally located 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 2013 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 2014 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2013 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13.htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in late September 2015.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 17, 2015.


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 9.5 million employer reports cover 137.4 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 (see Technical Note below) 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 7 largest counties in Louisiana, first quarter 2015
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
March
2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
March
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
first quarter
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

137,412.4 2.1 -- $1,048 -- 2.1 --

Louisiana

1,927.1 1.0 -- 885 28 2.0 21

Caddo, La.

115.3 0.7 282 794 288 1.5 195

Calcasieu, La.

91.6 5.3 6 858 224 0.2 292

East Baton Rouge, La.

268.2 2.2 150 942 155 3.1 62

Jefferson, La.

194.5 0.6 290 887 195 1.3 223

Lafayette, La.

139.7 -0.9 338 952 152 -0.5 314

Orleans, La.

189.4 2.7 112 1,004 122 3.0 67

St. Tammany, La.

84.1 3.5 58 871 212 2.6 96

(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 2015
Area Employment
March
2015
Average
Weekly
Wage (1)

United States (2)

137,412,381 $1,048

Louisiana

1,927,114 885

Acadia

14,577 637

Allen

7,761 697

Ascension

43,581 1,040

Assumption

4,255 755

Avoyelles

10,799 580

Beauregard

8,672 761

Bienville

4,273 676

Bossier

43,778 691

Caddo

115,302 794

Calcasieu

91,582 858

Caldwell

2,487 571

Cameron

6,885 1,290

Catahoula

2,147 543

Claiborne

3,500 694

Concordia

5,606 594

De Soto

6,642 983

East Baton Rouge

268,185 942

East Carroll

1,761 578

East Feliciana

4,898 718

Evangeline

8,214 620

Franklin

4,753 536

Grant

3,273 741

Iberia

30,899 938

Iberville

15,004 1,232

Jackson

3,722 731

Jefferson

194,469 887

Jefferson Davis

8,462 691

La Salle

4,529 652

Lafayette

139,693 952

Lafourche

38,027 1,029

Lincoln

17,882 681

Livingston

25,482 637

Madison

3,289 531

Morehouse

6,811 559

Natchitoches

12,958 616

Orleans

189,444 1,004

Ouachita

70,642 725

Plaquemines

14,597 1,313

Pointe Coupee

5,081 630

Rapides

58,330 714

Red River

2,542 820

Richland

6,428 577

Sabine

5,505 622

St. Bernard

10,445 885

St. Charles

25,217 1,364

St. Helena

1,430 648

St. James

8,044 1,385

St. John the Baptist

14,598 1,005

St. Landry

24,018 653

St. Martin

13,014 788

St. Mary

26,060 991

St. Tammany

84,149 871

Tangipahoa

41,828 686

Tensas

986 609

Terrebonne

57,398 1,005

Union

4,735 547

Vermilion

13,635 778

Vernon

13,579 648

Washington

10,278 658

Webster

12,170 696

West Baton Rouge

13,328 919

West Carroll

2,262 534

West Feliciana

5,775 1,062

Winn

4,870 651

(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 2015
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March
2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
March
2014-15
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
first quarter
2014-15
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

137,412.4 2.1 $1,048 -- 2.1 --

Alabama

1,873.5 1.3 844 39 2.2 19

Alaska

322.2 1.0 1,051 15 2.6 10

Arizona

2,605.6 2.5 926 23 1.0 45

Arkansas

1,166.6 1.3 790 47 0.8 47

California

16,029.5 3.0 1,207 6 3.7 3

Colorado

2,458.0 3.7 1,071 13 2.4 16

Connecticut

1,640.5 0.8 1,382 3 1.5 35

Delaware

422.8 2.5 1,105 9 -0.5 51

District of Columbia

732.6 1.4 1,764 1 3.2 4

Florida

8,018.0 3.6 885 28 1.8 27

Georgia

4,107.0 3.5 989 18 1.7 31

Hawaii

633.7 1.3 881 31 2.8 9

Idaho

650.3 3.1 736 50 2.2 19

Illinois

5,724.6 1.2 1,130 7 2.4 16

Indiana

2,894.8 1.8 857 35 1.4 38

Iowa

1,504.3 1.3 848 37 2.9 7

Kansas

1,357.1 1.0 851 36 1.4 38

Kentucky

1,810.3 1.5 823 41 1.5 35

Louisiana

1,927.1 1.0 885 28 2.0 21

Maine

571.4 0.9 793 45 0.9 46

Maryland

2,540.8 1.2 1,113 8 2.5 12

Massachusetts

3,338.6 1.7 1,341 4 3.2 4

Michigan

4,079.5 1.8 969 21 1.9 24

Minnesota

2,709.2 1.8 1,079 12 4.3 1

Mississippi

1,102.3 0.6 711 51 0.7 48

Missouri

2,678.0 1.7 882 30 1.8 27

Montana

441.0 2.7 750 49 2.6 10

Nebraska

943.1 1.4 818 42 2.5 12

Nevada

1,227.7 3.7 865 34 -0.2 50

New Hampshire

623.5 1.5 982 20 1.2 43

New Jersey

3,834.6 1.4 1,288 5 1.9 24

New Mexico

798.7 1.4 805 43 1.5 35

New York

8,865.0 1.9 1,463 2 0.2 49

North Carolina

4,099.4 2.5 930 22 1.9 24

North Dakota

436.0 1.6 984 19 4.2 2

Ohio

5,144.5 1.4 922 24 1.4 38

Oklahoma

1,592.7 1.3 869 33 2.0 21

Oregon

1,748.7 3.5 919 25 2.9 7

Pennsylvania

5,606.9 0.9 1,031 16 2.4 16

Rhode Island

456.1 1.4 1,008 17 1.2 43

South Carolina

1,919.1 2.5 801 44 1.8 27

South Dakota

406.5 1.5 763 48 3.0 6

Tennessee

2,772.7 2.1 886 27 1.4 38

Texas

11,557.0 2.9 1,089 10 2.5 12

Utah

1,318.8 3.7 845 38 1.7 31

Vermont

303.9 0.9 824 40 2.0 21

Virginia

3,649.3 1.1 1,068 14 1.7 31

Washington

3,064.4 3.2 1,087 11 1.8 27

West Virginia

692.4 -0.3 792 46 1.4 38

Wisconsin

2,734.3 1.5 877 32 2.5 12

Wyoming

277.8 0.8 892 26 1.7 31

Puerto Rico

904.9 -1.1 524 (3) 1.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 0.0 738 (3) -0.7 (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.

 Chart 1. Average weekly wages by parish in Louisiana, first quarter 2015

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015