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17-811-ATL
Thursday, June 22, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Georgia – Fourth Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all 10 of Georgia’s large counties from December 2015 to December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 average annual employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment increases ranged from 3.7 percent in Fulton County to 0.6 percent in Richmond County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.2 percent from December 2015 to December 2016 as 280 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 5.1 percent over the year. Lafayette, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.1 percent.

Among the 10 largest counties in Georgia, employment was highest in Fulton County (845,700) in December 2016, while Bibb County had the smallest employment level (83,000). Together, Georgia’s large counties accounted for 57.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 143.7 million in December 2016.

Seven of Georgia’s 10 large counties had over-the-year wage decreases in the fourth quarter of 2016, with the largest losses in Chatham and Muscogee Counties (-3.7 percent each). Fulton County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties ($1,387), followed by Cobb ($1,094) and DeKalb ($1,067). Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 1.5 percent over the year to $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 149 counties in Georgia with employment below 75,000. With the exception of Burke County ($1,339), wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Six of Georgia’s large counties had over-the-year wage decreases greater than the national decline of 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 1.) In contrast, Clayton County had an over-the-year wage increase, up 11.3 percent, ranking first among the nation’s 344 large counties. DeKalb County (0.5 percent, 33rd) and Hall County (0.1 percent, 40th) also had over-the-year wage increases.

Among the 344 largest U.S. counties, 290 had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage wage decrease (-9.2 percent). Clay, Mo., had the second-largest decrease (-8.3 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-8.0 percent); Douglas, Colo. (-6.8 percent); and Passaic, N.J. (-6.0 percent).

Nationally, 48 large counties registered over-the-year wage increases. As noted, Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages (11.3 percent). Washington, Pa., had the second-largest increase (4.9 percent), followed by Marin, Calif. (4.3 percent); Elkhart, Ind. (4.0 percent); San Francisco, Calif., and Champaign, Ill. (3.7 percent each).

Large county average weekly wages

Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties had average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average of $1,067 and ranked in the top-third nationwide.  Average weekly wages in Gwinnett ($1,022) and Clayton ($1,006) ranked 130th and 147th, respectively.   

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,067) in 100 of the 344 largest counties in the fourth quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,365, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,212); San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); and San Francisco, Calif. ($2,068).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 243 had weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2016. Cameron, Texas ($640) reported the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Hidalgo, Texas ($648); Horry, S.C. ($654); and Webb, Texas ($683).

Average weekly wages in Georgia’s smaller counties

With the exception of Burke County ($1,339), all of the smaller counties in Georgia—those with employment below 75,000— had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,067. Among the smaller counties, Forsyth had the second highest average weekly wage at $990, followed by Heard at $885. Taliaferro County had the lowest average weekly wage in state at $482. (See table 2.)

When all 159 counties in Georgia were considered, 19 reported average weekly wages below $600, 76 had wages from $600 to $699, 32 had wages from $700 to $799, 24 had wages from $800 to $899, and 8 reported wages above $900. (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 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2015 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

Upcoming Industry Changes to QCEW Data

Beginning with the release of first quarter 2017 data, the program will switch to the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry. For more information on the change, please see the Federal Register notice at www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/federal_register_notices/notices/fr08au16.pdf.


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 143.7 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 10 largest counties in Georgia, fourth quarter 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands) Percent change, December 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

143,749.9 1.2 -- $1,067 -- -1.5 --

Georgia

4,349.3 2.4 -- 993 20 -0.9 14

Bibb, Ga.

83.0 1.4 156 816 311 -2.6 252

Chatham, Ga.

150.4 1.7 130 886 253 -3.7 301

Clayton, Ga.

124.1 2.2 90 1,006 147 11.3 1

Cobb, Ga.

353.4 2.6 65 1,094 78 -1.9 191

DeKalb, Ga.

298.7 1.2 172 1,067 101 0.5 33

Fulton, Ga.

845.7 3.7 11 1,387 17 -2.0 198

Gwinnett, Ga.

350.2 2.6 65 1,022 130 -1.2 138

Hall, Ga.

84.4 2.4 76 929 215 0.1 40

Muscogee, Ga.

94.0 0.7 223 841 298 -3.7 301

Richmond, Ga.

105.5 0.6 230 869 272 -1.8 183

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 Georgia, fourth quarter 2016
Area Employment December 2016 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

143,749,910 $1,067

Georgia

4,349,343 993

Appling

6,942 773

Atkinson

1,965 668

Bacon

3,882 707

Baker

420 688

Baldwin

15,579 650

Banks

4,055 623

Barrow

17,808 740

Bartow

35,878 848

Ben Hill

5,764 632

Berrien

3,564 621

Bibb

82,952 816

Bleckley

2,768 591

Brantley

2,188 628

Brooks

3,074 644

Bryan

8,049 661

Bulloch

25,482 667

Burke

10,508 1,339

Butts

6,195 701

Calhoun

1,054 682

Camden

13,812 821

Candler

2,837 586

Carroll

39,750 825

Catoosa

14,256 655

Charlton

2,140 636

Chatham

150,364 886

Chattahoochee

2,207 842

Chattooga

6,213 634

Cherokee

57,165 799

Clarke

70,410 870

Clay

516 574

Clayton

124,055 1,006

Clinch

2,207 701

Cobb

353,433 1,094

Coffee

17,103 669

Colquitt

15,202 641

Columbia

32,768 765

Cook

4,118 584

Coweta

38,100 782

Crawford

1,279 650

Crisp

8,215 688

Dade

3,285 649

Dawson

9,157 554

Decatur

8,383 657

De Kalb

298,680 1,067

Dodge

5,063 600

Dooly

3,861 666

Dougherty

48,619 810

Douglas

41,723 729

Early

4,322 824

Echols

740 666

Effingham

9,622 783

Elbert

5,708 672

Emanuel

6,806 616

Evans

4,459 695

Fannin

6,430 598

Fayette

43,630 825

Floyd

39,179 813

Forsyth

72,775 990

Franklin

7,856 681

Fulton

845,653 1,387

Gilmer

6,908 587

Glascock

426 511

Glynn

37,794 797

Gordon

20,460 754

Grady

5,523 693

Greene

5,784 714

Gwinnett

350,240 1,022

Habersham

14,866 679

Hall

84,398 929

Hancock

1,596 662

Haralson

6,460 829

Harris

4,789 577

Hart

6,565 685

Heard

2,125 885

Henry

59,090 713

Houston

59,155 883

Irwin

1,786 617

Jackson

26,246 763

Jasper

2,086 609

Jeff Davis

4,329 646

Jefferson

4,943 690

Jenkins

1,383 579

Johnson

1,580 625

Jones

4,637 678

Lamar

3,724 656

Lanier

1,405 611

Laurens

18,425 734

Lee

6,551 642

Liberty

18,198 766

Lincoln

1,370 615

Long

953 639

Lowndes

50,007 688

Lumpkin

7,576 668

McDuffie

6,842 655

McIntosh

1,699 576

Macon

2,791 763

Madison

3,082 613

Marion

1,164 607

Meriwether

4,762 698

Miller

1,708 632

Mitchell

7,212 626

Monroe

7,581 744

Montgomery

1,638 665

Morgan

6,640 664

Murray

10,083 700

Muscogee

93,966 841

Newton

23,958 802

Oconee

11,083 752

Oglethorpe

1,652 632

Paulding

23,556 705

Peach

9,224 739

Pickens

7,634 876

Pierce

4,140 697

Pike

2,879 651

Polk

10,906 739

Pulaski

2,840 719

Putnam

5,646 622

Quitman

384 559

Rabun

4,772 596

Randolph

1,878 608

Richmond

105,479 869

Rockdale

32,353 875

Schley

989 664

Screven

3,396 633

Seminole

2,217 707

Spalding

22,642 679

Stephens

9,243 757

Stewart

1,183 739

Sumter

10,832 687

Talbot

713 616

Taliaferro

198 482

Tattnall

5,799 689

Taylor

1,731 746

Telfair

3,610 547

Terrell

2,425 665

Thomas

21,046 833

Tift

19,171 747

Toombs

11,231 668

Towns

3,391 615

Treutlen

1,149 560

Troup

39,858 827

Turner

2,097 574

Twiggs

2,304 534

Union

7,409 641

Upson

6,456 693

Walker

13,192 643

Walton

22,489 816

Ware

15,745 659

Warren

1,506 733

Washington

6,618 694

Wayne

7,785 749

Webster

477 684

Wheeler

1,151 638

White

7,591 658

Whitfield

57,543 857

Wilcox

1,045 561

Wilkes

3,103 641

Wilkinson

3,290 883

Worth

3,107 678

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, fourth quarter 2016
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands) Percent change, December 2015-16 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2015-16 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

143,749.9 1.2 $1,067 -- -1.5 --

Alabama

1,932.6 0.7 901 35 -1.3 21

Alaska

310.0 -1.9 1,038 17 -5.2 51

Arizona

2,760.1 2.1 945 25 -2.2 34

Arkansas

1,205.4 0.4 827 47 -1.4 22

California

16,923.3 1.9 1,271 5 -0.3 4

Colorado

2,588.6 2.0 1,086 12 -1.5 24

Connecticut

1,685.5 0.0 1,289 4 -3.4 46

Delaware

441.2 -0.1 1,055 15 -2.9 44

District of Columbia

760.9 0.5 1,763 1 0.6 2

Florida

8,538.9 2.7 942 27 -1.8 28

Georgia

4,349.3 2.4 993 20 -0.9 14

Hawaii

658.3 0.7 954 24 -0.3 4

Idaho

691.6 3.2 800 50 -0.4 8

Illinois

5,947.6 0.4 1,122 9 -2.0 31

Indiana

3,021.7 0.9 883 38 -0.9 14

Iowa

1,542.0 0.1 911 33 -1.0 16

Kansas

1,384.5 0.1 877 39 -2.2 34

Kentucky

1,894.2 0.6 874 41 -1.4 22

Louisiana

1,907.4 -1.6 914 32 -2.9 44

Maine

602.6 0.8 855 43 -2.1 33

Maryland

2,666.7 1.0 1,169 7 -0.4 8

Massachusetts

3,530.4 1.3 1,352 2 -2.4 39

Michigan

4,283.0 1.5 1,026 19 -1.6 25

Minnesota

2,839.7 1.2 1,062 14 -1.1 18

Mississippi

1,134.0 0.0 756 51 -1.8 28

Missouri

2,783.2 0.9 918 31 -1.7 27

Montana

456.5 0.7 822 48 0.5 3

Nebraska

972.4 0.0 876 40 -0.5 10

Nevada

1,307.8 2.7 924 29 -1.2 20

New Hampshire

656.9 1.3 1,092 10 -4.1 48

New Jersey

4,042.1 1.4 1,239 6 -1.9 30

New Mexico

811.4 0.0 844 45 -2.5 41

New York

9,332.5 1.2 1,342 3 -2.3 36

North Carolina

4,326.3 1.8 932 28 -0.7 13

North Dakota

414.4 -3.2 978 21 -4.2 49

Ohio

5,365.6 0.7 943 26 -2.3 36

Oklahoma

1,587.7 -1.2 864 42 -3.5 47

Oregon

1,860.7 2.4 970 22 -1.0 16

Pennsylvania

5,799.8 0.7 1,039 16 -2.3 36

Rhode Island

478.3 0.0 1,027 18 -1.6 25

South Carolina

2,024.3 1.8 855 43 -0.6 12

South Dakota

419.9 0.5 828 46 -0.5 10

Tennessee

2,947.5 1.8 970 22 -1.1 18

Texas

11,974.7 1.2 1,072 13 -2.5 41

Utah

1,415.1 2.9 910 34 -0.3 4

Vermont

312.6 0.1 897 36 -2.4 39

Virginia

3,831.6 0.6 1,091 11 -0.3 4

Washington

3,227.9 2.8 1,150 8 1.7 1

West Virginia

693.1 -1.6 809 49 -2.5 41

Wisconsin

2,842.4 0.5 924 29 -2.0 31

Wyoming

265.8 -3.9 894 37 -4.7 50

Puerto Rico

928.2 -0.3 555 (3) -1.9 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 0.2 769 (3) -1.8 (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: Thursday, June 22, 2017