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21-1610-ATL
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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County Employment and Wages in Tennessee — First Quarter 2021

Employment fell in Tennessee’s six largest counties from March 2020 to March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2020.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that Davidson County had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment at 5.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 4.5 percent over the year, with 324 of the 343 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Calcasieu, LA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 14.9 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 6.1 percent.

Among the six largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Davidson County (484,600) in March 2021. Within Davidson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the six largest Tennessee counties accounted for 56.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 343 largest counties made up 72.3 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 2021. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All six large Tennessee counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. (See chart 2.) Four counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 5.6 percent. Williamson County had the largest gain (+7.9 percent), followed by Davidson County (+7.7 percent).   


Among the 343 largest counties in the United States, 312 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, across most industries, increases in average weekly wages reflect substantial employment declines combined with wage increases. The lowest paying industry, leisure and hospitality, had the largest employment loss, which resulted in higher average weekly wages for the industry and the nation. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+33.9 percent). Clayton, GA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-14.2 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in 2 of the 6 largest counties in Tennessee were above the national average of $1,289 in the first quarter of 2021. Average weekly wages in each of these counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Williamson ($1,562, 37th) and Davidson ($1,378, 61st).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 84 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the first quarter of 2021. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,967. Average weekly wages were below the national average in the remaining 259 counties. At $685 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 ($1,403) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,289. Hancock County ($535) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 22 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 38 registered wages from $700 to $799, 18 had wages from $800 to $899, 9 had wages from $900 to $999, and 8 had average weekly wages of $1,000 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. This publication is typically published in September of the following year of the reference period or shortly after the QCEW first quarter full data update. The Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online is available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 2021
Area Establishments,
first quarter 2021
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2021
(thousands)
Percent change,
March 2020–21 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
First quarter
2021
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
first quarter 2020–21 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,755.4 140,455.8 -4.5 -- $1,289 -- 5.6 --

Tennessee

180.2 2,968.7 -2.1 -- 1,077 28 5.0 14

Davidson

27.2 484.6 -5.3 198 1,378 61 7.7 43

Hamilton

11.1 199.8 -3.7 111 1,067 191 3.5 208

Knox

14.0 235.7 -2.1 49 1,049 205 6.2 81

Rutherford

6.7 133.5 -0.3 14 968 265 1.8 279

Shelby

22.2 477.3 -3.5 100 1,181 129 5.8 91

Williamson

10.8 139.7 -0.3 14 1,562 37 7.9 41

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from 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 2021
Area Employment March 2021 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,455,819 $1,289

Tennessee

2,968,669 1,077

Anderson

40,265 1,196

Bedford

16,099 778

Benton

4,068 719

Bledsoe

2,109 721

Blount

50,052 955

Bradley

42,652 854

Campbell

9,123 682

Cannon

2,421 688

Carroll

6,228 659

Carter

11,549 701

Cheatham

8,955 924

Chester

3,837 695

Claiborne

8,858 714

Clay

1,292 591

Cocke

7,264 708

Coffee

25,396 898

Crockett

3,680 872

Cumberland

16,954 694

Davidson

484,578 1,378

Decatur

3,118 741

De Kalb

5,657 740

Dickson

17,771 766

Dyer

14,990 840

Fayette

8,117 905

Fentress

5,162 606

Franklin

10,836 773

Gibson

14,199 743

Giles

9,620 775

Grainger

4,026 793

Greene

24,253 766

Grundy

2,093 573

Hamblen

31,721 792

Hamilton

199,750 1,067

Hancock

981 535

Hardeman

6,381 763

Hardin

7,835 844

Hawkins

11,972 824

Haywood

4,898 838

Henderson

7,768 798

Henry

11,540 732

Hickman

3,897 749

Houston

1,434 620

Humphreys

5,606 940

Jackson

1,458 701

Jefferson

13,455 804

Johnson

4,415 763

Knox

235,705 1,049

Lake

1,516 696

Lauderdale

6,736 784

Lawrence

10,947 725

Lewis

2,959 608

Lincoln

9,107 742

Loudon

17,119 872

McMinn

18,164 843

McNairy

5,128 694

Macon

4,879 666

Madison

58,283 864

Marion

7,619 764

Marshall

9,380 811

Maury

36,245 984

Meigs

2,186 818

Monroe

14,456 762

Montgomery

56,815 783

Moore

2,229 876

Morgan

3,084 705

Obion

10,984 733

Overton

5,005 716

Perry

1,575 609

Pickett

931 574

Polk

2,081 673

Putnam

38,020 762

Rhea

10,905 919

Roane

19,432 1,403

Robertson

21,782 798

Rutherford

133,547 968

Scott

5,397 605

Sequatchie

3,116 670

Sevier

46,791 640

Shelby

477,270 1,181

Smith

5,134 801

Stewart

2,778 997

Sullivan

66,386 1,060

Sumner

57,224 878

Tipton

12,103 755

Trousdale

1,851 782

Unicoi

4,788 945

Union

2,459 721

Van Buren

751 685

Warren

12,499 769

Washington

61,329 852

Wayne

3,729 723

Weakley

10,910 694

White

6,917 753

Williamson

139,694 1,562

Wilson

53,542 849

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 2021
State Establishments,
first quarter 2021
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2021
(thousands)
Percent change,
March 2020–21
First quarter
2021
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
first quarter 2020–21
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,755.4 140,455.8 -4.5 $1,289 -- 5.6 --

Alabama

135.9 1,924.3 -3.0 996 37 2.5 40

Alaska

23.3 295.0 -5.5 1,125 23 -0.6 48

Arizona

176.5 2,894.2 -2.3 1,150 21 4.8 17

Arkansas

95.3 1,194.2 -2.0 957 43 3.7 30

California

1,651.4 16,507.7 -5.9 1,623 4 11.3 1

Colorado

224.7 2,634.7 -3.5 1,335 10 4.1 25

Connecticut

128.3 1,550.5 -5.4 1,575 5 4.7 19

Delaware

35.2 425.6 -4.1 1,264 13 1.6 44

District of Columbia

44.0 708.1 -9.0 2,166 1 8.7 4

Florida

780.8 8,701.9 -3.1 1,104 24 5.1 13

Georgia

329.2 4,393.8 -2.6 1,198 17 3.6 33

Hawaii

48.0 564.4 -14.1 1,091 26 5.7 9

Idaho

74.2 768.6 1.9 906 50 4.9 15

Illinois

390.0 5,559.6 -5.5 1,387 8 6.7 7

Indiana

176.2 2,956.4 -2.5 1,026 34 3.3 37

Iowa

105.1 1,473.6 -3.3 1,004 35 2.6 39

Kansas

90.4 1,335.4 -3.3 986 39 1.9 43

Kentucky

130.7 1,835.2 -2.5 965 41 2.3 42

Louisiana

141.5 1,787.6 -5.9 977 40 1.0 46

Maine

56.2 585.0 -2.8 1,000 36 4.7 19

Maryland

174.3 2,522.1 -5.0 1,386 9 8.5 5

Massachusetts

271.2 3,334.9 -6.6 1,732 3 7.8 6

Michigan

267.5 4,026.6 -5.9 1,155 20 4.8 17

Minnesota

189.7 2,695.4 -5.1 1,290 11 4.6 22

Mississippi

75.3 1,098.4 -2.5 811 51 1.1 45

Missouri

221.8 2,705.5 -3.0 1,055 30 3.7 30

Montana

53.2 465.2 0.1 915 48 5.4 10

Nebraska

73.4 944.7 -2.8 990 38 3.6 33

Nevada

92.8 1,291.5 -8.4 1,080 27 4.7 19

New Hampshire

56.8 631.8 -3.9 1,258 15 5.4 10

New Jersey

297.0 3,818.6 -5.5 1,533 7 5.3 12

New Mexico

65.2 774.5 -7.4 958 42 3.8 28

New York

664.6 8,587.8 -8.7 1,869 2 10.4 2

North Carolina

302.7 4,423.2 -1.7 1,137 22 4.1 25

North Dakota

32.3 388.7 -6.1 1,037 32 -0.9 51

Ohio

310.1 5,136.8 -3.9 1,098 25 3.3 37

Oklahoma

114.4 1,549.7 -3.7 939 46 -0.8 50

Oregon

169.4 1,841.9 -5.2 1,172 18 6.4 8

Pennsylvania

369.7 5,531.3 -5.4 1,226 16 4.3 23

Rhode Island

41.2 447.8 -5.6 1,171 19 3.4 35

South Carolina

150.1 2,056.2 -2.6 957 43 3.8 28

South Dakota

35.6 417.1 -0.9 932 47 3.4 35

Tennessee

180.2 2,968.7 -2.1 1,077 28 5.0 14

Texas

750.1 12,216.7 -3.4 1,261 14 2.4 41

Utah

117.3 1,548.8 1.5 1,065 29 3.7 30

Vermont

27.0 283.7 -6.9 1,028 33 4.9 15

Virginia

291.3 3,765.8 -3.9 1,285 12 4.2 24

Washington

261.2 3,252.0 -5.1 1,540 6 9.1 3

West Virginia

52.3 648.6 -3.8 911 49 0.8 47

Wisconsin

183.1 2,730.0 -3.7 1,047 31 3.9 27

Wyoming

27.8 255.9 -4.6 953 45 -0.6 48

Puerto Rico

47.1 856.5 -3.1 562 (3) 2.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.6 34.7 -14.0 961 (3) -8.0 (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 15, 2021