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News Release Information

21-1403-DAL
Wednesday, September 08, 2021

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Parish Employment and Wages in Louisiana – First Quarter 2021

Employment fell in all seven of the largest parishes in Louisiana from March 2020 to March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties and parishes are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2020.) Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that Calcasieu Parish and Orleans Parish had the largest over-the-year decreases in employment at 14.9 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively. (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 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 seven largest parishes in Louisiana, employment was highest in East Baton Rouge (249,300) in March 2021. Within East Baton Rouge’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the seven largest Louisiana parishes accounted for 55.6 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 57 parishes in Louisiana with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 52 of the 57 smaller parishes were below the national average in the first quarter of 2021. (See table 2.)

Large parish wage changes

Average weekly wages rose in 5 of the 7 largest Louisiana parishes from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. (See chart 2.) Orleans Parish had the largest gain (+10.3 percent). Lafayette Parish and Baton Rouge Parish had over-the-year wage decreases of 1.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Nationally, average weekly wages increased 5.6 percent over the year.


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 parish average weekly wages

Weekly wages in all seven large parishes in Louisiana were below the national average of $1,289 in the first quarter of 2021. Orleans Parish ($1,187, 126th) had average weekly wages that ranked among the top half of counties and parishes nationwide.

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 Louisiana's smaller parishes

Among the 57 smaller parishes in Louisiana—those with employment below 75,000—Cameron ($1,982) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,289. West Carroll Parish ($607) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 64 parishes in Louisiana were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages of $699 or less, 21 registered wages from $700 to $799, 10 had wages from $800 to $899, 6 had wages from $900 to $999, and 15 had wages of $1,000 or more. (See chart 3.) The higher-paying parishes were concentrated around the metropolitan areas of Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, New Orleans, and Shreveport. The lowest-paid parishes, those with weekly wages under $700, 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. 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.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.


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 counties in Louisiana, 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 --

Louisiana

141.5 1,787.6 -5.9 -- 977 40 1.0 46

Caddo

7.5 103.8 -4.5 155 898 313 2.0 272

Calcasieu

5.7 82.9 -14.9 335 1,038 214 2.6 247

East Baton Rouge

17.4 249.3 -4.8 168 1,069 188 -0.6 316

Jefferson

14.9 178.7 -4.7 164 1,018 229 3.8 187

Lafayette

10.6 124.0 -4.8 168 909 310 -1.5 325

Orleans

14.8 167.9 -14.7 333 1,187 126 10.3 13

St. Tammany

9.3 88.1 -1.1 23 958 275 3.3 218

(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 parishes in Louisiana, first quarter 2021
Area Employment
March
2021
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States(2)

140,455,819 $1,289

Louisiana

1,787,606 977

Acadia

14,392 704

Allen

6,906 772

Ascension

44,200 1,098

Assumption

3,602 869

Avoyelles

9,705 632

Beauregard

8,468 825

Bienville

3,884 783

Bossier

41,517 815

Caddo

103,772 898

Calcasieu

82,915 1,038

Caldwell

2,184 631

Cameron

7,642 1,982

Catahoula

1,989 615

Claiborne

3,025 748

Concordia

5,173 718

De Soto

6,654 1,044

East Baton Rouge

249,270 1,069

East Carroll

1,475 709

East Feliciana

4,635 818

Evangeline

7,742 623

Franklin

4,625 616

Grant

3,136 826

Iberia

23,637 906

Iberville

15,005 1,399

Jackson

3,261 826

Jefferson

178,726 1,018

Jefferson Davis

7,797 727

LaSalle

4,725 722

Lafayette

123,959 909

Lafourche

32,606 1,021

Lincoln

17,990 758

Livingston

28,770 733

Madison

2,988 609

Morehouse

6,222 703

Natchitoches

13,049 714

Orleans

167,891 1,187

Ouachita

66,670 801

Plaquemines

11,268 1,340

Pointe Coupee

4,938 885

Rapides

55,246 829

Red River

2,361 784

Richland

5,942 687

Sabine

5,353 684

St. Bernard

10,064 950

St. Charles

23,058 1,425

St. Helena

1,491 719

St. James

8,044 1,353

St. John the Baptist

13,130 1,143

St. Landry

22,784 731

St. Martin

10,957 795

St. Mary

19,243 971

St. Tammany

88,117 958

Tangipahoa

43,837 734

Tensas

800 644

Terrebonne

46,453 940

Union

4,719 631

Vermilion

12,371 745

Vernon

12,598 770

Washington

10,123 686

Webster

10,816 754

West Baton Rouge

11,747 1,012

West Carroll

1,987 607

West Feliciana

5,664 1,285

Winn

4,136 769

(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 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)

(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 08, 2021