News Release Information
Employment rose in all of Alabama’s six largest counties from June 2020 to June 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 employment increases ranged from 6.2 percent in Madison County to 2.4 percent in Tuscaloosa County. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
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National employment increased 6.7 percent over the year, with 339 of the 343 largest U.S. counties reporting gains. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year increase in employment with a gain of 36.8 percent. Calcasieu, LA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 0.9 percent.
Among the six largest counties in Alabama, employment was highest in Jefferson County (342,300) in June 2021. Within Jefferson County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the six largest Alabama counties accounted for 52.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 343 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment.
Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 61 counties in Alabama with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 60 of the 61 smaller counties were below the national average in the second quarter of 2021. (See table 2.)
Large county wage changes
All six large Alabama counties reported average weekly wage gains from the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021. (See chart 2.) Tuscaloosa County had the largest wage gain at 6.1 percent, followed by Jefferson County (+5.2 percent) and Mobile County (+5.0 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Alabama’s other three large counties ranged from 4.8 percent to 2.6 percent.
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Among the 343 largest counties in the United States, 302 had over-the-year wage increases. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+29.7 percent). Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.4 percent).
Large county average weekly wages
Among Alabama’s six largest counites, Madison ($1,288) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,241 in the second quarter of 2021.
Among the largest U.S. counties, 90 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the second quarter of 2021. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,516. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in the remaining 253 counties. At $728 a week, Hidalgo, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.
Average weekly wages in Alabama’s smaller counties
Among the 61 smaller counties in Alabama-those with employment below 75,000-Washington ($1,294) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,241. Perry County ($673) had the lowest average weekly wage in the state.
When all 67 counties in Alabama were considered, 30 had average weekly wages of $799 or lower, 20 had wages from $800-$899, 7 had wages from $900-$999, and 10 had average weekly wages of $1,000 or higher. (See chart 3.)
Additional statistics and other information
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 third quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
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.
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BLS – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published this content on 08 December 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 08 December 2021 16:41:02 UTC.
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