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14-1657-DAL

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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Parish Employment and Wages in Louisiana — First Quarter 2014


Employment rose in six of the seven largest parishes in Louisiana from March 2013 to March 2014 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties/parishes are those with 2013 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that one Louisiana parish ranked among the top 50 for job growth nationwide. The 3.6-percent employment gain in Orleans Parish was the fastest in the state and ranked 42nd nationally. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.7 percent from March 2013 to March 2014 as 281 of the 339 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Weld County, Colo., recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 7.5 percent over the year. Peoria, Ill., registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 2.6 percent.

Among the seven largest parishes in Louisiana, employment was highest in East Baton Rouge (265,700) in March 2014, followed by Jefferson (191,200) and Orleans (187,200). Together, Louisiana's seven large parishes accounted for 55.9 percent of the state’s total employment. Nationwide, the 339 largest counties made up 72.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, Lafayette recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages among the seven large parishes in Louisiana, registering a gain of 4.3 percent. (See table 1.) Orleans had the highest average wage among the largest parishes at $980 per week. Nationally, average weekly wages increased 3.8 percent over the year to $1,027.

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 seven of these smaller parishes were above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large parish wage changes

Lafayette Parish’s 4.3-percent rise in average weekly wages from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014 ranked 59th among the nation’s 339 largest counties. (See table 1.) Weekly wages increased at rates from 2.4 to 2.0 percent in the parishes of Caddo, Jefferson, and Calcasieu. Over-the-year wage gains in Orleans, East Baton Rouge, and St. Tammany were less than 2.0 percent.

Nationally, 323 of the 339 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Chester, Pa., had the largest wage gain, up 13.9 percent from the first quarter of 2013. New York, N.Y., was second with a wage increase of 12.0 percent, followed by the counties of Forsyth, N.C., and San Mateo, Calif. (both up 9.6 percent).

Among the nation’s 339 largest counties, 15 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Benton, Ark., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 3.2 percent. Cumberland, N.C., had the second largest wage decline (-2.0 percent), followed by Dutchess, N.Y. (-1.6 percent), Ocean, N.J. (-1.3 percent), and McLean, Ill. (-1.0 percent).

Large parish average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the state’s seven large parishes were below the national average of $1,027 in the first quarter of 2014. However, average weekly wages in three of these parishes were high enough to place in the top half of the national ranking. At $980 per week, Orleans led among the state's largest parishes and ranked 125th in the country. Other parishes ranking in the top half nationally were Lafayette ($954, 142nd) and East Baton Rouge ($915, 161st). Average weekly wages in the four remaining large parishes placed in bottom half of the national ranking, ranging from $875 to $779.

In the first quarter of 2014, nearly three-fourths of the largest U.S. counties (244) reported wages below the national weekly average of $1,027. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($571), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($581) and Hidalgo ($597).

Among the nation’s 339 largest counties, 95 registered weekly wages above the U.S. average. New York, N.Y., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,749, more than four times the wage levels in the three lowest-paid counties. Santa Clara, Calif., was second-highest at $2,074 per week, followed by the counties of San Mateo, Calif. ($2,058) and Somerset, N.J. ($2,048).

Average weekly wages in Louisiana's smaller parishes

For smaller parishes in Louisiana – those with employment below 75,000 – 50 of 57 reported weekly wages below the national average ($1,027) in the first quarter of 2014. In the seven remaining smaller parishes, wages not only exceeded the national average, but also were the highest in the state and ranged from $1,304 in St. Charles to $1,041 in Lafourche. The parishes of Franklin and Madison reported the lowest weekly wages in the state at $524 and $525, respectively. (See table 2.)

When all 64 parishes were considered, 9 reported average wages of $599 or less per week, 20 registered wages from $600 to $699, 12 had wages from $700 to $799, 7 had wages from $800 to $899, and 16 had wages of $900 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, Lafayette, Lake Charles, and New Orleans. The lower-paid parishes, those with weekly wages under $599, 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 2012 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 2013 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in late September 2014.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.


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 9.4 million employer reports cover 136.6 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 BLS 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.



Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 7 largest parishes in Louisiana, first quarter 2014
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
March
2014
(thousands)
Percent change,
March
2013-14 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
first quarter
2013-14 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

134,555.0 1.7 -- $1,027 -- 3.8 --

Louisiana

1,909.8 1.2 -- 868 28 2.6 35

Caddo, La.

114.3 -1.6 331 779 286 2.4 182

Calcasieu, La.

87.2 0.3 265 856 213 2.0 215

East Baton Rouge, La.

265.7 1.2 177 915 161 1.1 279

Jefferson, La.

191.2 0.3 265 875 186 2.1 207

Lafayette, La.

140.0 0.9 207 954 142 4.3 59

Orleans, La.

187.2 3.6 42 980 125 1.8 230

St. Tammany, La.

82.0 3.0 64 841 225 1.0 288

(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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.



Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all parishes in Louisiana, first quarter 2014
Area Employment
March
2014
Average
Weekly
Wage (1)

United States (2)

134,554,959 $1,027

Louisiana

1,909,764 868

Acadia

14,851 648

Allen

7,912 653

Ascension

40,377 989

Assumption

4,408 752

Avoyelles

10,831 569

Beauregard

8,426 742

Bienville

4,477 726

Bossier

44,367 665

Caddo

114,265 779

Calcasieu

87,248 856

Caldwell

2,468 553

Cameron

4,991 1,082

Catahoula

2,254 553

Claiborne

3,632 681

Concordia

5,789 612

De Soto

7,293 965

East Baton Rouge

265,701 915

East Carroll

1,822 640

East Feliciana

4,772 706

Evangeline

8,257 607

Franklin

4,803 524

Grant

3,478 728

Iberia

32,484 914

Iberville

14,288 1,233

Jackson

3,877 724

Jefferson

191,245 875

Jefferson Davis

8,638 688

La Salle

4,566 654

Lafayette

140,038 954

Lafourche

40,166 1,041

Lincoln

17,528 707

Livingston

23,383 656

Madison

3,219 525

Morehouse

7,095 564

Natchitoches

13,246 615

Orleans

187,209 980

Ouachita

70,283 704

Plaquemines

14,858 1,254

Pointe Coupee

5,138 648

Rapides

58,001 724

Red River

2,592 724

Richland

6,480 567

Sabine

5,195 667

St. Bernard

10,519 884

St. Charles

26,206 1,304

St. Helena

1,416 667

St. James

7,993 1,270

St. John the Baptist

14,220 1,065

St. Landry

24,175 641

St. Martin

13,538 814

St. Mary

27,030 986

St. Tammany

82,017 841

Tangipahoa

41,108 651

Tensas

1,054 670

Terrebonne

57,267 982

Union

4,758 546

Vermilion

13,765 800

Vernon

13,519 643

Washington

10,368 666

Webster

12,223 706

West Baton Rouge

13,149 894

West Carroll

2,336 554

West Feliciana

5,123 1,008

Winn

4,866 630

(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 2014
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March
2014
(thousands)
Percent change,
March
2013-14
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
first quarter
2013-14
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

134,555.0 1.7 $1,027 -- 3.8 --

Alabama

1,849.5 0.6 825 38 1.6 50

Alaska

319.1 0.3 1,023 15 3.5 17

Arizona

2,540.8 1.9 918 22 3.1 26

Arkansas

1,152.6 0.3 784 46 2.5 37

California

15,572.9 2.8 1,165 6 4.5 5

Colorado

2,370.1 3.1 1,046 13 4.2 9

Connecticut

1,627.2 0.5 1,362 3 3.3 24

Delaware

412.5 2.0 1,110 7 3.9 13

District of Columbia

727.3 1.2 1,701 1 5.3 3

Florida

7,752.4 2.9 868 28 3.0 28

Georgia

3,974.8 2.6 972 18 3.4 18

Hawaii

624.9 1.2 857 32 1.9 42

Idaho

631.5 3.3 722 50 3.9 13

Illinois

5,651.2 0.9 1,104 8 4.2 9

Indiana

2,842.5 1.2 845 35 1.7 48

Iowa

1,485.4 1.5 824 39 3.0 28

Kansas

1,343.0 1.7 840 36 4.1 11

Kentucky

1,784.1 1.1 811 40 2.7 33

Louisiana

1,909.8 1.2 868 28 2.6 35

Maine

565.9 0.7 786 45 1.9 42

Maryland

2,512.8 0.1 1,086 9 1.8 47

Massachusetts

3,272.2 1.3 1,300 4 5.3 3

Michigan

4,013.5 1.7 950 20 3.1 26

Minnesota

2,652.3 0.8 1,036 14 3.4 18

Mississippi

1,096.8 0.6 707 51 1.7 48

Missouri

2,634.6 1.0 866 31 2.9 30

Montana

429.9 0.7 730 49 3.3 24

Nebraska

930.7 1.7 797 42 2.6 35

Nevada

1,183.5 3.4 867 30 2.7 33

New Hampshire

614.2 1.3 970 19 3.4 18

New Jersey

3,794.3 0.6 1,263 5 2.2 38

New Mexico

787.0 0.2 793 43 1.9 42

New York

8,699.5 1.6 1,460 2 7.3 1

North Carolina

4,003.2 1.7 914 23 3.4 18

North Dakota

428.9 3.3 944 21 6.7 2

Ohio

5,071.5 1.3 909 24 2.8 32

Oklahoma

1,565.2 0.7 854 34 3.9 13

Oregon

1,688.5 2.8 893 25 3.4 18

Pennsylvania

5,560.9 0.3 1,007 16 4.1 11

Rhode Island

449.7 1.1 996 17 4.4 8

South Carolina

1,873.6 2.7 787 44 1.9 42

South Dakota

400.2 1.4 741 48 4.5 5

Tennessee

2,718.2 1.7 874 27 2.2 38

Texas

11,220.6 2.6 1,062 11 4.5 5

Utah

1,270.8 3.1 831 37 3.4 18

Vermont

301.1 0.5 807 41 1.9 42

Virginia

3,613.2 0.0 1,050 12 2.2 38

Washington

2,966.3 2.6 1,068 10 3.8 16

West Virginia

694.6 -0.9 779 47 1.4 51

Wisconsin

2,694.5 1.0 856 33 2.9 30

Wyoming

275.4 1.0 877 26 2.1 41

Puerto Rico

914.9 -1.8 521 (3) 1.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.3 -3.6 744 (3) 2.6 (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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.




Average weekly wages by parish in Louisiana, first quarter 2014

Last Modified Date: September 25, 2014