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15-2449-CHI
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Iowa — Second Quarter 2015

Four of the five largest counties in Iowa reported employment growth from June 2014 to June 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2014 annual average employment.) Scott County had the largest increase, up 1.3 percent, followed by Polk and Linn Counties, up 1.1 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that Black Hawk County had an over-the-year employment decline of 1.5 percent. Nationally, employment increased 2.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the five largest counties in Iowa, employment was highest in Polk County (293,100) in June 2015. Collectively, Iowa’s five large counties accounted for 43.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 140.6 million in June 2015.

The average weekly wage in Linn County rose 3.4 percent from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015, the largest increase among Iowa’s large counties. Polk County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $944, followed by Linn ($924) and Johnson ($898) Counties.  (See table 1.)  Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.0 percent over the year to $968 in the second quarter of 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 94 counties in Iowa with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Only one of Iowa’s large counties recorded wage growth above the national increase of 3.0 percent from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015. (See table 1.)  As noted, Linn County’s average weekly wages increased 3.4 percent over the year, ranking 79th among the 342 largest U.S. counties. Johnson County (2.6 percent) and Polk County (2.5 percent) also placed in the top half of the national ranking at 154th and 160th, respectively.

Among the 342 largest U.S. counties, 323 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2015. Ventura, Calif., ranked first in average weekly wage growth with a gain of 15.2 percent. Sixteen of the largest U.S. counties experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages with a loss of 5.2 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in all five large Iowa counties were below the national average of $968 in the second quarter of 2015. As noted, Polk County ($944) had the highest average weekly wage in the state and ranked 128th among the 342 largest counties in the nation. Scott County ($783) reported the lowest average weekly wage of Iowa’s large counties and ranked 284th nationwide.

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $968 in 102 of the 342 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,109. Santa Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,863, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,842), and San Francisco, Calif. ($1,730). There were 240 large counties with an average weekly wage below the national average in the second quarter of 2015. The lowest average weekly wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($568), followed by Cameron, Texas ($586); Hidalgo, Texas ($614); Webb, Texas ($651); Yakima, Wash. ($660); and Lake, Fla.

Average weekly wages in Iowa’s smaller counties

All 94 counties in Iowa with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $968. Among these smaller counties, Muscatine County had the highest average weekly wage at $868 and Decatur County had the lowest at $552. (See table 2.)

When all 99 counties in Iowa were considered, 26 reported average weekly wages of $649 or less, 35 reported wages from $650 to $699, 17 had wages from $700 to $749, and 21 had wages of $750 or more. (See chart 1.)

Additional statistics and other information

Quarterly 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 the QCEW Web site at 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 2014 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 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.


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 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.6 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 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 5 largest counties in Iowa, second quarter 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands) Percent change, June 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, second quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,594.9 2.0 -- $968 -- 3.0 --

Iowa

1,561.2 0.9 -- 802 43 2.8 18

Black Hawk, Iowa

74.8 -1.5 336 794 273 1.7 252

Johnson, Iowa

81.9 0.6 291 898 167 2.6 154

Linn, Iowa

131.6 1.0 256 924 140 3.4 79

Polk, Iowa

293.1 1.1 243 944 128 2.5 160

Scott, Iowa

92.6 1.3 226 783 284 2.0 220

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 Iowa, second quarter 2015
Area Employment June 2015 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

140,594,927 $968

Iowa

1,561,168 802

Adair

2,921 624

Adams

1,339 644

Allamakee

5,286 601

Appanoose

4,821 641

Audubon

1,792 648

Benton

5,945 655

Black Hawk

74,813 794

Boone

9,975 693

Bremer

10,242 726

Buchanan

6,658 654

Buena Vista

11,130 673

Butler

3,738 635

Calhoun

2,996 612

Carroll

11,962 665

Cass

6,408 640

Cedar

5,741 692

Cerro Gordo

24,317 735

Cherokee

4,886 681

Chickasaw

4,926 686

Clarke

4,437 659

Clay

8,936 714

Clayton

7,076 685

Clinton

21,920 709

Crawford

7,558 724

Dallas

40,908 867

Davis

2,017 627

Decatur

2,321 552

Delaware

6,871 749

Des Moines

23,106 743

Dickinson

11,248 683

Dubuque

59,587 762

Emmet

4,124 692

Fayette

7,416 607

Floyd

6,072 704

Franklin

4,158 784

Fremont

2,826 691

Greene

3,457 699

Grundy

4,290 740

Guthrie

3,328 674

Hamilton

6,094 694

Hancock

7,060 765

Hardin

7,415 712

Harrison

4,425 634

Henry

9,342 724

Howard

4,223 646

Humboldt

4,129 706

Ida

3,630 754

Iowa

9,979 699

Jackson

6,559 576

Jasper

11,586 686

Jefferson

7,710 683

Johnson

81,894 898

Jones

6,800 665

Keokuk

2,418 650

Kossuth

7,263 737

Lee

17,163 845

Linn

131,648 924

Louisa

3,780 690

Lucas

3,474 717

Lyon

4,862 630

Madison

4,037 637

Mahaska

8,106 670

Marion

17,499 798

Marshall

18,375 797

Mills

3,887 785

Mitchell

3,673 667

Monona

2,905 592

Monroe

3,701 857

Montgomery

4,345 663

Muscatine

23,838 868

O'Brien

6,931 679

Osceola

2,364 686

Page

6,431 683

Palo Alto

3,815 632

Plymouth

11,243 792

Pocahontas

3,083 742

Polk

293,065 944

Pottawattamie

39,654 721

Poweshiek

10,108 760

Ringgold

1,397 647

Sac

3,462 629

Scott

92,582 783

Shelby

6,268 660

Sioux

21,183 692

Story

46,363 857

Tama

5,506 648

Taylor

2,032 645

Union

6,262 664

Van Buren

1,991 576

Wapello

16,532 699

Warren

10,879 678

Washington

8,586 602

Wayne

1,892 665

Webster

19,039 772

Winnebago

4,463 631

Winneshiek

10,871 674

Woodbury

53,507 744

Worth

2,406 623

Wright

5,881 771

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, second quarter 2015
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands) Percent change, June 2014-15 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, second quarter 2014-15 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

140,594.9 2.0 $968 -- 3.0 --

Alabama

1,899.3 1.3 819 37 1.6 41

Alaska

346.6 0.4 1,028 8 2.4 30

Arizona

2,549.9 2.5 904 21 1.8 39

Arkansas

1,184.6 1.7 762 47 2.1 35

California

16,338.9 2.8 1,131 5 5.5 1

Colorado

2,517.1 3.2 989 13 3.0 13

Connecticut

1,693.1 0.9 1,177 4 2.0 38

Delaware

439.1 2.2 991 12 1.5 42

District of Columbia

745.1 1.8 1,599 1 1.8 39

Florida

7,907.7 3.6 861 28 2.6 23

Georgia

4,167.8 3.4 903 22 2.4 30

Hawaii

635.9 1.6 876 24 3.8 6

Idaho

678.5 2.9 713 50 2.3 33

Illinois

5,925.5 1.5 1,015 10 2.6 23

Indiana

2,966.0 1.7 811 40 3.4 7

Iowa

1,561.2 0.9 802 43 2.8 18

Kansas

1,382.1 0.7 819 37 2.8 18

Kentucky

1,850.5 1.7 822 35 3.0 13

Louisiana

1,930.6 0.5 850 30 0.8 47

Maine

615.8 0.8 768 46 2.9 16

Maryland

2,631.3 1.4 1,046 7 2.6 23

Massachusetts

3,488.3 2.1 1,211 2 4.7 2

Michigan

4,225.0 1.5 916 20 2.1 35

Minnesota

2,826.3 1.5 977 15 3.2 8

Mississippi

1,114.7 1.1 709 51 0.6 48

Missouri

2,746.6 1.7 842 32 2.8 18

Montana

461.5 1.8 754 48 2.7 21

Nebraska

968.7 1.2 787 44 4.1 3

Nevada

1,248.1 3.2 855 29 2.6 23

New Hampshire

647.7 1.5 967 16 1.3 46

New Jersey

4,000.2 1.5 1,126 6 2.6 23

New Mexico

808.4 0.8 805 41 1.4 44

New York

9,136.9 1.9 1,180 3 3.1 9

North Carolina

4,185.6 2.6 850 30 3.9 4

North Dakota

445.0 -1.8 939 18 0.3 50

Ohio

5,308.1 1.4 865 26 2.4 30

Oklahoma

1,591.5 0.6 818 39 0.5 49

Oregon

1,810.4 3.4 899 23 3.0 13

Pennsylvania

5,763.9 0.8 958 17 2.7 21

Rhode Island

480.0 1.5 925 19 2.9 16

South Carolina

1,963.5 2.5 782 45 2.1 35

South Dakota

428.6 1.3 740 49 3.9 4

Tennessee

2,832.1 2.8 863 27 3.1 9

Texas

11,689.4 2.4 988 14 1.5 42

Utah

1,345.9 3.9 821 36 3.1 9

Vermont

309.3 0.6 831 34 2.2 34

Virginia

3,767.2 1.7 1,000 11 2.5 29

Washington

3,197.6 3.3 1,026 9 3.1 9

West Virginia

706.5 -0.8 803 42 1.4 44

Wisconsin

2,839.8 1.0 836 33 2.6 23

Wyoming

291.5 -1.5 869 25 -0.1 51

Puerto Rico

884.6 -1.4 513 (3) 2.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.9 0.1 748 (3) 2.2 (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: Tuesday, January 26, 2016