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16-1187-CHI
Thursday, July 07, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2015

The two largest counties in Nebraska reported employment gains from December 2014 to December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2014 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that employment rose 2.2 percent each in Douglas and Lancaster Counties. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.9 percent from December 2014 to December 2015 with 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.8 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the largest percentage employment decline among the large counties, down 11.8 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (338,600) in December 2015. Lancaster County recorded an employment level of 168,800. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 52.2 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas was $994 in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 6.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $853, up 4.2 percent over the year. Nationally, the average weekly wage was $1,082, up 4.4 percent from a year ago.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 91 counties in Nebraska with employment levels below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in Douglas County increased 6.5 percent, ranking it 53rd among the nation's 342 largest counties. Lancaster County’s 4.2-percent wage gain ranked 218th nationwide. (See table 1.)

Among the 342 large U.S. counties, 325 had over-the-year wage increases. Wyandotte, Kan., had the largest wage gain, up 10.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014. Sonoma, Calif., was second with a wage gain of 10.0 percent, followed by the counties of Lake, Ill. (9.8 percent) and Passaic, N.J. (9.4 percent).

Ten large U.S. counties experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages with a loss of 11.5 percent. Ector, Texas, had the second largest decrease, down 8.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014, followed by Lafayette, La. (-4.3 percent) and Gregg, Texas (-3.2 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $994 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 170th in the fourth quarter of 2015. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $853 ranked 295th among the nation’s largest counties.

Seventy percent of the large U.S. counties (241) reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,082. Cameron, Texas, reported the lowest weekly wage ($649), followed by Horry, S.C. ($653) and Hidalgo, Texas ($661).

Nationally, 100 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,335. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,235, followed by San Mateo, Calif., at $2,095. Average weekly wages in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif., were more than three times the average weekly wage in the lowest-ranked county, Cameron, Texas ($649).

Average weekly wages in Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Stanton ($1,060) and Washington ($1,009) had average weekly wages above those of the state’s two largest counties. Loup County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $459 in the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in the state were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages less than $600, 28 reported wages from $600 to $699, 35 reported wages from $700 to $799, and 18 had wages of $800 or more. (See chart 1.)

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 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 http://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 first quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 7, 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 9.7 million employer reports cover 141.9 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 2 largest counties in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands) Percent change, December 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.5 1.9 -- $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Nebraska

971.8 1.4 -- 880 42 5.1 18

Douglas, Neb.

338.6 2.2 144 994 170 6.5 53

Lancaster, Neb.

168.8 2.2 144 853 295 4.2 218

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 Nebraska, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment December 2015 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924,459 $1,082

Nebraska

971,774 880

Adams

15,374 748

Antelope

2,077 705

Arthur

91 517

Banner

145 814

Blaine

126 626

Boone

2,398 696

Box Butte

3,857 709

Boyd

618 561

Brown

1,169 696

Buffalo

27,102 781

Burt

1,907 709

Butler

2,627 747

Cass

5,397 738

Cedar

2,699 712

Chase

1,900 699

Cherry

2,325 595

Cheyenne

5,648 956

Clay

2,447 822

Colfax

5,091 805

Cuming

3,734 782

Custer

4,430 788

Dakota

12,592 814

Dawes

3,332 603

Dawson

11,456 732

Deuel

601 604

Dixon

1,613 714

Dodge

17,328 753

Douglas

338,551 994

Dundy

595 799

Fillmore

2,227 773

Franklin

775 775

Frontier

802 673

Furnas

2,078 678

Gage

9,250 709

Garden

562 630

Garfield

848 619

Gosper

402 706

Grant

267 723

Greeley

612 597

Hall

34,656 776

Hamilton

3,451 820

Harlan

849 620

Hayes

207 633

Hitchcock

679 721

Holt

4,571 701

Hooker

248 498

Howard

1,604 658

Jefferson

3,470 667

Johnson

1,634 695

Kearney

2,194 734

Keith

3,382 673

Keya Paha

160 624

Kimball

1,390 871

Knox

2,927 619

Lancaster

168,831 853

Lincoln

14,883 759

Logan

192 577

Loup

111 459

Madison

21,820 777

McPherson

76 603

Merrick

2,275 789

Morrill

1,553 746

Nance

1,075 668

Nemaha

3,185 933

Nuckolls

1,416 595

Otoe

6,292 728

Pawnee

936 620

Perkins

1,150 854

Phelps

4,758 835

Pierce

1,996 740

Platte

18,394 844

Polk

1,482 735

Red Willow

5,182 689

Richardson

2,576 627

Rock

465 631

Saline

7,120 819

Sarpy

70,201 881

Saunders

5,226 707

Scotts Bluff

17,267 760

Seward

6,159 789

Sheridan

1,719 574

Sherman

815 550

Sioux

144 657

Stanton

1,317 1,060

Thayer

2,440 784

Thomas

269 584

Thurston

2,900 843

Valley

1,712 687

Washington

7,980 1,009

Wayne

4,142 685

Webster

1,067 571

Wheeler

321 631

York

7,613 787

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

United States (2)

141,924.5 1.9 $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Alabama

1,916.2 1.4 912 37 3.4 37

Alaska

315.9 -0.5 1,095 13 2.9 43

Arizona

2,701.8 2.6 967 24 4.4 28

Arkansas

1,201.4 1.7 838 46 3.8 35

California

16,593.8 3.1 1,274 5 5.4 10

Colorado

2,537.5 2.5 1,103 11 3.3 40

Connecticut

1,685.1 0.3 1,334 4 4.3 29

Delaware

441.2 1.8 1,086 15 3.4 37

District of Columbia

754.2 2.2 1,756 1 3.4 37

Florida

8,308.1 3.7 958 26 5.2 16

Georgia

4,249.4 2.9 1,001 21 4.5 27

Hawaii

653.0 2.2 957 27 5.4 10

Idaho

670.1 3.4 803 50 2.6 45

Illinois

5,931.2 1.4 1,146 8 5.1 18

Indiana

2,996.3 1.7 891 40 5.3 14

Iowa

1,539.0 0.7 920 34 5.7 3

Kansas

1,382.1 0.4 898 38 5.0 20

Kentucky

1,881.3 1.6 885 41 5.9 1

Louisiana

1,937.4 -1.0 940 29 1.8 47

Maine

596.9 0.7 873 43 5.7 3

Maryland

2,636.7 1.7 1,175 7 5.6 5

Massachusetts

3,479.1 1.6 1,385 2 5.4 10

Michigan

4,218.9 1.5 1,043 18 5.9 1

Minnesota

2,805.8 1.5 1,073 16 4.8 22

Mississippi

1,133.8 1.3 770 51 3.1 41

Missouri

2,759.6 1.8 933 33 4.6 25

Montana

453.2 2.5 818 49 3.0 42

Nebraska

971.8 1.4 880 42 5.1 18

Nevada

1,272.2 3.5 935 32 4.0 31

New Hampshire

648.6 1.7 1,139 9 5.4 10

New Jersey

3,988.4 1.7 1,262 6 4.0 31

New Mexico

808.9 -0.1 865 44 1.8 47

New York

9,227.6 1.7 1,372 3 3.9 34

North Carolina

4,247.1 2.5 939 30 5.5 8

North Dakota

428.1 -5.9 1,021 20 -2.8 51

Ohio

5,328.8 1.2 964 25 4.6 25

Oklahoma

1,605.0 -0.7 896 39 2.3 46

Oregon

1,814.8 3.3 979 23 5.5 8

Pennsylvania

5,759.7 0.7 1,063 17 4.9 21

Rhode Island

478.1 1.5 1,043 18 4.0 31

South Carolina

1,987.1 2.8 860 45 5.3 14

South Dakota

417.7 1.2 832 47 5.2 16

Tennessee

2,898.1 2.8 980 22 5.6 5

Texas

11,832.1 1.4 1,099 12 2.7 44

Utah

1,375.6 3.8 913 36 4.7 23

Vermont

312.1 0.3 919 35 4.1 30

Virginia

3,806.2 3.0 1,094 14 3.5 36

Washington

3,137.2 2.3 1,132 10 4.7 23

West Virginia

703.7 -1.3 829 48 1.3 49

Wisconsin

2,820.5 1.1 944 28 5.6 5

Wyoming

276.0 -2.9 937 31 -1.7 50

Puerto Rico

929.9 -1.6 565 (3) 1.6 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 -0.3 787 (3) 4.7 (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: Thursday, July 07, 2016