Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

16-1185-CHI
Thursday, July 07, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2015

Nine of Illinois’ 13 large counties reported employment increases from December 2014 to December 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.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that Will County had the largest increase in employment at 2.2 percent, followed by Cook County’s 1.9-percent growth. Two counties experienced employment declines – Sangamon (-1.6 percent) and Champaign (-0.1 percent). (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 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,575,700) in December 2015. Two other large counties, Du Page (612,200) and Lake (333,500), had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Illinois' 13 large counties accounted for 80.6 percent of the state's employment with Cook County alone accounting for 43.4 percent. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, all 13 large counties in the state had wage increases. Lake County recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages, with a gain of 9.8 percent. (See table 1.) Lake County also had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,450, followed by Cook ($1,267) and Du Page ($1,257) Counties. 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 89 counties in Illinois with employment levels below 75,000. Eighty-six 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 all of the 13 large counties in Illinois increased from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. Lake’s 9.8-percent wage gain ranked third among the 342 largest U.S. counties. Over-the-year wage increases in four other large counties in the state also ranked in the top third nationwide: Du Page (6.6 percent, 43rd), McHenry (6.5 percent, 53rd), Kane (6.4 percent, 61st), and Peoria (5.9 percent, 88th). (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 in average weekly wages, 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

Average weekly wages in 3 of Illinois' 13 large counties were above the national average of $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015 and ranked in the top 50 nationwide: Lake ($1,450, 14th), Cook ($1,267, 42nd), and Du Page ($1,257, 47th). St. Clair ($838) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 307th nationwide.

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 Illinois’ smaller counties

Eight-six of the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,082. The exceptions were Rock Island ($1,296), Grundy ($1,109), and Tazewell ($1,087). Calhoun County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $526 in the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When the 102 counties in Illinois were considered, all but 6 had wages below the national average of $1,082. Twenty-three counties reported average weekly wages less than $700, 36 reported wages from $700 to $799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 21 had wages of $900 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 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 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 13 largest counties in Illinois, fourth quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands)Percent change, December 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.51.9--$1,082--4.4--

Illinois

5,931.21.4--1,14685.118

Champaign, Ill.

90.0-0.13129012534.0230

Cook, Ill.

2,575.71.91711,267424.4208

DuPage, Ill.

612.20.42941,257476.643

Kane, Ill.

209.50.82649681896.461

Lake, Ill.

333.50.92541,450149.83

Madison, Ill.

98.40.03098762803.4266

McHenry, Ill.

97.01.22219042476.553

McLean, Ill.

84.60.03091,0101564.1225

Peoria, Ill.

102.21.12351,0121555.988

Sangamon, Ill.

128.6-1.63311,0631164.3212

St. Clair, Ill.

94.10.42948383075.1148

Will, Ill.

225.82.21449432105.1148

Winnebago, Ill.

129.30.92548982573.1284

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 Illinois, fourth quarter 2015
AreaEmployment December 2015Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924,459$1,082

Illinois

5,931,1911,146

Adams

32,786833

Alexander

1,208718

Bond

4,758755

Boone

17,3461,005

Brown

3,9871,006

Bureau

10,988784

Calhoun

757526

Carroll

4,308663

Cass

5,682731

Champaign

89,977901

Christian

10,342731

Clark

4,824721

Clay

5,295701

Clinton

12,455754

Coles

23,376764

Cook

2,575,6971,267

Crawford

7,802903

Cumberland

2,611692

De Kalb

37,382843

De Witt

5,382859

Douglas

7,313761

Du Page

612,1651,257

Edgar

7,200800

Edwards

2,360785

Effingham

20,666756

Fayette

5,325678

Ford

4,493800

Franklin

8,074657

Fulton

8,343651

Gallatin

1,021720

Greene

2,338590

Grundy

18,9061,109

Hamilton

1,854765

Hancock

3,898662

Hardin

722659

Henderson

1,117577

Henry

14,129742

Iroquois

8,151646

Jackson

25,378815

Jasper

2,067777

Jefferson

19,081848

Jersey

4,689678

Jo Daviess

7,362716

Johnson

2,326870

Kane

209,482968

Kankakee

44,343822

Kendall

27,534783

Knox

19,229678

La Salle

43,890864

Lake

333,5271,450

Lawrence

4,536822

Lee

13,188843

Livingston

14,031876

Logan

9,089788

Macon

49,978932

Macoupin

9,964722

Madison

98,448876

Marion

13,093751

Marshall

2,978740

Mason

3,139715

Massac

3,484957

McDonough

11,450741

McHenry

96,962904

McLean

84,6011,010

Menard

1,938603

Mercer

3,105645

Monroe

7,911714

Montgomery

8,491758

Morgan

14,598760

Moultrie

4,853740

Ogle

15,865906

Peoria

102,2481,012

Perry

4,927729

Piatt

3,261704

Pike

4,193636

Pope

568610

Pulaski

1,385811

Putnam

1,719877

Randolph

12,787807

Richland

6,005696

Rock Island

72,8501,296

Saline

7,908752

Sangamon

128,5731,063

Schuyler

1,813912

Scott

1,074688

Shelby

4,652622

St. Clair

94,137838

Stark

1,354732

Stephenson

16,820835

Tazewell

56,1761,087

Union

4,871668

Vermilion

27,866812

Wabash

3,174752

Warren

6,286678

Washington

6,251905

Wayne

4,244630

White

4,287734

Whiteside

20,890715

Will

225,779943

Williamson

27,525784

Winnebago

129,270898

Woodford

10,754855

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
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands)Percent change, December 2014-15Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2014-15National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

141,924.51.9$1,082--4.4--

Alabama

1,916.21.4912373.437

Alaska

315.9-0.51,095132.943

Arizona

2,701.82.6967244.428

Arkansas

1,201.41.7838463.835

California

16,593.83.11,27455.410

Colorado

2,537.52.51,103113.340

Connecticut

1,685.10.31,33444.329

Delaware

441.21.81,086153.437

District of Columbia

754.22.21,75613.437

Florida

8,308.13.7958265.216

Georgia

4,249.42.91,001214.527

Hawaii

653.02.2957275.410

Idaho

670.13.4803502.645

Illinois

5,931.21.41,14685.118

Indiana

2,996.31.7891405.314

Iowa

1,539.00.7920345.73

Kansas

1,382.10.4898385.020

Kentucky

1,881.31.6885415.91

Louisiana

1,937.4-1.0940291.847

Maine

596.90.7873435.73

Maryland

2,636.71.71,17575.65

Massachusetts

3,479.11.61,38525.410

Michigan

4,218.91.51,043185.91

Minnesota

2,805.81.51,073164.822

Mississippi

1,133.81.3770513.141

Missouri

2,759.61.8933334.625

Montana

453.22.5818493.042

Nebraska

971.81.4880425.118

Nevada

1,272.23.5935324.031

New Hampshire

648.61.71,13995.410

New Jersey

3,988.41.71,26264.031

New Mexico

808.9-0.1865441.847

New York

9,227.61.71,37233.934

North Carolina

4,247.12.5939305.58

North Dakota

428.1-5.91,02120-2.851

Ohio

5,328.81.2964254.625

Oklahoma

1,605.0-0.7896392.346

Oregon

1,814.83.3979235.58

Pennsylvania

5,759.70.71,063174.921

Rhode Island

478.11.51,043184.031

South Carolina

1,987.12.8860455.314

South Dakota

417.71.2832475.216

Tennessee

2,898.12.8980225.65

Texas

11,832.11.41,099122.744

Utah

1,375.63.8913364.723

Vermont

312.10.3919354.130

Virginia

3,806.23.01,094143.536

Washington

3,137.22.31,132104.723

West Virginia

703.7-1.3829481.349

Wisconsin

2,820.51.1944285.65

Wyoming

276.0-2.993731-1.750

Puerto Rico

929.9-1.6565(3)1.6(3)

Virgin Islands

38.4-0.3787(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