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News Release Information

15-2449-CHI
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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

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
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2015 (thousands)Percent change, June 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,594.92.0--$968--3.0--

Iowa

1,561.20.9--802432.818

Black Hawk, Iowa

74.8-1.53367942731.7252

Johnson, Iowa

81.90.62918981672.6154

Linn, Iowa

131.61.02569241403.479

Polk, Iowa

293.11.12439441282.5160

Scott, Iowa

92.61.32267832842.0220

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
AreaEmployment June 2015Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

140,594,927$968

Iowa

1,561,168802

Adair

2,921624

Adams

1,339644

Allamakee

5,286601

Appanoose

4,821641

Audubon

1,792648

Benton

5,945655

Black Hawk

74,813794

Boone

9,975693

Bremer

10,242726

Buchanan

6,658654

Buena Vista

11,130673

Butler

3,738635

Calhoun

2,996612

Carroll

11,962665

Cass

6,408640

Cedar

5,741692

Cerro Gordo

24,317735

Cherokee

4,886681

Chickasaw

4,926686

Clarke

4,437659

Clay

8,936714

Clayton

7,076685

Clinton

21,920709

Crawford

7,558724

Dallas

40,908867

Davis

2,017627

Decatur

2,321552

Delaware

6,871749

Des Moines

23,106743

Dickinson

11,248683

Dubuque

59,587762

Emmet

4,124692

Fayette

7,416607

Floyd

6,072704

Franklin

4,158784

Fremont

2,826691

Greene

3,457699

Grundy

4,290740

Guthrie

3,328674

Hamilton

6,094694

Hancock

7,060765

Hardin

7,415712

Harrison

4,425634

Henry

9,342724

Howard

4,223646

Humboldt

4,129706

Ida

3,630754

Iowa

9,979699

Jackson

6,559576

Jasper

11,586686

Jefferson

7,710683

Johnson

81,894898

Jones

6,800665

Keokuk

2,418650

Kossuth

7,263737

Lee

17,163845

Linn

131,648924

Louisa

3,780690

Lucas

3,474717

Lyon

4,862630

Madison

4,037637

Mahaska

8,106670

Marion

17,499798

Marshall

18,375797

Mills

3,887785

Mitchell

3,673667

Monona

2,905592

Monroe

3,701857

Montgomery

4,345663

Muscatine

23,838868

O'Brien

6,931679

Osceola

2,364686

Page

6,431683

Palo Alto

3,815632

Plymouth

11,243792

Pocahontas

3,083742

Polk

293,065944

Pottawattamie

39,654721

Poweshiek

10,108760

Ringgold

1,397647

Sac

3,462629

Scott

92,582783

Shelby

6,268660

Sioux

21,183692

Story

46,363857

Tama

5,506648

Taylor

2,032645

Union

6,262664

Van Buren

1,991576

Wapello

16,532699

Warren

10,879678

Washington

8,586602

Wayne

1,892665

Webster

19,039772

Winnebago

4,463631

Winneshiek

10,871674

Woodbury

53,507744

Worth

2,406623

Wright

5,881771

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

United States (2)

140,594.92.0$968--3.0--

Alabama

1,899.31.3819371.641

Alaska

346.60.41,02882.430

Arizona

2,549.92.5904211.839

Arkansas

1,184.61.7762472.135

California

16,338.92.81,13155.51

Colorado

2,517.13.2989133.013

Connecticut

1,693.10.91,17742.038

Delaware

439.12.2991121.542

District of Columbia

745.11.81,59911.839

Florida

7,907.73.6861282.623

Georgia

4,167.83.4903222.430

Hawaii

635.91.6876243.86

Idaho

678.52.9713502.333

Illinois

5,925.51.51,015102.623

Indiana

2,966.01.7811403.47

Iowa

1,561.20.9802432.818

Kansas

1,382.10.7819372.818

Kentucky

1,850.51.7822353.013

Louisiana

1,930.60.5850300.847

Maine

615.80.8768462.916

Maryland

2,631.31.41,04672.623

Massachusetts

3,488.32.11,21124.72

Michigan

4,225.01.5916202.135

Minnesota

2,826.31.5977153.28

Mississippi

1,114.71.1709510.648

Missouri

2,746.61.7842322.818

Montana

461.51.8754482.721

Nebraska

968.71.2787444.13

Nevada

1,248.13.2855292.623

New Hampshire

647.71.5967161.346

New Jersey

4,000.21.51,12662.623

New Mexico

808.40.8805411.444

New York

9,136.91.91,18033.19

North Carolina

4,185.62.6850303.94

North Dakota

445.0-1.8939180.350

Ohio

5,308.11.4865262.430

Oklahoma

1,591.50.6818390.549

Oregon

1,810.43.4899233.013

Pennsylvania

5,763.90.8958172.721

Rhode Island

480.01.5925192.916

South Carolina

1,963.52.5782452.135

South Dakota

428.61.3740493.94

Tennessee

2,832.12.8863273.19

Texas

11,689.42.4988141.542

Utah

1,345.93.9821363.19

Vermont

309.30.6831342.234

Virginia

3,767.21.71,000112.529

Washington

3,197.63.31,02693.19

West Virginia

706.5-0.8803421.444

Wisconsin

2,839.81.0836332.623

Wyoming

291.5-1.586925-0.151

Puerto Rico

884.6-1.4513(3)2.0(3)

Virgin Islands

37.90.1748(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