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News Release Information

16-1186-CHI
Thursday, July 07, 2016

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

County Employment and Wages in Michigan — Fourth Quarter 2015

Nine of the 10 large counties in Michigan had employment increases 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 Kent County had the largest increase, up 3.4 percent, followed by Ottawa, up 3.1 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, registered the largest percentage employment decline among the large counties, down 11.8 percent.

Among the 10 largest counties in Michigan, employment was highest in Oakland County (719,300) and Wayne County (709,000) in December 2015. Two other counties, Kent (382,100) and Macomb (319,500) had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Michigan’s 10 large counties accounted for 69.8 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Genesee and Macomb Counties rose 8.4 percent each from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, the largest increase among Michigan’s large counties. Oakland County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,222, followed by Wayne County at $1,209. (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 4.4 percent over the year to $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 73 counties in Michigan 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

With the exception of Ottawa County (3.7 percent), all of Michigan’s large counties had over-the-year wage gains greater than the national increase of 4.4 percent. As noted, Genesee and Macomb Counties had the state’s largest average weekly wage increases, up 8.4 percent each, and ranked 13th among the nation’s 342 largest counties. Three other large counties ranked among the top 30 nationwide for wage growth: Wayne (8.1 percent, 16th), Saginaw (7.5 percent, 18th), and Kalamazoo (7.0 percent, 30th). (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

As noted, Oakland County ($1,222) had the highest average weekly wage in the state and ranked 54th among the 342 largest U.S. counties. Wayne ($1,209, 55th), Washtenaw ($1,116, 81st), and Macomb ($1,097, 88th) Counties also reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,082. Two other counties—Ingham ($1,028) and Kalamazoo ($1,000)—had average weekly wages that placed in the top-half of the national ranking. Saginaw ($877) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 278th 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 Michigan’s smaller counties

All 73 counties in Michigan with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,082. Among these smaller counties, Midland had the highest average weekly wage at $1,077, while Keweenaw had the lowest at $498. (See table 2.)

When the 83 counties in Michigan were considered, all but 4 had wages below the national average. Fourteen reported average weekly wages less than $700, 31 reported wages from $700 to $799, 22 had wages from $800 to $899, and 16 had wages of $900 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 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) 877-8342.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 10 largest counties in Michigan, 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--

Michigan

4,218.91.5--1,043185.91

Genesee, Mich.

134.6-0.13129182398.413

Ingham, Mich.

149.01.02461,0281436.643

Kalamazoo, Mich.

116.20.62811,0001647.030

Kent, Mich.

382.13.4639631914.9161

Macomb, Mich.

319.51.42081,097888.413

Oakland, Mich.

719.31.81831,222544.8172

Ottawa, Mich.

120.33.1879502063.7254

Saginaw, Mich.

85.81.02468772787.518

Washtenaw, Mich.

208.51.91711,116814.6189

Wayne, Mich.

709.00.42941,209558.116

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

United States (2)

141,924,459$1,082

Michigan

4,218,9381,043

Alcona

1,624722

Alger

2,296811

Allegan

37,263952

Alpena

11,357751

Antrim

4,777652

Arenac

4,504665

Baraga

2,921772

Barry

12,128791

Bay

34,828863

Benzie

3,835662

Berrien

60,522897

Branch

12,770800

Calhoun

57,246981

Cass

8,771783

Charlevoix

9,870864

Cheboygan

5,642655

Chippewa

12,406733

Clare

6,429775

Clinton

16,227848

Crawford

3,727818

Delta

13,482770

Dickinson

13,617878

Eaton

41,238965

Emmet

17,214809

Genesee

134,584918

Gladwin

3,961722

Gogebic

5,384747

Grand Traverse

48,803895

Gratiot

13,125841

Hillsdale

12,852863

Houghton

11,335816

Huron

10,844773

Ingham

149,0461,028

Ionia

20,650659

Iosco

7,319727

Iron

3,792753

Isabella

29,551747

Jackson

56,851935

Kalamazoo

116,1541,000

Kalkaska

3,779980

Kent

382,096963

Keweenaw

311498

Lake

1,542680

Lapeer

20,619781

Leelanau

5,820761

Lenawee

26,939823

Livingston

57,033862

Luce

1,818748

Mackinac

3,041703

Macomb

319,4721,097

Manistee

6,748762

Marquette

26,848813

Mason

10,259742

Mecosta

13,816791

Menominee

7,313700

Midland

37,2111,077

Missaukee

3,434653

Monroe

41,253955

Montcalm

15,612797

Montmorency

1,921681

Muskegon

61,272855

Newaygo

11,924781

Oakland

719,2901,222

Oceana

6,316697

Ogemaw

5,858649

Ontonagon

1,277621

Osceola

5,910875

Oscoda

1,549624

Otsego

9,757788

Ottawa

120,349950

Presque Isle

2,920768

Roscommon

5,099611

Saginaw

85,768877

St. Clair

44,607867

St. Joseph

24,085792

Sanilac

10,880717

Schoolcraft

2,584764

Shiawassee

16,471734

Tuscola

11,277809

Van Buren

20,408805

Washtenaw

208,4521,116

Wayne

708,9821,209

Wexford

12,939774

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