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News Release Information

16-454-CHI
Thursday, April 07, 2016

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

County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2015

Employment increased in 7 of the 8 large counties in Minnesota from September 2014 to September 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.) Washington County had the largest increase, up 2.8 percent, followed by Hennepin (2.0 percent) and Olmsted (1.7 percent). Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the rates of job growth in Washington and Hennepin Counties were above the national increase of 1.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin (888,500) in September 2015, followed by Ramsey (330,000). Two other counties—Dakota and Anoka—each had employment levels of more than 100,000. Collectively, Minnesota's eight large counties accounted for 67.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Stearns County rose 4.8 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, the largest increase among Minnesota's large counties. Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,198, followed by Olmsted ($1,113) and Ramsey ($1,073). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 2.6 percent over the year to $974 in the third quarter of 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota with employment below 75,000. Average weekly wages in all of the smaller counties were below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of the eight large counties in Minnesota had wage increases from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. Five of these counties had wage increases that were greater than the national increase of 2.6 percent. (See table 1.) Stearns County’s 4.8-percent wage gain ranked 13th among the 342 largest U.S. counties. Three other large counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide for wage growth: Washington (3.6 percent, 64th), Anoka (3.5 percent, 72nd), and Olmsted (3.4 percent, 77th).

Nationally, 319 of the 342 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest wage gain, up 24.9 percent from the third quarter of 2014. Lake, Ill., was second with a wage increase of 11.7 percent; followed by Onondaga, N.Y. (6.5 percent); Washington, Ore. (6.4 percent); and Marin, Calif., and Santa Cruz, Calif. (6.1 percent each).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 20 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Midland, Texas, had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 6.7 percent. Ector, Texas, had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 4.9 percent from the third quarter 2014; followed by Lafayette, La. (-3.2 percent); Stark, Ohio (-2.1 percent); and Gregg, Texas (-1.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Minnesota’s 8 large counties were above the national average of $974 in the third quarter of 2015. As noted, Hennepin County ($1,198) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 26th among the 342 largest U.S. counties. Olmsted ($1,113) and Ramsey ($1,073) placed 49th and 57th, respectively. Washington ($810) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties and ranked 265th nationwide.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($974) in 100 of the 342 largest counties in the third quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,090, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($1,894); New York, N.Y. ($1,829); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,712); and Washington, D.C. ($1,667).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 242 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2015. Horry County, S.C. ($598), reported the lowest wage, followed by Cameron, Texas ($615); Hidalgo Texas ($624); Webb, Texas ($658); and Marion, Fla. ($658).

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in the state (those with employment below 75,000), Goodhue County had the highest average weekly wage at $934, followed by Carver County at $932. Cass County had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties at $551. (See table 2.)

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 18 reported average weekly wages of $649 or less, 36 had wages from $650 to $749, 25 reported wages from $750 to $849, and 8 had wages of $850 or higher. (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 fourth quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 8, 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 140.4 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 8 largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2015 (thousands)Percent change, September 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,442.21.9--$974--2.6--

Minnesota

2,800.71.4--990142.622

Anoka, Minn.

119.30.72669681023.572

Dakota, Minn.

184.00.33019441212.8138

Hennepin, Minn.

888.52.01511,198262.0228

Olmsted, Minn.

94.21.71861,113493.477

Ramsey, Minn.

330.01.22211,073571.7253

St. Louis, Minn.

97.7-0.23198362311.6259

Stearns, Minn.

84.90.23078252464.813

Washington, Minn.

79.42.81048102653.664

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 Minnesota, third quarter 2015
AreaEmployment September 2015Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

140,442,224$974

Minnesota

2,800,745990

Aitkin

3,827630

Anoka

119,252968

Becker

14,120702

Beltrami

19,357738

Benton

17,100746

Big Stone

1,811688

Blue Earth

38,734773

Brown

14,038750

Carlton

13,583760

Carver

37,459932

Cass

10,446551

Chippewa

5,602661

Chisago

14,931766

Clay

18,774708

Clearwater

2,778794

Cook

3,277559

Cottonwood

4,806655

Crow Wing

29,199695

Dakota

184,010944

Dodge

6,034783

Douglas

18,456754

Faribault

4,989668

Fillmore

6,111596

Freeborn

11,958772

Goodhue

21,586934

Grant

1,903707

Hennepin

888,4841,198

Houston

5,067585

Hubbard

6,160665

Isanti

10,981722

Itasca

16,796770

Jackson

5,552683

Kanabec

3,675706

Kandiyohi

23,220687

Kittson

1,465699

Koochiching

4,692758

Lac qui Parle

2,258626

Lake

4,386800

Lake of the Woods

1,588600

Le Sueur

9,215734

Lincoln

1,691615

Lyon

14,723758

McLeod

17,661798

Mahnomen

2,029608

Marshall

2,344743

Martin

8,565757

Meeker

7,313667

Mille Lacs

9,578638

Morrison

10,822644

Mower

16,469841

Murray

3,162605

Nicollet

14,532755

Nobles

10,464744

Norman

1,637689

Olmsted

94,2021,113

Otter Tail

22,680691

Pennington

10,647760

Pine

8,369577

Pipestone

4,543647

Polk

12,598699

Pope

4,310799

Ramsey

329,9521,073

Red Lake

1,016615

Redwood

6,421643

Renville

5,889719

Rice

24,063814

Rock

3,588655

Roseau

8,236757

St. Louis

97,662836

Scott

47,213884

Sherburne

25,885773

Sibley

3,976684

Stearns

84,877825

Steele

21,481737

Stevens

5,538795

Swift

3,527667

Todd

6,017657

Traverse

1,066621

Wabasha

7,228661

Wadena

5,947713

Waseca

6,797745

Washington

79,381810

Watonwan

3,943604

Wilkin

1,958720

Winona

24,872730

Wright

41,673749

Yellow Medicine

3,949688

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

United States (2)

140,442.21.9$974--2.6--

Alabama

1,893.61.2830341.840

Alaska

346.40.41,04192.234

Arizona

2,613.92.9889241.542

Arkansas

1,193.41.9756482.622

California

16,474.43.01,13453.46

Colorado

2,513.02.91,006122.430

Connecticut

1,668.30.21,14742.038

Delaware

436.32.1963150.348

District of Columbia

743.61.41,66712.333

Florida

8,023.23.5852313.110

Georgia

4,171.12.8916222.819

Hawaii

635.41.4896233.110

Idaho

680.33.3736502.137

Illinois

5,888.61.31,020103.93

Indiana

2,971.71.6818392.430

Iowa

1,535.90.4823383.014

Kansas

1,370.90.6809411.840

Kentucky

1,852.51.4804422.918

Louisiana

1,926.3-0.2858300.747

Maine

609.70.7779463.37

Maryland

2,607.81.31,06782.430

Massachusetts

3,446.91.41,19723.014

Michigan

4,203.01.6921202.720

Minnesota

2,800.71.4990142.622

Mississippi

1,118.91.2706511.343

Missouri

2,737.91.9846322.234

Montana

457.91.9759473.74

Nebraska

964.01.4811404.22

Nevada

1,254.53.2862292.527

New Hampshire

642.81.5952182.720

New Jersey

3,933.91.41,11662.622

New Mexico

809.20.6798431.343

New York

9,065.41.81,18033.110

North Carolina

4,194.12.5863283.014

North Dakota

438.0-3.895617-2.351

Ohio

5,282.71.2878251.939

Oklahoma

1,598.00.2825370.049

Oregon

1,812.83.0924194.41

Pennsylvania

5,722.10.8961162.527

Rhode Island

477.41.2919212.622

South Carolina

1,959.72.9788442.622

South Dakota

419.50.9756483.110

Tennessee

2,850.62.7864273.28

Texas

11,681.02.1999131.145

Utah

1,353.93.7829353.28

Vermont

308.20.5829353.014

Virginia

3,759.72.51,014112.527

Washington

3,187.62.51,11172.234

West Virginia

702.4-1.1785450.946

Wisconsin

2,815.70.9834333.55

Wyoming

287.4-1.586626-1.150

Puerto Rico

891.1-0.7512(3)1.4(3)

Virgin Islands

36.8-2.1738(3)2.1(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, April 07, 2016