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

16-455-CHI
Thursday, April 07, 2016

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in North Dakota — Third Quarter 2015

North Dakota’s only large county, Cass, reported an average weekly wage of $910 in the third quarter of 2015, 1.3 percent higher than one year ago, 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 preliminary annual averages of employment.) Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 2.6 percent over the year to $974 in the third quarter of 2015. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that although Cass County’s wages were below the U.S. average, nine of the state’s smaller counties, those with employment below 75,000, reported wages above that for the nation. (See table 1.)

Employment in Cass County increased 0.8 percent from September 2014 to September 2015. Cass County’s employment level of 116,900 accounted for 26.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationally, employment rose 1.9 percent during this 12-month period, as 312 of the 342 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 52 smaller counties in North Dakota. Average weekly wages varied widely across the state, with four having wages above $1,300 and two reporting wages under $550. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Cass County’s 1.3-percent wage growth from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015 ranked 279th nationally. (See table 1.) Among the 342 largest U.S. counties, 319 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. 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 the counties of Marin 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

Cass County’s $910 average wage placed in the upper half among the 342 largest U.S. counties, ranking 165th. Nationally, Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,090. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,894, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,829); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,712); and Washington, D.C. ($1,667). Among the largest U.S. counties, Horry County, S.C. ($598), reported the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Cameron, Texas ($615); Hidalgo, Texas ($624); Webb Texas ($658); and Marion, Fla. ($658).

Average weekly wages in North Dakota’s smaller counties

Forty-three of the 52 counties in North Dakota with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $974. Nine small counties had above-average wages, all located in the western portion of the state. The highest wage was reported in McKenzie County at $1,439, followed by Williams ($1,435) and Oliver ($1,358). Sheridan County reported the lowest wage in the state, averaging $486 in the third quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 53 counties in North Dakota were considered, 10 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 17 had wages from $650 to $749, 11 reported wages from $750 to $849, and 15 reported wages of $850 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 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 largest county in North Dakota, 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--

North Dakota

438.0-3.8--95617-2.351

Cass, N.D.

116.90.82529101651.3279

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

United States (2)

140,442,224$974

North Dakota

438,042956

Adams

961716

Barnes

4,899700

Benson

2,079699

Billings

760657

Bottineau

2,730792

Bowman

1,739855

Burke

7981,012

Burleigh

58,707947

Cass

116,912910

Cavalier

1,477774

Dickey

2,040650

Divide

969957

Dunn

2,6861,265

Eddy

783611

Emmons

977633

Foster

1,648748

Golden Valley

693682

Grand Forks

41,291834

Grant

625646

Griggs

945653

Hettinger

740744

Kidder

746716

LaMoure

1,432688

Logan

654549

McHenry

1,302787

McIntosh

1,081607

McKenzie

10,4251,439

McLean

3,644956

Mercer

5,3081,323

Morton

11,337818

Mountrail

6,6921,275

Nelson

1,052607

Oliver

8561,358

Pembina

3,944836

Pierce

1,729740

Ramsey

5,850746

Ransom

2,137629

Renville

758830

Richland

8,054738

Rolette

4,623710

Sargent

2,928726

Sheridan

253486

Sioux

1,610800

Slope

145999

Stark

21,6241,128

Steele

635849

Stutsman

11,502775

Towner

826602

Traill

3,467751

Walsh

5,546705

Ward

35,001944

Wells

1,636617

Williams

34,3211,435

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