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News Release Information

16-456-CHI
Thursday, April 07, 2016

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

County Employment and Wages in Wisconsin — Third Quarter 2015

Five of the six large counties in Wisconsin had employment increases 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.) Dane County had the largest increase, up 1.8 percent, followed by Outagamie and Waukesha Counties, up 1.3 percent each. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the employment gains in the state’s five large counties were less than the national increase of 1.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the six large counties in Wisconsin, employment was highest in Milwaukee (484,900) in September 2015, followed by Dane (322,800), and Waukesha (237,000). Each of the three other counties—Brown, Outagamie, and Winnebago—had employment levels of less than 153,000. Collectively, Wisconsin's six large counties accounted for 49.5 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 Dane County rose 4.6 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, the largest increase among Wisconsin's large counties, followed by Brown and Waukesha Counties at 3.8 percent each. Waukesha County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $953, followed by Dane County at $938 and Milwaukee County at $925. (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 66 counties in Wisconsin 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

All of Wisconsin’s large counties recorded wage gains greater than the national increase of 2.6 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. (See table 1.) As noted, Dane County had the state’s largest average weekly wage increase, up 4.6 percent, and ranked 24th among the 342 largest U.S. counties. The over-the-year wage gains in Brown and Waukesha Counties, at 3.8 percent each, ranked 53rd nationally. The three remaining counties had average weekly wage increases ranging from 3.3 to 2.8 percent, ranking in the top-half nationwide.

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 Wisconsin’s six largest counties were below the national average of $974 in the third quarter of 2015. As noted, Waukesha County ($953) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 114th among the 342 largest U.S. counties, followed by Dane ($938) and Milwaukee ($925) which placed 126th and 147th, respectively. The state’s remaining large counties had average weekly wages that placed in the bottom half of the national ranking.

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 Wisconsin’s smaller counties

Of the 66 counties in Wisconsin with employment below 75,000, Racine County had the highest average weekly wage at $846. Florence County had the lowest weekly wage at $490, followed by Bayfield at $525. (See table 2.)

When all 72 counties in Wisconsin were considered, 22 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 29 had wages from $650 to $749, 16 had wages from $750 to $849, and 5 had wages from $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) 877-8342.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 6 largest counties in Wisconsin, 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--

Wisconsin

2,815.70.9--834333.55

Brown, Wis.

152.31.02318562083.853

Dane, Wis.

322.81.81729381264.624

Milwaukee, Wis.

484.90.03139251472.8138

Outagamie, Wis.

105.41.32178352323.382

Waukesha, Wis.

237.01.32179531143.853

Winnebago, Wis.

90.60.72668881773.1104

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

United States (2)

140,442,224$974

  Wisconsin

2,815,728834

    Adams

4,728639

    Ashland

8,118679

    Barron

21,950672

    Bayfield

4,324525

    Brown

152,348856

    Buffalo

3,752660

    Burnett

4,734575

    Calumet

13,472695

    Chippewa

24,628712

    Clark

10,944657

    Columbia

21,953710

    Crawford

7,621622

    Dane

322,755938

    Dodge

35,024784

    Door

14,863591

    Douglas

15,702715

    Dunn

17,020725

    Eau Claire

56,651780

    Florence

979490

    Fond du Lac

46,708807

    Forest

3,155653

    Grant

17,610647

    Green

15,794680

    Green Lake

6,649755

    Iowa

10,477708

    Iron

1,653575

    Jackson

8,797741

    Jefferson

32,808710

    Juneau

9,195692

    Kenosha

61,215758

    Kewaunee

6,967690

    La Crosse

68,286760

    Lafayette

3,913620

    Langlade

7,471630

    Lincoln

10,854721

    Manitowoc

33,645756

    Marathon

70,152816

    Marinette

19,096740

    Marquette

3,800587

    Menominee

2,091636

    Milwaukee

484,924925

    Monroe

19,915738

    Oconto

9,104585

    Oneida

16,967704

    Outagamie

105,400835

    Ozaukee

42,076808

    Pepin

2,303667

    Pierce

9,976617

    Polk

16,103662

    Portage

34,148756

    Price

5,702696

    Racine

73,921846

    Richland

5,984647

    Rock

64,818780

    Rusk

5,145619

    St. Croix

33,274714

    Sauk

37,444675

    Sawyer

6,839611

    Shawano

12,665595

    Sheboygan

59,515813

    Taylor

7,871679

    Trempealeau

14,486714

    Vernon

8,831611

    Vilas

8,163573

    Walworth

40,725667

    Washburn

5,970609

    Washington

53,808802

    Waukesha

237,042953

    Waupaca

20,219661

    Waushara

6,291596

    Winnebago

90,598888

    Wood

37,206785

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: Data are preliminary. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
 

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