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News Release Information

17-611-CHI
Thursday, July 13, 2017

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

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2016

Eight of Illinois’ 13 large counties reported employment decreases from December 2015 to December 2016, 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 2015 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that Peoria County had the largest decrease in employment at 2.1 percent, followed by Winnebago (-1.4 percent) and Sangamon (-1.3 percent). Five counties experienced employment increases, including Will County, up 3.1 percent, and Madison County, up 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.2 percent from December 2015 to December 2016 with 280 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.1 percent over the year. Lafayette, La., had the largest percentage employment decline among the large counties, down 5.1 percent.

Among the 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,590,200) in December 2016. Two other large counties, Du Page (616,700) and Lake (332,400), had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Illinois' 13 large counties accounted for 80.8 percent of the state's employment with Cook County alone accounting for 43.6 percent. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average weekly wages in Champaign County increased 3.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016, the only large county in the state with an annual wage gain. (See table 1.) Lake County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,376, followed by Cook ($1,250) and Du Page ($1,209) Counties. Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 1.5 percent over the year, declining to $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is one of only eight declines in the history of the series, which dates back to 1978.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties in Illinois with employment levels below 75,000. Eighty-six of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages in 12 of the 13 large counties in Illinois decreased from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016. McLean County’s 9.2-percent decrease in average weekly wages was the largest decline among the state’s large counties. McLean’s over-the-year percentage decrease was also the largest among the 344 large U.S. counties. Over-the-year wage decreases in three other large counties in the state also ranked in the bottom quartile nationwide: Lake (-4.5 percent, 323rd), Madison (-3.8 percent, 306th), and Sangamon (-3.5 percent, 289th). (See table 1.)

Among the 344 large U.S. counties, 290 had over-the-year wage decreases in the fourth quarter of 2016. As noted, McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages (-9.2 percent). Clay, Mo., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 8.3 percent, followed by Lafayette, La. (-8.0 percent), and Douglas, Colo. (-6.8 percent).

Forty-eight large U.S. counties experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest wage gain, up 11.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Washington, Pa., was second with a wage gain of 4.9 percent, followed by Marin, Calif. (4.3 percent), and Elkhart, Ind. (4.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Illinois' 13 large counties were above the national average of $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016 and ranked in the top 50 nationwide: Lake ($1,376, 20th), Cook ($1,250, 40th), and Du Page ($1,209, 49th). St. Clair ($830) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 307th nationwide.

Seventy-one percent of the large U.S. counties (243) reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,067. Cameron, Texas, reported the lowest weekly wage ($640), followed by Hidalgo, Texas ($648), and Horry, S.C. ($654).

Nationally, 101 large counties registered average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,365. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,212, followed by San Mateo, Calif., at $2,098.

Average weekly wages in Illinois’ smaller counties

Eighty-six of the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,067. The exceptions were Rock Island ($1,257), Gallatin ($1,192), and Tazewell ($1,125). Calhoun County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $505 in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When the 102 counties in Illinois were considered, all but 6 had wages below the national average of $1,067. Thirty-four counties reported average weekly wages less than $700, 30 reported wages from $700 to $799, 20 had wages from $800 to $899, and 18 had wages of $900 or higher. (See chart 1.)

Additional statistics and other information

QCEW 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 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 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2015 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

Upcoming Industry Changes to QCEW Data

Beginning with the release of first quarter 2017 data, the program will switch to the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry. For more information on the change, please see the Federal Register notice at www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/federal_register_notices/notices/fr08au16.pdf.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 143.7 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 13 largest counties in Illinois, fourth quarter 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands)Percent change, December 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

143,749.91.2--$1,067---1.5--

Illinois

5,947.60.4--1,1229-2.031

Champaign, Ill.

89.9-0.83189461903.75

Cook, Ill.

2,590.20.62301,25040-1.6168

DuPage, Ill.

616.7-0.12871,20949-2.6252

Kane, Ill.

209.90.2264963177-0.9110

Lake, Ill.

332.4-0.33021,37620-4.5323

Madison, Ill.

100.51.7130838301-3.8306

McHenry, Ill.

96.70.1268891250-2.0198

McLean, Ill.

83.8-0.7316918222-9.2344

Peoria, Ill.

100.2-2.1338990159-2.3233

Sangamon, Ill.

127.6-1.33271,024126-3.5289

St. Clair, Ill.

94.4-0.1287830307-2.0198

Will, Ill.

236.83.132938205-2.5242

Winnebago, Ill.

128.0-1.4330875265-2.5242

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 Illinois, fourth quarter 2016
AreaEmployment December 2016Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

143,749,910$1,067

Illinois

5,947,6231,122

Adams

32,605821

Alexander

1,184693

Bond

4,687752

Boone

17,159911

Brown

4,146822

Bureau

11,233790

Calhoun

765505

Carroll

3,841683

Cass

5,354748

Champaign

89,909946

Christian

10,385684

Clark

4,734674

Clay

5,325693

Clinton

12,113721

Coles

24,151708

Cook

2,590,2361,250

Crawford

6,994850

Cumberland

2,626665

De Kalb

37,981809

De Witt

5,256944

Douglas

7,600742

Du Page

616,7141,209

Edgar

7,489791

Edwards

2,340705

Effingham

20,838758

Fayette

5,171698

Ford

4,486757

Franklin

7,995658

Fulton

8,420649

Gallatin

1,2521,192

Greene

2,302593

Grundy

18,8441,052

Hamilton

2,089797

Hancock

3,899661

Hardin

716585

Henderson

1,101552

Henry

14,223728

Iroquois

7,850640

Jackson

24,588740

Jasper

2,002777

Jefferson

19,755807

Jersey

4,801665

Jo Daviess

7,327678

Johnson

2,332851

Kane

209,890963

Kankakee

43,476804

Kendall

27,770783

Knox

18,954663

La Salle

42,616854

Lake

332,4051,376

Lawrence

4,543771

Lee

13,053832

Livingston

13,783875

Logan

9,070769

Macon

49,373934

Macoupin

10,255718

Madison

100,501838

Marion

12,940716

Marshall

2,938709

Mason

3,034651

Massac

3,328902

McDonough

11,145696

McHenry

96,738891

McLean

83,823918

Menard

1,790641

Mercer

2,967633

Monroe

8,184687

Montgomery

8,781725

Morgan

14,479767

Moultrie

4,973730

Ogle

15,816857

Peoria

100,172990

Perry

4,728735

Piatt

3,293719

Pike

3,939641

Pope

578553

Pulaski

1,449891

Putnam

1,7141,018

Randolph

12,565809

Richland

6,094699

Rock Island

72,0501,257

Saline

7,777718

Sangamon

127,6481,024

Schuyler

1,492778

Scott

1,021668

Shelby

4,713613

St. Clair

94,430830

Stark

1,293723

Stephenson

16,792814

Tazewell

53,8751,125

Union

4,973650

Vermilion

27,080841

Wabash

3,204688

Warren

6,437666

Washington

6,374867

Wayne

3,727639

White

4,050693

Whiteside

21,294686

Will

236,841938

Williamson

28,408759

Winnebago

127,953875

Woodford

10,152793

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 2016
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands)Percent change, December 2015-16Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2015-16National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

143,749.91.2$1,067---1.5--

Alabama

1,932.60.790135-1.321

Alaska

310.0-1.91,03817-5.251

Arizona

2,760.12.194525-2.234

Arkansas

1,205.40.482747-1.422

California

16,923.31.91,2715-0.34

Colorado

2,588.62.01,08612-1.524

Connecticut

1,685.50.01,2894-3.446

Delaware

441.2-0.11,05515-2.944

District of Columbia

760.90.51,76310.62

Florida

8,538.92.794227-1.828

Georgia

4,349.32.499320-0.914

Hawaii

658.30.795424-0.34

Idaho

691.63.280050-0.48

Illinois

5,947.60.41,1229-2.031

Indiana

3,021.70.988338-0.914

Iowa

1,542.00.191133-1.016

Kansas

1,384.50.187739-2.234

Kentucky

1,894.20.687441-1.422

Louisiana

1,907.4-1.691432-2.944

Maine

602.60.885543-2.133

Maryland

2,666.71.01,1697-0.48

Massachusetts

3,530.41.31,3522-2.439

Michigan

4,283.01.51,02619-1.625

Minnesota

2,839.71.21,06214-1.118

Mississippi

1,134.00.075651-1.828

Missouri

2,783.20.991831-1.727

Montana

456.50.7822480.53

Nebraska

972.40.087640-0.510

Nevada

1,307.82.792429-1.220

New Hampshire

656.91.31,09210-4.148

New Jersey

4,042.11.41,2396-1.930

New Mexico

811.40.084445-2.541

New York

9,332.51.21,3423-2.336

North Carolina

4,326.31.893228-0.713

North Dakota

414.4-3.297821-4.249

Ohio

5,365.60.794326-2.336

Oklahoma

1,587.7-1.286442-3.547

Oregon

1,860.72.497022-1.016

Pennsylvania

5,799.80.71,03916-2.336

Rhode Island

478.30.01,02718-1.625

South Carolina

2,024.31.885543-0.612

South Dakota

419.90.582846-0.510

Tennessee

2,947.51.897022-1.118

Texas

11,974.71.21,07213-2.541

Utah

1,415.12.991034-0.34

Vermont

312.60.189736-2.439

Virginia

3,831.60.61,09111-0.34

Washington

3,227.92.81,15081.71

West Virginia

693.1-1.680949-2.541

Wisconsin

2,842.40.592429-2.031

Wyoming

265.8-3.989437-4.750

Puerto Rico

928.2-0.3555(3)-1.9(3)

Virgin Islands

38.50.2769(3)-1.8(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 13, 2017