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News Release Information

17-214-CHI
Friday, March 24, 2017

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

County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all eight of the large counties in Minnesota from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Hennepin County had the largest increase, up 2.4 percent, followed by Dakota (1.8 percent) and Washington (1.5 percent). Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the rates of job growth in Hennepin and Dakota Counties were above the national increase of 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin (912,200) in September 2016, followed by Ramsey (331,100). Two other counties—Dakota and Anoka—each had employment levels of more than 100,000. Collectively, Minnesota's eight large counties accounted for 67.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Ramsey County rose 8.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, the largest increase among Minnesota's large counties. Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,277, followed by Ramsey ($1,162) and Olmsted ($1,151). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 5.4 percent over the year to $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota 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 the eight large counties in Minnesota had wage increases from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. Five of these counties had wage increases that were greater than the national increase of 5.4 percent. (See table 1.) Ramsey County’s 8.9-percent wage gain ranked 16th among the 344 largest U.S. counties. Two other large counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide for wage growth: Stearns (7.3 percent, 47th) and Washington (6.5 percent, 90th).

Nationally, 339 of the 344 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., had the largest wage gain, up 12.2 percent from the third quarter of 2015. Manatee, Fla., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by Hillsborough, N.H. (10.4 percent); and Boone, Ky., and Elkhart, Ind. (10.3 percent each).

Among the largest U.S. counties, five experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 14.9 percent. Lafayette, La., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 3.4 percent from the third quarter 2015, followed by Benton, Ark. (-2.0 percent); Lake, Ill. (-0.9 percent); and Midland, Texas (-0.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in three of Minnesota’s eight large counties were above the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. As noted, Hennepin County ($1,277) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 22nd among the 344 largest U.S. counties. Ramsey ($1,162) and Olmsted ($1,151) placed 46th and 52nd, respectively. Washington ($870) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties and ranked 248th nationwide.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were at or above the U.S. average ($1,027) in 103 of the 344 largest counties in the third quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,260, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892); New York, N.Y. ($1,879); and Washington, D.C. ($1,728).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 241 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2016. Horry County, S.C. ($632) reported the lowest wage, followed by Cameron, Texas ($636); Hidalgo, Texas ($654); and Webb, Texas ($680).

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in the state (those with employment below 75,000), Carver County had the highest average weekly wage at $999, followed by Scott County at $942. Cass County had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties at $577. (See table 2.)

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 6 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 36 had wages from $650 to $749, 29 reported wages from $750 to $849, and 16 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 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 fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.


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 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 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. 13, the number of weeks in a quarter, then divide the result. 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 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.51.7--$1,027--5.4--

Minnesota

2,849.51.6--1,053136.411

Anoka, Minn.

121.00.72651,0271036.2117

Dakota, Minn.

188.01.81649911335.2205

Hennepin, Minn.

912.22.41121,277226.2117

Olmsted, Minn.

96.21.22261,151523.7296

Ramsey, Minn.

331.10.82571,162468.916

St. Louis, Minn.

98.20.13058742454.9226

Stearns, Minn.

85.70.62738842327.347

Washington, Minn.

82.31.51958702486.590

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 2016
AreaEmployment September 2016Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452$1,027

Minnesota

2,849,4521,053

Aitkin

3,984681

Anoka

121,0191,027

Becker

14,107727

Beltrami

19,612800

Benton

17,481788

Big Stone

1,852729

Blue Earth

38,966824

Brown

14,514795

Carlton

13,635830

Carver

37,620999

Cass

11,246577

Chippewa

5,789711

Chisago

15,515844

Clay

18,780745

Clearwater

2,863788

Cook

3,178589

Cottonwood

4,326716

Crow Wing

30,055741

Dakota

188,020991

Dodge

5,884864

Douglas

18,602789

Faribault

4,813744

Fillmore

6,164640

Freeborn

12,132779

Goodhue

21,609879

Grant

1,867730

Hennepin

912,2181,277

Houston

5,169624

Hubbard

6,386716

Isanti

10,800770

Itasca

15,701800

Jackson

5,416693

Kanabec

3,924738

Kandiyohi

23,717738

Kittson

1,415709

Koochiching

4,658761

Lac qui Parle

2,200640

Lake

4,172803

Lake of the Woods

1,545683

Le Sueur

9,636808

Lincoln

1,721667

Lyon

14,804795

McLeod

16,604849

Mahnomen

1,996679

Marshall

2,222775

Martin

8,659810

Meeker

7,311699

Mille Lacs

9,351697

Morrison

11,036695

Mower

16,646870

Murray

2,940679

Nicollet

14,956826

Nobles

10,334809

Norman

1,682675

Olmsted

96,2331,151

Otter Tail

23,202731

Pennington

10,643834

Pine

8,432608

Pipestone

4,438693

Polk

12,424743

Pope

4,300824

Ramsey

331,0891,162

Red Lake

1,032672

Redwood

6,664695

Renville

5,658749

Rice

25,089868

Rock

3,583660

Roseau

8,094759

St. Louis

98,243874

Scott

50,871942

Sherburne

26,106839

Sibley

4,852753

Stearns

85,672884

Steele

22,126795

Stevens

5,537856

Swift

3,599715

Todd

6,041720

Traverse

1,089660

Wabasha

6,957698

Wadena

5,884736

Waseca

6,709780

Washington

82,318870

Watonwan

4,209680

Wilkin

2,049857

Winona

25,115776

Wright

42,980801

Yellow Medicine

3,943716

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

United States (2)

142,940.51.7$1,027--5.4--

Alabama

1,923.81.5870364.938

Alaska

337.4-2.61,055121.249

Arizona

2,695.53.1950246.95

Arkansas

1,205.41.0794485.232

California

16,871.12.41,21046.78

Colorado

2,576.52.61,062105.623

Connecticut

1,674.20.31,20455.034

Delaware

440.70.81,022165.623

District of Columbia

759.21.71,72813.845

Florida

8,320.23.7905296.214

Georgia

4,290.42.9969215.918

Hawaii

648.41.8956236.78

Idaho

703.73.5782506.312

Illinois

5,933.60.61,062104.440

Indiana

3,025.91.8866375.918

Iowa

1,548.60.8873356.214

Kansas

1,377.20.5857395.918

Kentucky

1,880.21.5857396.510

Louisiana

1,908.8-0.9883322.948

Maine

616.20.9825455.918

Maryland

2,648.11.41,12485.330

Massachusetts

3,522.92.01,27726.87

Michigan

4,292.22.1976195.918

Minnesota

2,849.51.61,053136.411

Mississippi

1,126.90.7739514.739

Missouri

2,782.11.6888305.034

Montana

464.51.5792494.341

Nebraska

973.90.9857395.526

Nevada

1,300.73.89492510.11

New Hampshire

655.01.81,027157.92

New Jersey

4,000.01.81,17375.034

New Mexico

811.50.2830444.043

New York

9,216.61.61,22233.546

North Carolina

4,290.32.3909285.330

North Dakota

423.2-3.4964220.750

Ohio

5,347.31.1924265.427

Oklahoma

1,578.7-1.3854423.546

Oregon

1,866.52.6970205.232

Pennsylvania

5,776.71.01,013175.427

Rhode Island

481.10.8990187.63

South Carolina

2,008.62.5832435.623

South Dakota

424.21.1809477.04

Tennessee

2,918.82.5912275.427

Texas

11,830.71.31,042144.341

Utah

1,407.43.8881336.312

Vermont

309.90.5880346.214

Virginia

3,801.01.01,06395.034

Washington

3,278.93.01,18866.95

West Virginia

691.5-1.6816463.944

Wisconsin

2,850.11.0885316.214

Wyoming

274.8-4.7865380.051

Puerto Rico

888.2-0.4524(3)2.3(3)

Virgin Islands

37.41.4778(3)5.9(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: Friday, March 24, 2017