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News Release Information

17-613-CHI
Thursday, July 13, 2017

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

County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2016

The two largest counties in Nebraska reported employment gains from December 2015 to December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 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 employment rose 0.7 percent in Douglas County and 0.1 percent in Lancaster County. (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., registered the largest percentage employment decline among the large counties, down 5.1 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (340,700) in December 2016. Lancaster County recorded an employment level of 169,500. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 52.5 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas was $986 in the fourth quarter of 2016, a decrease of 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $853, unchanged over the year. 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 91 counties in Nebraska with employment levels below 75,000. Two of these smaller counties had average weekly wages above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in Douglas County decreased 0.8 percent, ranking it 104th among the nation's 344 largest counties. Lancaster County’s wages were unchanged over the year and ranked 49th nationwide. (See table 1.)

Among the 344 large U.S. counties, 290 had over-the-year wage decreases. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages with a loss of 9.2 percent. Clay, Mo., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 8.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, 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 the counties of Marin, Calif. (4.3 percent), and Elkhart, Ind. (4.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $986 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 162nd in the fourth quarter of 2016. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $853 ranked 291st among the nation’s largest counties.

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 Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Nemaha ($1,090), Stanton ($1,076), and Washington ($1,033) had average weekly wages above those of the state’s two largest counties. Loup County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $420 in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in the state were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages less than $600, 30 reported wages from $600 to $699, 34 reported wages from $700 to $799, and 17 had wages of $800 or more. (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 https://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 2 largest counties in Nebraska, 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--

Nebraska

972.40.0--87640-0.510

Douglas, Neb.

340.70.7223986162-0.8104

Lancaster, Neb.

169.50.12688532910.049

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

United States(2)

143,749,910$1,067

Nebraska

972,400876

Adams

15,280750

Antelope

2,046694

Arthur

85606

Banner

125708

Blaine

133683

Boone

2,352699

Box Butte

3,772694

Boyd

610586

Brown

1,208695

Buffalo

27,134768

Burt

1,806704

Butler

2,505755

Cass

5,547738

Cedar

2,648710

Chase

1,833730

Cherry

2,307594

Cheyenne

5,342919

Clay

2,424830

Colfax

5,253957

Cuming

3,698819

Custer

4,538729

Dakota

12,667840

Dawes

3,298616

Dawson

11,384733

Deuel

578619

Dixon

1,707731

Dodge

17,248754

Douglas

340,676986

Dundy

571745

Fillmore

2,229779

Franklin

749736

Frontier

807690

Furnas

2,032727

Gage

9,151686

Garden

565629

Garfield

796583

Gosper

386730

Grant

281600

Greeley

600629

Hall

34,625772

Hamilton

3,572879

Harlan

823633

Hayes

215631

Hitchcock

657712

Holt

4,546695

Hooker

258486

Howard

1,426634

Jefferson

3,286670

Johnson

1,589734

Kearney

2,172718

Keith

3,306661

Keya Paha

151548

Kimball

1,356737

Knox

2,998621

Lancaster

169,450853

Lincoln

14,894743

Logan

193619

Loup

130420

Madison

21,677783

McPherson

83585

Merrick

2,303754

Morrill

1,516706

Nance

1,054691

Nemaha

3,0551,090

Nuckolls

1,441599

Otoe

6,132716

Pawnee

861652

Perkins

1,151842

Phelps

4,789828

Pierce

1,994726

Platte

18,551825

Polk

1,479716

Red Willow

5,201687

Richardson

2,508632

Rock

475635

Saline

7,235803

Sarpy

70,627877

Saunders

5,237713

Scotts Bluff

16,917756

Seward

6,074789

Sheridan

1,753590

Sherman

816577

Sioux

164661

Stanton

1,2951,076

Thayer

2,400753

Thomas

260549

Thurston

2,977849

Valley

1,793654

Washington

7,9121,033

Wayne

4,241684

Webster

1,077579

Wheeler

323694

York

7,583771

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

5,947.60.41,1229-231

Indiana

3,021.70.988338-0.914

Iowa

1,542.00.191133-116

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

1,860.72.497022-116

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

2,842.40.592429-231

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