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News Release Information

17-212-CHI
Friday, March 24, 2017

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

County Employment and Wages in Wisconsin — Third Quarter 2016

Wisconsin’s six large counties had employment increases 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.) Dane County had the largest increase, up 2.6 percent, followed by Winnebago County, up 2.0 percent. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the employment gains in four of the state’s large counties were less than the national increase of 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the six large counties in Wisconsin, employment was highest in Milwaukee (487,000) in September 2016, followed by Dane (330,700), and Waukesha (239,000). Each of the three other counties—Brown, Outagamie, and Winnebago—had employment levels of less than 155,000. Collectively, Wisconsin's six large counties accounted for 49.5 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 Dane County rose 10.1 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, the largest increase among Wisconsin's large counties, followed by Brown and Waukesha Counties at 6.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively. Dane County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,032, followed by Waukesha County at $1,006 and Milwaukee County at $970. (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 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

Two of Wisconsin’s six large counties recorded wage gains greater than the national increase of 5.4 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. (See table 1.) As noted, Dane County had the state’s largest average weekly wage increase, up 10.1 percent, and ranked seventh among the 344 largest U.S. counties. The over-the-year wage gain in Brown County, at 6.7 percent, ranked 79th nationally. The four remaining counties had average weekly wage increases ranging from 5.2 to 4.4 percent.

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 five of Wisconsin’s six largest counties were below the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. As noted, Dane County ($1,032) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 98th among the 344 largest U.S. counties. Waukesha ($1,006) and Milwaukee ($970) Counties placed 118th and 153rd, 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 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 Wisconsin’s smaller counties

Of the 66 counties in Wisconsin with employment below 75,000, Racine County had the highest average weekly wage at $896. Florence County had the lowest weekly wage at $528, followed by Bayfield at $542. (See table 2.)

When all 72 counties in Wisconsin were considered, 14 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 29 had wages from $650 to $749, 18 had wages from $750 to $849, and 11 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. 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 6 largest counties in Wisconsin, 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--

Wisconsin

2,850.11.0--885316.214

Brown, Wis.

154.61.51959042116.779

Dane, Wis.

330.72.6961,0329810.17

Milwaukee, Wis.

487.00.52839701534.5254

Outagamie, Wis.

107.01.42038752424.8233

Waukesha, Wis.

239.00.42921,0061185.2205

Winnebago, Wis.

93.12.01429241904.4262

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 2016
AreaEmployment September 2016Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452$1,027

Wisconsin

2,850,076885

Adams

4,846668

Ashland

8,194702

Barron

21,826721

Bayfield

4,393542

Brown

154,590904

Buffalo

3,772691

Burnett

4,674608

Calumet

13,917728

Chippewa

24,974740

Clark

10,980700

Columbia

22,412755

Crawford

7,648658

Dane

330,6671,032

Dodge

35,585826

Door

14,827634

Douglas

15,622758

Dunn

17,467765

Eau Claire

57,117832

Florence

1,018528

Fond du Lac

46,985848

Forest

3,156684

Grant

17,729691

Green

15,794707

Green Lake

6,467721

Iowa

10,091720

Iron

1,690586

Jackson

8,763765

Jefferson

32,479746

Juneau

9,301735

Kenosha

64,414780

Kewaunee

7,164728

La Crosse

69,196818

Lafayette

4,109657

Langlade

7,495659

Lincoln

10,984779

Manitowoc

33,586816

Marathon

70,777856

Marinette

18,438772

Marquette

3,860632

Menominee

2,053578

Milwaukee

487,048970

Monroe

20,471760

Oconto

9,203646

Oneida

16,873751

Outagamie

107,012875

Ozaukee

43,337853

Pepin

2,305696

Pierce

10,086670

Polk

16,259723

Portage

34,464806

Price

5,649734

Racine

74,621896

Richland

5,963670

Rock

65,067841

Rusk

5,131660

St. Croix

33,560757

Sauk

36,340731

Sawyer

7,054642

Shawano

12,690619

Sheboygan

60,703886

Taylor

8,095713

Trempealeau

14,569737

Vernon

9,039648

Vilas

7,957592

Walworth

41,557720

Washburn

5,912640

Washington

54,518825

Waukesha

238,9631,006

Waupaca

20,225693

Waushara

6,247623

Winnebago

93,145924

Wood

38,288864

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