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News Release Information

18-937-CHI
Thursday, July 19, 2018

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2017

Ten of Illinois’ 13 large counties reported employment increases from December 2016 to December 2017, 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 2016 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that Madison County had the largest percentage increase in employment at 1.8 percent, followed by Will (1.7 percent) and McHenry (1.4 percent). Three counties had over-the-year percentage decreases in employment, all by less than 1.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from December 2016 to December 2017 with 316 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 11.5 percent over the year. Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with losses of 1.8 percent each.

Among the 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,604,200) in December 2017. Two other large counties, DuPage (622,300) and Lake (338,100), had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Illinois' 13 large counties accounted for 80.9 percent of the state's employment with Cook County alone accounting for 43.4 percent. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average weekly wages in Kane County increased 4.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by McHenry County’s 3.9-percent wage gain. (See table 1.) Lake County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,411, followed by Cook ($1,283) and Du Page ($1,239). Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.9 percent over the year, increasing to $1,109 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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-eight 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 increased from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Kane County’s 4.4-percent increase in average weekly wages was the largest among the state’s large counties and ranked 61st nationwide. McHenry (3.9 percent, 92nd) and Sangamon (3.3 percent, 141st) had over-the-year wage increases that ranked in the top-half nationwide. (See table 1.)

Among the 346 largest U.S. counties, 339 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the fourth quarter of 2017. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest percentage increases in average weekly wages among the largest U.S. counties (11.5 percent each). Seven of the 346 largest counties experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a decline of 6.7 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 6 of Illinois' 13 large counties were above $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, with wages in three counties above the $1,109 national average. Lake ($1,411, 19th) and Cook ($1,283, 43rd) placed in the top 50 nationwide and DuPage ranked 54th at $1,239. St. Clair ($856) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 306th nationwide.

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,109 in 95 of the 346 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,576, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,439), and San Mateo, Calif. ($2,341). Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (251) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wages were in the Texas counties of Cameron ($652) and Hidalgo ($664), followed by Horry, S.C. ($674).

Average weekly wages in Illinois’ smaller counties

Eighty-eight of the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,109. The exception was Rock Island ($1,287). Calhoun County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $513 in the fourth quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 102 counties in Illinois were considered, all but 4 had wages below the national average of $1,109. Twenty-two counties reported average weekly wages less than $700, 37 reported wages from $700 to $799, 23 had wages from $800 to $899, and 20 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 2016 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 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2016 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2016/home.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages news release for first quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process has accelerated for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data are now published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data have been accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release, with smaller county data contained in this release, occurs two weeks later.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 145.9 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.

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 2017
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands) Percent change, December 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,921.1 1.5 -- $1,109 -- 3.9 --

Illinois

6,001.1 0.8 -- 1,151 9 2.6 40

Champaign, Ill.

90.9 1.0 196 933 232 -1.6 345

Cook, Ill.

2,604.2 0.6 255 1,283 43 2.6 213

DuPage, Ill.

622.3 0.4 281 1,239 54 2.4 241

Kane, Ill.

211.2 0.1 309 1,005 171 4.4 61

Lake, Ill.

338.1 1.2 167 1,411 19 1.0 317

Madison, Ill.

101.7 1.8 102 857 305 2.0 270

McHenry, Ill.

98.6 1.4 144 917 249 3.9 92

McLean, Ill.

83.3 -0.9 336 944 224 2.3 249

Peoria, Ill.

104.2 0.9 215 1,088 105 1.6 300

Sangamon, Ill.

129.4 -0.3 326 1,065 122 3.3 141

St. Clair, Ill.

94.8 -0.4 328 856 306 2.4 241

Will, Ill.

245.6 1.7 111 954 215 2.1 264

Winnebago, Ill.

128.1 0.1 309 904 265 2.8 188

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 2017
Area Employment December 2017 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109 $1,109

Illinois

6,001,103 1,151

Adams

33,408 827

Alexander

1,172 717

Bond

4,822 756

Boone

18,468 1,002

Brown

4,150 856

Bureau

11,431 798

Calhoun

766 513

Carroll

3,783 708

Cass

5,405 729

Champaign

90,881 933

Christian

10,169 722

Clark

4,613 733

Clay

5,402 721

Clinton

12,404 768

Coles

24,665 720

Cook

2,604,224 1,283

Crawford

6,943 940

Cumberland

2,813 676

De Kalb

38,498 843

De Witt

5,043 954

Douglas

7,575 748

DuPage

622,334 1,239

Edgar

7,227 780

Edwards

2,311 735

Effingham

22,169 768

Fayette

5,287 668

Ford

4,447 781

Franklin

8,484 670

Fulton

8,346 669

Gallatin

1,270 865

Greene

2,301 608

Grundy

19,391 1,054

Hamilton

2,066 865

Hancock

4,000 690

Hardin

707 588

Henderson

1,059 590

Henry

13,612 757

Iroquois

8,028 669

Jackson

24,114 768

Jasper

1,925 755

Jefferson

20,057 819

Jersey

4,862 673

Jo Daviess

7,303 704

Johnson

2,221 860

Kane

211,228 1,005

Kankakee

44,583 812

Kendall

28,641 790

Knox

18,006 684

La Salle

43,179 869

Lake

338,121 1,411

Lawrence

4,522 808

Lee

13,235 862

Livingston

14,006 891

Logan

9,256 783

Macon

49,518 952

Macoupin

10,427 726

Madison

101,728 857

Marion

12,979 739

Marshall

2,899 720

Mason

3,099 698

Massac

2,573 846

McDonough

11,085 736

McHenry

98,588 917

McLean

83,257 944

Menard

1,768 651

Mercer

3,068 645

Monroe

8,669 728

Montgomery

8,748 749

Morgan

14,032 761

Moultrie

4,923 781

Ogle

15,505 869

Peoria

104,194 1,088

Perry

4,760 759

Piatt

3,566 704

Pike

4,011 696

Pope

649 571

Pulaski

1,858 944

Putnam

1,711 1,022

Randolph

12,205 813

Richland

6,068 700

Rock Island

73,204 1,287

Saline

7,780 718

Sangamon

129,420 1,065

Schuyler

1,521 809

Scott

1,032 697

Shelby

4,844 621

St. Clair

94,844 856

Stark

1,286 800

Stephenson

17,691 844

Tazewell

49,193 889

Union

4,892 710

Vermilion

27,102 845

Wabash

3,311 721

Warren

6,592 684

Washington

6,602 911

Wayne

3,716 659

White

4,264 698

Whiteside

20,823 732

Will

245,640 954

Williamson

28,720 780

Winnebago

128,138 904

Woodford

10,224 834

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 2017
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands) Percent change, December 2016-17 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

145,921.1 1.5 $1,109 -- 3.9 --

Alabama

1,955.3 1.1 928 36 2.9 32

Alaska

306.7 -1.2 1,052 19 1.5 51

Arizona

2,834.7 2.6 978 25 3.5 12

Arkansas

1,217.2 1.0 848 48 2.5 42

California

17,293.0 2.1 1,346 4 5.7 4

Colorado

2,653.3 2.5 1,133 10 4.3 9

Connecticut

1,689.7 0.3 1,317 5 2.2 46

Delaware

444.9 0.6 1,081 15 2.6 40

District of Columbia

769.0 0.9 1,812 1 2.7 37

Florida

8,712.0 2.0 975 26 3.4 16

Georgia

4,425.0 1.8 1,027 20 3.4 16

Hawaii

664.5 0.8 984 24 3.1 26

Idaho

712.4 3.0 857 46 7.1 1

Illinois

6,001.1 0.8 1,151 9 2.6 40

Indiana

3,057.8 1.1 915 38 3.6 11

Iowa

1,549.7 0.4 938 32 3.0 28

Kansas

1,390.3 0.4 894 41 1.9 49

Kentucky

1,903.8 0.5 892 42 2.1 47

Louisiana

1,918.8 0.4 933 35 2.1 47

Maine

610.3 1.2 884 43 3.4 16

Maryland

2,683.6 0.5 1,207 8 3.3 22

Massachusetts

3,582.2 1.3 1,411 3 4.4 8

Michigan

4,321.8 0.9 1,062 17 3.4 16

Minnesota

2,875.7 1.3 1,100 14 3.4 16

Mississippi

1,140.6 0.5 774 51 2.4 45

Missouri

2,809.5 1.0 945 31 2.9 32

Montana

461.4 1.0 843 50 2.7 37

Nebraska

980.9 0.9 901 39 3.0 28

Nevada

1,351.9 3.5 955 29 3.2 25

New Hampshire

661.3 0.7 1,132 11 3.7 10

New Jersey

4,106.9 1.6 1,262 6 1.8 50

New Mexico

816.7 0.6 865 45 2.5 42

New York

9,465.3 1.4 1,428 2 6.4 2

North Carolina

4,388.6 1.5 964 28 3.3 22

North Dakota

416.1 0.4 1,010 22 3.3 22

Ohio

5,409.2 0.8 973 27 3.1 26

Oklahoma

1,607.8 1.2 895 40 3.5 12

Oregon

1,900.4 2.0 1,014 21 4.5 7

Pennsylvania

5,870.4 1.2 1,075 16 3.5 12

Rhode Island

483.6 1.1 1,056 18 2.7 37

South Carolina

2,058.8 1.6 879 44 2.8 35

South Dakota

423.8 0.9 856 47 3.4 16

Tennessee

2,984.8 1.3 1,000 23 3.0 28

Texas

12,207.8 2.0 1,109 13 3.5 12

Utah

1,465.5 3.6 936 33 2.9 32

Vermont

314.7 0.5 919 37 2.5 42

Virginia

3,884.2 1.3 1,121 12 2.8 35

Washington

3,305.0 2.4 1,217 7 5.8 3

West Virginia

693.1 0.1 847 49 4.7 5

Wisconsin

2,872.6 1.0 951 30 3.0 28

Wyoming

267.5 0.6 935 34 4.6 6

Puerto Rico

887.0 -4.4 570 (3) 2.5 (3)

Virgin Islands

34.3 -11.1 827 (3) 7.7 (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.

  Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Illinois, fourth quarter 2017

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018