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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 https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.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
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,921.11.5--$1,109--3.9--

Illinois

6,001.10.8--1,15192.640

Champaign, Ill.

90.91.0196933232-1.6345

Cook, Ill.

2,604.20.62551,283432.6213

DuPage, Ill.

622.30.42811,239542.4241

Kane, Ill.

211.20.13091,0051714.461

Lake, Ill.

338.11.21671,411191.0317

Madison, Ill.

101.71.81028573052.0270

McHenry, Ill.

98.61.41449172493.992

McLean, Ill.

83.3-0.93369442242.3249

Peoria, Ill.

104.20.92151,0881051.6300

Sangamon, Ill.

129.4-0.33261,0651223.3141

St. Clair, Ill.

94.8-0.43288563062.4241

Will, Ill.

245.61.71119542152.1264

Winnebago, Ill.

128.10.13099042652.8188

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
AreaEmployment December 2017Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109$1,109

Illinois

6,001,1031,151

Adams

33,408827

Alexander

1,172717

Bond

4,822756

Boone

18,4681,002

Brown

4,150856

Bureau

11,431798

Calhoun

766513

Carroll

3,783708

Cass

5,405729

Champaign

90,881933

Christian

10,169722

Clark

4,613733

Clay

5,402721

Clinton

12,404768

Coles

24,665720

Cook

2,604,2241,283

Crawford

6,943940

Cumberland

2,813676

De Kalb

38,498843

De Witt

5,043954

Douglas

7,575748

DuPage

622,3341,239

Edgar

7,227780

Edwards

2,311735

Effingham

22,169768

Fayette

5,287668

Ford

4,447781

Franklin

8,484670

Fulton

8,346669

Gallatin

1,270865

Greene

2,301608

Grundy

19,3911,054

Hamilton

2,066865

Hancock

4,000690

Hardin

707588

Henderson

1,059590

Henry

13,612757

Iroquois

8,028669

Jackson

24,114768

Jasper

1,925755

Jefferson

20,057819

Jersey

4,862673

Jo Daviess

7,303704

Johnson

2,221860

Kane

211,2281,005

Kankakee

44,583812

Kendall

28,641790

Knox

18,006684

La Salle

43,179869

Lake

338,1211,411

Lawrence

4,522808

Lee

13,235862

Livingston

14,006891

Logan

9,256783

Macon

49,518952

Macoupin

10,427726

Madison

101,728857

Marion

12,979739

Marshall

2,899720

Mason

3,099698

Massac

2,573846

McDonough

11,085736

McHenry

98,588917

McLean

83,257944

Menard

1,768651

Mercer

3,068645

Monroe

8,669728

Montgomery

8,748749

Morgan

14,032761

Moultrie

4,923781

Ogle

15,505869

Peoria

104,1941,088

Perry

4,760759

Piatt

3,566704

Pike

4,011696

Pope

649571

Pulaski

1,858944

Putnam

1,7111,022

Randolph

12,205813

Richland

6,068700

Rock Island

73,2041,287

Saline

7,780718

Sangamon

129,4201,065

Schuyler

1,521809

Scott

1,032697

Shelby

4,844621

St. Clair

94,844856

Stark

1,286800

Stephenson

17,691844

Tazewell

49,193889

Union

4,892710

Vermilion

27,102845

Wabash

3,311721

Warren

6,592684

Washington

6,602911

Wayne

3,716659

White

4,264698

Whiteside

20,823732

Will

245,640954

Williamson

28,720780

Winnebago

128,138904

Woodford

10,224834

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
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2016-17National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

145,921.11.5$1,109--3.9--

Alabama

1,955.31.1928362.932

Alaska

306.7-1.21,052191.551

Arizona

2,834.72.6978253.512

Arkansas

1,217.21.0848482.542

California

17,293.02.11,34645.74

Colorado

2,653.32.51,133104.39

Connecticut

1,689.70.31,31752.246

Delaware

444.90.61,081152.640

District of Columbia

769.00.91,81212.737

Florida

8,712.02.0975263.416

Georgia

4,425.01.81,027203.416

Hawaii

664.50.8984243.126

Idaho

712.43.0857467.11

Illinois

6,001.10.81,15192.640

Indiana

3,057.81.1915383.611

Iowa

1,549.70.4938323.028

Kansas

1,390.30.4894411.949

Kentucky

1,903.80.5892422.147

Louisiana

1,918.80.4933352.147

Maine

610.31.2884433.416

Maryland

2,683.60.51,20783.322

Massachusetts

3,582.21.31,41134.48

Michigan

4,321.80.91,062173.416

Minnesota

2,875.71.31,100143.416

Mississippi

1,140.60.5774512.445

Missouri

2,809.51.0945312.932

Montana

461.41.0843502.737

Nebraska

980.90.9901393.028

Nevada

1,351.93.5955293.225

New Hampshire

661.30.71,132113.710

New Jersey

4,106.91.61,26261.850

New Mexico

816.70.6865452.542

New York

9,465.31.41,42826.42

North Carolina

4,388.61.5964283.322

North Dakota

416.10.41,010223.322

Ohio

5,409.20.8973273.126

Oklahoma

1,607.81.2895403.512

Oregon

1,900.42.01,014214.57

Pennsylvania

5,870.41.21,075163.512

Rhode Island

483.61.11,056182.737

South Carolina

2,058.81.6879442.835

South Dakota

423.80.9856473.416

Tennessee

2,984.81.31,000233.028

Texas

12,207.82.01,109133.512

Utah

1,465.53.6936332.932

Vermont

314.70.5919372.542

Virginia

3,884.21.31,121122.835

Washington

3,305.02.41,21775.83

West Virginia

693.10.1847494.75

Wisconsin

2,872.61.0951303.028

Wyoming

267.50.6935344.66

Puerto Rico

887.0-4.4570(3)2.5(3)

Virgin Islands

34.3-11.1827(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.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018