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News Release Information

18-936-CHI
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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

County Employment and Wages in Michigan — Fourth Quarter 2017

Nine of the 10 large counties in Michigan had employment increases from December 2016 to December 2017, 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 2016 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that Washtenaw County had the largest increase, up 1.7 percent, followed by Ottawa County, up 1.3 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 10 largest counties in Michigan, employment was highest in Oakland County (735,100) and Wayne County (725,300) in December 2017. Two other counties, Kent (402,500) and Macomb (328,800), also had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Michigan’s 10 large counties accounted for 70.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Saginaw and Oakland counties rose 3.7 and 3.6 percent, respectively, from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, and were the largest increases among Michigan’s large counties. (See table 1.) Among the largest counties, Oakland had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,253, followed by Wayne at $1,212. 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 73 counties in Michigan with employment levels below 75,000. With the exception of Midland County ($1,800), all smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average.(See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of Michigan’s large counties had over-the-year wage gains, but all were lower than the national increase of 3.9 percent. (See table 1.) As noted, Saginaw and Oakland counties had the state’s largest average weekly wage increases, up 3.7 and 3.6 percent respectively, and ranked 107th and 117th among the nation’s 346 largest counties. One other large county, Washtenaw (3.2 percent, 151st), ranked among the top-half nationwide for wage growth.

Among the 346 largest counties in the U.S., 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

As noted, Oakland County ($1,253) had the highest average weekly wage in the state and ranked 50th among the 346 largest U.S. counties. Wayne ($1,212, 59th) and Washtenaw ($1,134, 79th) also reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,109. Three other counties—Macomb ($1,091), Ingham ($1,041) and Kalamazoo ($1,002)—had average weekly wages that placed in the top-half of the national ranking. Saginaw ($897) had the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 275th 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 Michigan’s smaller counties

Seventy-two counties in Michigan with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,109. Among these smaller counties, Midland had the highest average weekly wage at $1,800, while Keweenaw had the lowest at $515. (See table 2.)

When all 83 counties in Michigan were considered, all but 4 had wages below the national average. Two had average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 19 had wages from $650 to $749, 32 had wages from $750 to $849, 17 had wages from $850 to $949, and 13 had wages of $950 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/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) 877-8342.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 10 largest counties in Michigan, 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--

Michigan

4,321.80.9--1,062173.416

Genesee, Mich.

136.00.42818992730.9322

Ingham, Mich.

153.10.62551,0411371.1314

Kalamazoo, Mich.

119.81.21671,0021732.0270

Kent, Mich.

402.51.21679562131.9281

Macomb, Mich.

328.80.62551,0911032.6213

Oakland, Mich.

735.11.01961,253503.6117

Ottawa, Mich.

124.31.31589761902.7200

Saginaw, Mich.

84.6-0.93368972753.7107

Washtenaw, Mich.

215.61.71111,134793.2151

Wayne, Mich.

725.30.23021,212592.4241

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 Michigan, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmployment December 2017Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109$1,109

Michigan

4,321,7931,062

Alcona

1,732744

Alger

2,355821

Allegan

38,016943

Alpena

11,519752

Antrim

4,880651

Arenac

4,359732

Baraga

2,858816

Barry

12,271806

Bay

33,822864

Benzie

4,029685

Berrien

60,594919

Branch

14,342819

Calhoun

55,414990

Cass

9,407783

Charlevoix

10,030860

Cheboygan

5,868657

Chippewa

12,275740

Clare

6,943770

Clinton

16,409886

Crawford

3,916783

Delta

13,429771

Dickinson

13,877924

Eaton

42,101937

Emmet

17,363813

Genesee

136,010899

Gladwin

3,955718

Gogebic

5,469758

Grand Traverse

49,747887

Gratiot

12,548883

Hillsdale

12,525857

Houghton

11,019822

Huron

11,041800

Ingham

153,0791,041

Ionia

21,169674

Iosco

7,409757

Iron

3,716728

Isabella

29,159773

Jackson

56,966959

Kalamazoo

119,7801,002

Kalkaska

4,0131,017

Kent

402,486956

Keweenaw

310515

Lake

1,529675

Lapeer

20,633813

Leelanau

5,934751

Lenawee

26,715826

Livingston

61,6091,020

Luce

1,882716

Mackinac

3,138750

Macomb

328,8241,091

Manistee

6,972810

Marquette

26,863814

Mason

10,041776

Mecosta

13,898813

Menominee

7,295717

Midland

36,7211,800

Missaukee

3,275706

Monroe

40,681934

Montcalm

16,341804

Montmorency

1,893668

Muskegon

62,752853

Newaygo

11,716809

Oakland

735,1291,253

Oceana

6,256715

Ogemaw

5,734748

Ontonagon

1,194610

Osceola

6,616888

Oscoda

1,387651

Otsego

10,029777

Ottawa

124,288976

Presque Isle

2,746766

Roscommon

5,165652

Saginaw

84,556897

St. Clair

44,450875

St. Joseph

24,344755

Sanilac

10,996737

Schoolcraft

2,664819

Shiawassee

16,039767

Tuscola

11,235817

Van Buren

20,315850

Washtenaw

215,6051,134

Wayne

725,2601,212

Wexford

13,647789

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