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News Release Information

18-347-CHI
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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Technical information:
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  • (312) 353-1138

County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2017

Employment increased in all eight of the large counties in Minnesota from September 2016 to September 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2016 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Washington County had the largest increase, up 3.3 percent, followed by Anoka, up 2.0 percent. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the rates of job growth in 4 of the 8 large counties were above the national increase of 1.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin (927,200) in September 2017, followed by Ramsey (334,900). Two other counties—Dakota and Anoka—each had employment levels of more than 100,000. Collectively, Minnesota's eight large counties accounted for 67.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, 7 of Minnesota’s 8 large counties had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Olmsted County was the state’s only large county that had a wage gain (2.5 percent). Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,236, followed by Olmsted ($1,180) and Ramsey ($1,124). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage fell 0.6 percent over the year to $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota 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

Average weekly wages declined over the year in 7 of the 8 large counties in Minnesota, with all of the losses larger than the national decrease of 0.6 percent. (See table 1.) Wage declines in the seven counties ranged from 0.8 percent in Stearns to 3.6 percent in Dakota. Olmsted County’s 2.5-percent wage increase ranked 14th nationwide.

Nationally, 265 of the 346 largest counties registered over-the-year wage decreases. Mercer, N.J., had the largest decline, down 8.8 percent from the third quarter of 2016. Wyandotte, Kan., was second with a wage decrease of 6.0 percent, followed by Clark, Nev. (-5.3 percent); Somerset, N.J. (-5.0 percent); and Clay, Mo. (-4.8 percent).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 71 experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages (8.4 percent), followed by Union, N.J. (8.2 percent); Elkhart, Ind. (6.5 percent); Forsyth, N.C. (5.3 percent); and Maui + Kalawao, Hawaii (4.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Minnesota’s 8 large counties were above the national average of $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017. As noted, Hennepin County ($1,236) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 29th among the 346 largest U.S. counties. Olmsted ($1,180) and Ramsey ($1,124) placed 43rd and 56th, respectively. St. Louis ($844) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties and ranked 269th nationwide.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,021) in 96 of the 346 largest counties in the third quarter of 2017. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties in the nation with an average weekly wage of $2,320. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $2,123, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,954); New York, N.Y. ($1,889); and Washington, D.C. ($1,759).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 250 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2017. Cameron, Texas ($612), had the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Horry, S.C. ($633); Hidalgo, Texas ($649); and Webb, Texas ($672).

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in the state (those with employment below 75,000), Carver County had the highest average weekly wage at $971, followed by Mower County at $898. Cass County had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties at $590, followed by Cook County at $591. (See table 2.)

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 7 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 35 had wages from $650 to $749, 31 reported wages from $750 to $849, and 14 had wages of $850 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 2017 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 Online are now available 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 release for fourth quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process is accelerating for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data will be published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data will be accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release will occur two weeks later, accompanied by a data release notice.


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 144.5 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. 13, the number of weeks in a quarter, then divide the result. 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 8 largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands)Percent change, September 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

144,464.41.0--$1,021---0.6--

Minnesota

2,883.01.1--1,03013-2.045

Anoka, Minn.

123.02.0601,008109-1.9245

Dakota, Minn.

188.70.7192959149-3.6326

Hennepin, Minn.

927.21.8751,23629-2.9307

Olmsted, Minn.

97.71.6801,180432.514

Ramsey, Minn.

334.90.42331,12456-2.5285

St. Louis, Minn.

99.10.6209844269-3.1314

Stearns, Minn.

87.20.9167877230-0.8142

Washington, Minn.

85.43.316851262-2.0256

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 Minnesota, third quarter 2017
AreaEmployment September 2017Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

144,464,425$1,021

Minnesota

2,883,0451,030

Aitkin

4,138655

Anoka

122,9671,008

Becker

14,602724

Beltrami

19,629799

Benton

17,598786

Big Stone

1,791723

Blue Earth

40,267826

Brown

14,045769

Carlton

13,745843

Carver

39,126971

Cass

11,100590

Chippewa

5,718705

Chisago

15,608840

Clay

19,193751

Clearwater

2,879727

Cook

3,202591

Cottonwood

4,582699

Crow Wing

30,351727

Dakota

188,687959

Dodge

5,977874

Douglas

18,900758

Faribault

4,757709

Fillmore

6,068629

Freeborn

11,988767

Goodhue

21,626871

Grant

1,877728

Hennepin

927,1991,236

Houston

5,175627

Hubbard

6,470716

Isanti

10,802786

Itasca

15,977770

Jackson

5,034695

Kanabec

3,887748

Kandiyohi

24,534728

Kittson

1,491670

Koochiching

4,561774

Lac qui Parle

2,174633

Lake

4,348766

Lake of the Woods

1,543655

Le Sueur

9,120816

Lincoln

1,723676

Lyon

14,506795

McLeod

16,244829

Mahnomen

1,939689

Marshall

2,227757

Martin

8,744781

Meeker

7,385706

Mille Lacs

9,671678

Morrison

10,844709

Mower

16,664898

Murray

3,038669

Nicollet

15,221818

Nobles

10,483781

Norman

1,667687

Olmsted

97,7201,180

Otter Tail

23,470722

Pennington

10,188832

Pine

8,462598

Pipestone

4,416711

Polk

12,356734

Pope

4,349787

Ramsey

334,8841,124

Red Lake

1,035682

Redwood

5,999716

Renville

6,229723

Rice

25,263858

Rock

3,609734

Roseau

8,038836

St. Louis

99,143844

Scott

53,608891

Sherburne

25,960849

Sibley

4,818752

Stearns

87,193877

Steele

21,033830

Stevens

5,629874

Swift

3,658725

Todd

6,533749

Traverse

1,184640

Wabasha

6,929683

Wadena

5,350712

Waseca

6,591796

Washington

85,391851

Watonwan

4,262659

Wilkin

1,877786

Winona

24,912777

Wright

43,978796

Yellow Medicine

3,916708

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

United States (2)

144,464.41.0$1,021---0.6--

Alabama

1,941.10.885937-1.338

Alaska

335.4-0.71,02515-2.850

Arizona

2,760.12.494824-0.210

Arkansas

1,213.00.678849-0.619

California

17,153.41.71,21540.54

Colorado

2,625.91.91,06790.54

Connecticut

1,676.30.11,1796-2.247

Delaware

443.00.41,026140.46

District of Columbia

764.70.71,75911.32

Florida

8,305.8-0.289629-1.131

Georgia

4,343.51.396121-0.927

Hawaii

652.50.495322-0.313

Idaho

722.32.777850-0.516

Illinois

5,969.60.51,05710-0.313

Indiana

3,044.00.686136-0.619

Iowa

1,546.1-0.285538-2.247

Kansas

1,376.4-0.183941-2.146

Kentucky

1,890.40.583742-2.449

Louisiana

1,904.3-0.186933-1.742

Maine

621.90.782146-0.516

Maryland

2,661.80.51,1058-1.742

Massachusetts

3,568.00.91,2652-0.927

Michigan

4,334.30.996420-1.131

Minnesota

2,883.01.11,03013-2.045

Mississippi

1,129.1-0.172951-1.439

Missouri

2,805.80.987831-1.234

Montana

468.60.9793480.18

Nebraska

973.3-0.285039-0.823

Nevada

1,337.72.991426-3.851

New Hampshire

659.10.61,02216-0.415

New Jersey

4,043.61.11,1567-1.541

New Mexico

816.00.382345-0.823

New York

9,329.81.21,2193-0.210

North Carolina

4,348.01.390427-0.721

North Dakota

419.2-1.095322-1.234

Ohio

5,383.60.692025-0.823

Oklahoma

1,593.30.784340-1.234

Oregon

1,905.31.896919-0.19

Pennsylvania

5,836.51.01,00217-1.131

Rhode Island

484.50.897318-1.844

South Carolina

2,027.20.882843-0.516

South Dakota

426.20.480347-0.721

Tennessee

2,953.31.190328-1.234

Texas

12,008.91.41,03212-1.029

Utah

1,444.12.687930-0.210

Vermont

310.30.186933-1.439

Virginia

3,843.61.01,05311-0.823

Washington

3,343.42.01,20851.71

West Virginia

694.00.2826441.13

Wisconsin

2,866.90.587632-1.029

Wyoming

276.20.3868350.37

Puerto Rico

862.8-3.1509(3)-2.7(3)

Virgin Islands

36.9-1.1763(3)-1.9(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: Tuesday, April 17, 2018