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News Release Information

18-935-CHI
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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

County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2017

The two largest counties in Nebraska had employment gains 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 employment rose 1.5 percent in Lancaster County and 0.7 percent in Douglas County. (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 two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (342,700) in December 2017. Lancaster County had an employment level of 170,300. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 52.3 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas County was $1,011 in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 3.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $882, up 2.9 percent over the year. 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 91 counties in Nebraska with employment levels below 75,000. Two of these smaller counties had average weekly wages above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in Douglas County increased 3.0 percent, ranking it 171st among the nation's 346 largest counties. Lancaster County’s average wages rose 2.9 percent over the year and ranked 180th nationwide. (See table 1.)

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

Douglas County’s $1,011 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 162nd in the fourth quarter of 2017. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $882 ranked 289th among the nation’s largest counties.

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 Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Stanton ($1,130) and Cheyenne ($1,125) had average weekly wages above the national average of $1,109. Loup County had the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $460 in the fourth quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in Nebraska were considered, 8 had average weekly wages less than $600, 24 had wages from $600 to $699, 41 had wages from $700 to $799, and 20 had wages of $800 or more. (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 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 2 largest counties in Nebraska, 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--

Nebraska

980.90.9--901393.028

Douglas, Neb.

342.70.72401,0111623.0171

Lancaster, Neb.

170.31.51358822892.9180

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

United States(2)

145,921,109$1,109

Nebraska

980,919901

Adams

15,188784

Antelope

2,155757

Arthur

86539

Banner

118714

Blaine

130687

Boone

2,327737

Box Butte

3,779739

Boyd

574592

Brown

1,201683

Buffalo

27,464777

Burt

1,775733

Butler

2,548754

Cass

5,737756

Cedar

2,667728

Chase

1,858737

Cherry

2,297620

Cheyenne

4,9091,125

Clay

2,353847

Colfax

5,254833

Cuming

3,718805

Custer

4,608755

Dakota

13,139879

Dawes

3,290620

Dawson

11,392774

Deuel

564616

Dixon

1,707678

Dodge

17,569771

Douglas

342,7001,011

Dundy

579739

Fillmore

2,138802

Franklin

732760

Frontier

846687

Furnas

2,031719

Gage

9,153731

Garden

555707

Garfield

800642

Gosper

353771

Grant

302671

Greeley

632628

Hall

34,867780

Hamilton

3,728878

Harlan

833639

Hayes

201622

Hitchcock

648691

Holt

4,474727

Hooker

282472

Howard

1,608696

Jefferson

3,369691

Johnson

1,530755

Kearney

2,218740

Keith

3,249654

Keya Paha

135576

Kimball

1,416730

Knox

2,867658

Lancaster

170,316882

Lincoln

14,675765

Logan

193594

Loup

136460

Madison

21,855805

McPherson

75584

Merrick

2,293790

Morrill

1,561724

Nance

1,093714

Nemaha

3,153966

Nuckolls

1,470663

Otoe

6,064767

Pawnee

789728

Perkins

1,151854

Phelps

4,731892

Pierce

1,962746

Platte

18,892861

Polk

1,461720

Red Willow

5,057714

Richardson

2,452665

Rock

494669

Saline

7,247828

Sarpy

71,367904

Saunders

5,315753

Scotts Bluff

16,715776

Seward

6,009832

Sheridan

1,771589

Sherman

795603

Sioux

159681

Stanton

1,3451,130

Thayer

2,439765

Thomas

275750

Thurston

3,053864

Valley

1,811678

Washington

7,983997

Wayne

4,255709

Webster

1,063609

Wheeler

318709

York

7,486782

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