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News Release Information

18-346-CHI
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in North Dakota — Third Quarter 2017

North Dakota’s only large county, Cass, had an average weekly wage of $934 in the third quarter of 2017, 1.6 percent lower than one year ago, 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.) Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 0.6 percent over the year to $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that although Cass County’s wages were below the U.S. average, nine of the state’s smaller counties, those with employment below 75,000, had wages above that for the nation. (See table 1.)

Employment in Cass County fell 0.1 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. Cass County’s employment level of 118,400 accounted for 28.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationally, employment rose 1.0 percent during this 12-month period, as 283 of the 346 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 52 smaller counties in North Dakota. Average weekly wages varied among these counties, with four having wages above $1,300 and two with wages under $550. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Cass County (-1.6 percent) was 1 of the 265 largest U.S. counties to record an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Mercer, N.J., had the largest wage drop, 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

Cass County’s $934 average weekly wage placed in the middle third among the 346 largest U.S. counties, ranking 176th. 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, 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 North Dakota’s smaller counties

Forty-three of the 52 counties in North Dakota with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,021. Nine small counties had above-average wages, all located in the western portion of the state. The highest wage was in Williams County at $1,428, followed by McKenzie ($1,347) and Oliver ($1,335). Sheridan County had the lowest wage in the state, averaging $466 in the third quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 53 counties in North Dakota were considered, 10 had average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 12 had wages from $650 to $749, 14 had wages from $750 to $849, and 17 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 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 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. 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. 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 largest county in North Dakota, 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--

North Dakota

419.2-1.0--95322-1.234

Cass, N.D.

118.4-0.1287934176-1.6217

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

United States(2)

144,464,425$1,021

North Dakota

419,248953

Adams

962755

Barnes

4,506721

Benson

1,990733

Billings

657645

Bottineau

2,526783

Bowman

1,526755

Burke

6761,008

Burleigh

56,799946

Cass

118,390934

Cavalier

1,455776

Dickey

1,916669

Divide

840946

Dunn

2,1141,290

Eddy

744620

Emmons

998632

Foster

1,656800

Golden Valley

652665

Grand Forks

41,132851

Grant

542644

Griggs

868660

Hettinger

724798

Kidder

724639

LaMoure

1,426679

Logan

632546

McHenry

1,319816

McIntosh

1,090634

McKenzie

9,4471,347

McLean

3,5561,054

Mercer

5,1951,318

Morton

11,143844

Mountrail

5,6891,228

Nelson

1,010614

Oliver

7201,335

Pembina

3,756869

Pierce

1,738719

Ramsey

5,868746

Ransom

2,046667

Renville

741757

Richland

7,899776

Rolette

4,366701

Sargent

3,108799

Sheridan

252466

Sioux

1,626801

Slope

1311,140

Stark

18,7881,119

Steele

624898

Stutsman

11,341801

Towner

735701

Traill

3,485773

Walsh

5,362740

Ward

31,574913

Wells

1,565639

Williams

28,1081,428

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: Wednesday, April 18, 2018