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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/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2016/home.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
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands) Percent change, September 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

144,464.4 1.0 -- $1,021 -- -0.6 --

North Dakota

419.2 -1.0 -- 953 22 -1.2 34

Cass, N.D.

118.4 -0.1 287 934 176 -1.6 217

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
Area Employment September 2017 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

144,464,425 $1,021

North Dakota

419,248 953

Adams

962 755

Barnes

4,506 721

Benson

1,990 733

Billings

657 645

Bottineau

2,526 783

Bowman

1,526 755

Burke

676 1,008

Burleigh

56,799 946

Cass

118,390 934

Cavalier

1,455 776

Dickey

1,916 669

Divide

840 946

Dunn

2,114 1,290

Eddy

744 620

Emmons

998 632

Foster

1,656 800

Golden Valley

652 665

Grand Forks

41,132 851

Grant

542 644

Griggs

868 660

Hettinger

724 798

Kidder

724 639

LaMoure

1,426 679

Logan

632 546

McHenry

1,319 816

McIntosh

1,090 634

McKenzie

9,447 1,347

McLean

3,556 1,054

Mercer

5,195 1,318

Morton

11,143 844

Mountrail

5,689 1,228

Nelson

1,010 614

Oliver

720 1,335

Pembina

3,756 869

Pierce

1,738 719

Ramsey

5,868 746

Ransom

2,046 667

Renville

741 757

Richland

7,899 776

Rolette

4,366 701

Sargent

3,108 799

Sheridan

252 466

Sioux

1,626 801

Slope

131 1,140

Stark

18,788 1,119

Steele

624 898

Stutsman

11,341 801

Towner

735 701

Traill

3,485 773

Walsh

5,362 740

Ward

31,574 913

Wells

1,565 639

Williams

28,108 1,428

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
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands) Percent change, September 2016-17 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2016-17 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

144,464.4 1.0 $1,021 -- -0.6 --

Alabama

1,941.1 0.8 859 37 -1.3 38

Alaska

335.4 -0.7 1,025 15 -2.8 50

Arizona

2,760.1 2.4 948 24 -0.2 10

Arkansas

1,213.0 0.6 788 49 -0.6 19

California

17,153.4 1.7 1,215 4 0.5 4

Colorado

2,625.9 1.9 1,067 9 0.5 4

Connecticut

1,676.3 0.1 1,179 6 -2.2 47

Delaware

443.0 0.4 1,026 14 0.4 6

District of Columbia

764.7 0.7 1,759 1 1.3 2

Florida

8,305.8 -0.2 896 29 -1.1 31

Georgia

4,343.5 1.3 961 21 -0.9 27

Hawaii

652.5 0.4 953 22 -0.3 13

Idaho

722.3 2.7 778 50 -0.5 16

Illinois

5,969.6 0.5 1,057 10 -0.3 13

Indiana

3,044.0 0.6 861 36 -0.6 19

Iowa

1,546.1 -0.2 855 38 -2.2 47

Kansas

1,376.4 -0.1 839 41 -2.1 46

Kentucky

1,890.4 0.5 837 42 -2.4 49

Louisiana

1,904.3 -0.1 869 33 -1.7 42

Maine

621.9 0.7 821 46 -0.5 16

Maryland

2,661.8 0.5 1,105 8 -1.7 42

Massachusetts

3,568.0 0.9 1,265 2 -0.9 27

Michigan

4,334.3 0.9 964 20 -1.1 31

Minnesota

2,883.0 1.1 1,030 13 -2.0 45

Mississippi

1,129.1 -0.1 729 51 -1.4 39

Missouri

2,805.8 0.9 878 31 -1.2 34

Montana

468.6 0.9 793 48 0.1 8

Nebraska

973.3 -0.2 850 39 -0.8 23

Nevada

1,337.7 2.9 914 26 -3.8 51

New Hampshire

659.1 0.6 1,022 16 -0.4 15

New Jersey

4,043.6 1.1 1,156 7 -1.5 41

New Mexico

816.0 0.3 823 45 -0.8 23

New York

9,329.8 1.2 1,219 3 -0.2 10

North Carolina

4,348.0 1.3 904 27 -0.7 21

North Dakota

419.2 -1.0 953 22 -1.2 34

Ohio

5,383.6 0.6 920 25 -0.8 23

Oklahoma

1,593.3 0.7 843 40 -1.2 34

Oregon

1,905.3 1.8 969 19 -0.1 9

Pennsylvania

5,836.5 1.0 1,002 17 -1.1 31

Rhode Island

484.5 0.8 973 18 -1.8 44

South Carolina

2,027.2 0.8 828 43 -0.5 16

South Dakota

426.2 0.4 803 47 -0.7 21

Tennessee

2,953.3 1.1 903 28 -1.2 34

Texas

12,008.9 1.4 1,032 12 -1.0 29

Utah

1,444.1 2.6 879 30 -0.2 10

Vermont

310.3 0.1 869 33 -1.4 39

Virginia

3,843.6 1.0 1,053 11 -0.8 23

Washington

3,343.4 2.0 1,208 5 1.7 1

West Virginia

694.0 0.2 826 44 1.1 3

Wisconsin

2,866.9 0.5 876 32 -1.0 29

Wyoming

276.2 0.3 868 35 0.3 7

Puerto Rico

862.8 -3.1 509 (3) -2.7 (3)

Virgin Islands

36.9 -1.1 763 (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.

  Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in North Dakota, third quarter 2017

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018