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News Release Information

19-853-CHI
Monday, July 08, 2019

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

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2018

Employment decreased in 11 of Illinois’ 13 large counties from December 2017 to December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2017 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that McHenry County had the largest percentage decrease in employment at 1.2 percent, followed by McLean (-1.1 percent) and Madison (-1.0 percent). Two counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment, both less than 1.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from December 2017 to December 2018 with 296 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Midland, TX, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 10.0 percent over the year. Bay, FL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.6 percent.

Among the 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,625,300) in December 2018. Two other large counties, DuPage (620,100) and Lake (339,500), had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Illinois' 13 large counties accounted for 80.9 percent of the state's employment with Cook County alone accounting for 43.6 percent. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average weekly wages in Winnebago County increased 7.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018, followed by Madison County’s 5.7-percent wage gain. (See table 1.) Lake County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,449, followed by Cook ($1,335) and Du Page ($1,280). Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.2 percent over the year, increasing to $1,144 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties in Illinois with employment levels below 75,000. Eighty-eight of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages in 12 of the 13 large counties in Illinois increased from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. Winnebago County’s 7.6-percent increase in average weekly wages was the largest among the state’s large counties and ranked 10th nationwide. Madison (5.7 percent, 31st), Cook (3.7 percent, 104th), DuPage (3.6 percent, 113th), and Lake (3.6 percent, 113th) Counties had over-the-year wage increases that ranked in the top-third nationwide. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 332 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year wage growth. Tippecanoe, IN, had the largest fourth quarter over-the-year wage gain at 15.1 percent. Williamson, TN, was second with a wage increase of 13.1 percent, followed by Olmsted, MN (13.0 percent).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 15 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Washington, PA, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-6.6 percent), followed by Elkhart, IN (-5.0 percent); Muscogee, GA, (-3.7 percent); and Douglas, CO (-3.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 6 of Illinois' 13 large counties were above $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018, with wages in 3 counties above the $1,144 national average. Lake ($1,449, 21st), Cook ($1,335, 42nd), and DuPage ($1,280, 50th) placed in the top 50 nationwide. St. Clair ($867) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 314th nationwide.

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,144 in 94 of the 349 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position among the highest-paid large counties in the nation with an average weekly wage of $2,670. San Francisco, CA, was second at $2,452, followed by San Mateo, CA, ($2,410); New York, NY, ($2,400); and Suffolk, MA ($2,055).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 255 had weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2018. Hidalgo, TX, had the lowest wage at $680, followed by Horry, SC, and Cameron, TX, each at $685.

Average weekly wages in Illinois’ smaller counties

Eighty-eight of the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,144. The exception was Rock Island ($1,292). Calhoun County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $509 in the fourth quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 102 counties in Illinois were considered, all but 4 had wages below the national average of $1,144. Thirteen counties reported average weekly wages less than $700, 41 reported wages from $700 to $799, 25 had wages from $800 to $899, and 23 had wages of $900 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, which was published in September 2018, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2018 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2017 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2019.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

BLS Local Data App Now Available for Android Devices

The BLS Local Data app, first released for iPhones last fall, is now available for Android devices. Search using your current location, a zip code, or a location name to find employment and wage data for detailed industries and occupations. BLS continues to partner with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Chief Information Officer to expand the features and data in the app. For more information please visit: https://beta.bls.gov/labs/blogs/2019/04/17/bls-local-data-app-now-available-for-android-devices.


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 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 13 largest counties in Illinois, fourth quarter 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands)Percent change, December 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,061.81.5--$1,144--3.2--

Illinois

6,026.00.3--1,18993.326

Champaign, Ill.

91.4-0.13039522482.1249

Cook, Ill.

2,625.30.62271,335423.7104

DuPage, Ill.

620.1-0.33181,280503.6113

Kane, Ill.

214.3-0.33181,0121901.2306

Lake, Ill.

339.50.52421,449213.6113

Madison, Ill.

101.5-1.03429022955.731

McHenry, Ill.

96.8-1.23469092871.9265

McLean, Ill.

82.7-1.13459592401.5292

Peoria, Ill.

106.2-0.13031,107116-0.1335

Sangamon, Ill.

129.3-0.53321,0651490.2331

St. Clair, Ill.

93.9-0.13038673140.3329

Will, Ill.

249.1-0.33189612351.3301

Winnebago, Ill.

127.1-0.93409752267.610

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 Illinois, fourth quarter 2018
AreaEmployment December 2018Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,061,773$1,144

Illinois

6,026,0091,189

Adams

33,495863

Alexander

1,171713

Bond

4,741789

Boone

19,355852

Brown

4,293881

Bureau

11,725816

Calhoun

764509

Carroll

3,758719

Cass

5,583743

Champaign

91,418952

Christian

10,044742

Clark

4,652725

Clay

5,283794

Clinton

12,291774

Coles

24,084735

Cook

2,625,2641,335

Crawford

7,037932

Cumberland

2,769703

De Kalb

37,982869

De Witt

4,9881,027

Douglas

7,492785

Du Page

620,0711,280

Edgar

7,121817

Edwards

2,188753

Effingham

22,320784

Fayette

5,451679

Ford

4,556816

Franklin

9,081754

Fulton

8,182686

Gallatin

1,214911

Greene

2,325635

Grundy

19,9021,080

Hamilton

2,082830

Hancock

4,170710

Hardin

677603

Henderson

1,094595

Henry

13,689797

Iroquois

7,979711

Jackson

25,196992

Jasper

2,016762

Jefferson

20,228824

Jersey

4,888687

Jo Daviess

7,110729

Johnson

2,187868

Kane

214,3441,012

Kankakee

45,049846

Kendall

28,328831

Knox

17,308717

La Salle

42,062904

Lake

339,5351,449

Lawrence

4,589814

Lee

13,170880

Livingston

13,672894

Logan

9,208812

Macon

49,5901,012

Macoupin

10,553760

Madison

101,547902

Marion

13,007748

Marshall

2,830736

Mason

2,956718

Massac

3,006807

McDonough

10,919782

McHenry

96,819909

McLean

82,651959

Menard

1,717673

Mercer

3,200694

Monroe

8,789721

Montgomery

8,673763

Morgan

13,991784

Moultrie

5,173794

Ogle

15,495898

Peoria

106,2151,107

Perry

4,723757

Piatt

3,600718

Pike

3,960677

Pope

508604

Pulaski

1,692900

Putnam

1,7071,072

Randolph

12,264829

Richland

5,935732

Rock Island

74,7461,292

Saline

7,811702

Sangamon

129,2991,065

Schuyler

1,461822

Scott

1,010723

Shelby

5,170722

St. Clair

93,935867

Stark

1,348759

Stephenson

17,658844

Tazewell

47,982859

Union

4,967678

Vermilion

26,356867

Wabash

3,381780

Warren

6,624731

Washington

7,068915

Wayne

3,810651

White

4,365740

Whiteside

21,327757

Will

249,088961

Williamson

28,163779

Winnebago

127,065975

Woodford

9,654875

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 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands)Percent change, December 2017-18Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,061.81.5$1,144--3.2--

Alabama

1,986.61.6957363.133

Alaska

308.30.41,103164.97

Arizona

2,921.13.01,017244.111

Arkansas

1,227.00.8869502.443

California

17,556.71.71,39243.326

Colorado

2,713.72.21,180104.111

Connecticut

1,697.90.51,33451.349

Delaware

451.21.11,107152.443

District of Columbia

775.10.61,94317.32

Florida

8,902.72.11,006273.133

Georgia

4,499.81.81,053212.443

Hawaii

669.30.61,016253.326

Idaho

734.43.2890473.620

Illinois

6,026.00.31,18993.326

Indiana

3,086.20.9941382.837

Iowa

1,558.40.5966353.035

Kansas

1,402.20.8927413.718

Kentucky

1,914.00.3924423.230

Louisiana

1,934.10.7968343.815

Maine

618.41.3906442.541

Maryland

2,702.50.81,22881.748

Massachusetts

3,620.31.01,45723.326

Michigan

4,366.51.01,077191.349

Minnesota

2,902.30.91,140143.620

Mississippi

1,144.30.2793512.541

Missouri

2,821.30.5980313.620

Montana

468.81.6888485.25

Nebraska

983.00.2930403.230

Nevada

1,397.43.31,006275.34

New Hampshire

666.00.71,158122.346

New Jersey

4,125.60.81,29862.738

New Mexico

830.21.5905454.69

New York

9,613.21.51,44531.051

North Carolina

4,458.91.61,013265.16

North Dakota

422.31.51,057204.78

Ohio

5,442.90.51,006273.424

Oklahoma

1,632.31.5932394.111

Oregon

1,935.81.71,052223.718

Pennsylvania

5,932.51.01,103162.639

Rhode Island

487.20.81,085182.639

South Carolina

2,119.62.8893461.947

South Dakota

428.41.2885493.424

Tennessee

3,039.81.81,030233.035

Texas

12,531.72.51,148133.523

Utah

1,511.53.2972333.815

Vermont

314.2-0.4954373.230

Virginia

3,927.21.11,164113.815

Washington

3,384.22.41,29276.33

West Virginia

704.21.5917438.31

Wisconsin

2,892.30.6989304.014

Wyoming

272.11.8978324.410

Puerto Rico

896.40.8576(3)0.9(3)

Virgin Islands

34.50.5925(3)2.3(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: Monday, July 08, 2019