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News Release Information

20-343-CHI
Monday, March 23, 2020

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

County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2019

Employment rose in 6 of the 8 large counties in Minnesota from September 2018 to September 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that Washington County had the fastest rate of job growth at 0.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.1 percent over the year with 283 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin County (939,000) in September 2019, followed by Ramsey County (337,000). The remaining six large counties each had employment levels of less than 200,000. Collectively, the eight largest Minnesota counties accounted for 67.5 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

All eight large Minnesota counties reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, with the fastest rate of increase in Dakota, up 4.0 percent. Anoka and Olmsted Counties reported average weekly wage gains of 3.8 percent each. Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,322. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.6 percent from a year ago to $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in September 2019. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The 4.0-percent annual average weekly wage gain in Dakota County was 114th among the nation’s 355 largest counties in the third quarter of 2019. The 3.8-percent wage gains in Anoka and Olmsted Counties tied for 132nd nationally.

Nationwide, 350 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Boulder, CO, had the largest percentage wage increase (+18.4 percent). The remaining five large counties registered wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in four of the state’s large counties were above the national average of $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. Hennepin County ($1,322), had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 26th among the 355 largest U.S. counties. Average weekly wages in Olmsted ($1,279), Ramsey ($1,196), and Anoka ($1,094) Counties ranked in the top third for the nation. The average weekly wage in Washington County ($908) ranked 266th, in the bottom third among the 355 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 98 large counties reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,447. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 257 counties. At $659 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage, followed by Horry, S.C. ($660).

Average weekly wages in Minnesota's smaller counties

All 79 smaller counties in Minnesota–those with employment below 75,000–reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,093. Among these smaller counties, Carver posted the highest weekly wage, $1,070, followed by Scott ($994), Dodge ($953), and Stevens ($950). Cass County reported the lowest average wage in the state at $626 per week, followed by Cook County at $640 per week.

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 18 registered wages from $700 to $749, 13 had wages from $750 to $799, 17 had wages from $800 to $849, and 31 had average weekly wages of $850 or more. (See chart 1.) The higher-paying counties were located in and around the Minneapolis metropolitan area.

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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of this news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.


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. 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 8 largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2019
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands) Percent change, September 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.5 1.1 -- $1,093 -- 3.6 --

Minnesota

2,917.8 0.4 -- 1,107 13 3.0 39

Anoka

128.3 0.7 206 1,094 98 3.8 132

Dakota

191.5 0.0 284 1,057 125 4.0 114

Hennepin

939.0 0.5 226 1,322 26 2.4 276

Olmsted

100.7 0.1 274 1,279 38 3.8 132

Ramsey

337.0 0.1 274 1,196 60 2.3 283

St. Louis

98.0 -1.0 339 915 256 3.0 227

Stearns

88.0 0.2 261 943 219 3.5 168

Washington

88.2 0.9 186 908 266 3.1 212

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 2019
Area Employment September 2019 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525 $1,093

Minnesota

2,917,769 1,107

Aitkin

4,133 699

Anoka

128,333 1,094

Becker

14,590 744

Beltrami

20,531 839

Benton

17,692 852

Big Stone

1,735 748

Blue Earth

40,695 889

Brown

14,113 817

Carlton

13,234 890

Carver

40,281 1,070

Cass

11,168 626

Chippewa

5,802 749

Chisago

15,689 880

Clay

19,483 804

Clearwater

2,740 792

Cook

3,191 640

Cottonwood

5,122 734

Crow Wing

30,318 792

Dakota

191,458 1,057

Dodge

6,095 953

Douglas

19,396 813

Faribault

4,645 833

Fillmore

6,199 665

Freeborn

12,161 808

Goodhue

21,955 910

Grant

1,859 769

Hennepin

938,982 1,322

Houston

5,163 670

Hubbard

6,507 762

Isanti

11,162 799

Itasca

16,351 825

Jackson

5,133 737

Kanabec

3,965 820

Kandiyohi

24,324 791

Kittson

1,530 685

Koochiching

4,553 888

Lac qui Parle

2,222 701

Lake

4,309 843

Lake of the Woods

1,705 696

Le Sueur

9,116 863

Lincoln

1,691 712

Lyon

14,094 855

McLeod

15,974 858

Mahnomen

1,849 731

Marshall

2,341 850

Martin

8,340 847

Meeker

7,590 783

Mille Lacs

9,923 708

Morrison

10,759 754

Mower

16,249 930

Murray

2,965 733

Nicollet

15,495 906

Nobles

10,542 847

Norman

1,559 727

Olmsted

100,657 1,279

Otter Tail

23,334 760

Pennington

10,211 914

Pine

8,480 649

Pipestone

4,582 745

Polk

12,410 806

Pope

4,570 814

Ramsey

337,028 1,196

Red Lake

1,032 712

Redwood

6,080 773

Renville

5,869 770

Rice

25,722 897

Rock

3,298 813

Roseau

7,817 861

St. Louis

98,010 915

Scott

55,763 994

Sherburne

26,859 901

Sibley

4,645 798

Stearns

88,003 943

Steele

21,995 863

Stevens

5,591 950

Swift

3,551 739

Todd

6,648 814

Traverse

1,164 708

Wabasha

6,967 732

Wadena

5,534 751

Waseca

6,165 833

Washington

88,238 908

Watonwan

4,224 739

Wilkin

1,741 880

Winona

24,647 827

Wright

45,653 864

Yellow Medicine

4,052 709

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 2019
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands) Percent change, September 2018-19 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,556.5 1.1 $1,093 -- 3.6 --

Alabama

1,989.5 1.1 919 36 3.8 18

Alaska

338.0 1.2 1,105 14 3.7 21

Arizona

2,913.4 2.6 1,018 22 4.5 4

Arkansas

1,222.8 0.0 841 49 3.8 18

California

17,713.1 1.4 1,309 5 3.8 18

Colorado

2,749.0 2.4 1,170 8 6.1 1

Connecticut

1,676.6 -0.3 1,236 6 2.3 50

Delaware

453.2 1.1 1,078 15 3.3 32

District of Columbia

776.4 0.6 1,851 1 2.5 49

Florida

8,838.2 1.7 955 29 3.4 27

Georgia

4,509.7 1.4 1,026 20 3.4 27

Hawaii

654.1 -0.3 1,012 23 3.9 15

Idaho

765.2 2.9 838 50 4.1 10

Illinois

6,023.1 0.0 1,125 10 3.6 23

Indiana

3,083.5 0.3 914 37 3.5 26

Iowa

1,556.9 0.1 914 37 3.0 39

Kansas

1,395.9 0.4 893 43 2.9 43

Kentucky

1,910.8 0.7 884 45 3.4 27

Louisiana

1,913.5 -0.3 923 35 2.6 47

Maine

632.6 0.9 887 44 4.2 7

Maryland

2,696.9 0.2 1,169 9 3.6 23

Massachusetts

3,642.5 0.9 1,359 2 4.2 7

Michigan

4,375.8 0.2 1,021 21 3.0 39

Minnesota

2,917.8 0.4 1,107 13 3.0 39

Mississippi

1,135.8 0.1 768 51 2.7 46

Missouri

2,826.5 0.6 942 31 3.9 15

Montana

478.9 1.2 848 48 3.9 15

Nebraska

984.7 0.3 908 39 4.0 13

Nevada

1,412.2 2.1 973 26 4.1 10

New Hampshire

667.9 0.8 1,075 16 3.4 27

New Jersey

4,104.0 0.9 1,217 7 3.0 39

New Mexico

842.1 1.7 899 40 5.1 2

New York

9,575.4 1.1 1,314 4 3.3 32

North Carolina

4,501.3 2.2 972 27 3.6 23

North Dakota

428.4 0.9 1,028 19 3.3 32

Ohio

5,443.3 0.3 976 25 3.1 37

Oklahoma

1,628.8 0.5 897 41 2.6 47

Oregon

1,970.7 1.4 1,037 18 3.2 35

Pennsylvania

5,947.9 0.8 1,064 17 3.2 35

Rhode Island

491.3 0.6 991 24 2.8 44

South Carolina

2,132.4 2.2 866 46 3.7 21

South Dakota

433.4 0.4 855 47 3.4 27

Tennessee

3,060.8 1.9 966 28 2.8 44

Texas

12,603.2 2.1 1,109 12 4.1 10

Utah

1,535.2 2.8 954 30 4.8 3

Vermont

311.0 0.0 927 34 4.3 5

Virginia

3,931.4 1.0 1,125 10 4.0 13

Washington

3,489.8 2.1 1,335 3 4.3 5

West Virginia

694.4 -1.8 897 41 0.3 51

Wisconsin

2,893.8 0.1 929 33 3.1 37

Wyoming

283.1 1.5 942 31 4.2 7

Puerto Rico

878.9 1.9 528 (3) -0.8 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.8 9.6 1,012 (3) 12.8 (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 Minnesota, third quarter 2019

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, March 23, 2020