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News Release Information

20-344-CHI
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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

County Employment and Wages in Wisconsin — Third Quarter 2019

Employment rose in 2 of the 7 largest counties in Wisconsin 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 employment increased 1.8 percent over the year in Dane County and 0.4 percent in Waukesha County. (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 seven largest counties in Wisconsin, employment was highest in Milwaukee County (488,200) in September 2019, followed by Dane (342,300) and Waukesha (246,300). Together, the seven largest Wisconsin counties accounted for 52.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

All seven large Wisconsin counties reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, with the largest gain in Winnebago County (3.4 percent). Dane County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,062. 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 65 counties in Wisconsin 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 3.4-percent annual average weekly wage gain in Winnebago County tied for 182nd among the nation’s 355 largest counties in the third quarter of 2019. Over-the-year wage gains among Wisconsin’s other six large counties ranged from 3.2 percent to 1.2 percent.

Nationally, 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 the state’s seven large counties were all below the national average of $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. Average weekly wages in Dane County ($1,062) ranked 118th nationwide. The average weekly wage in Waukesha County ($1,054) and Milwaukee County ($1,008) ranked 127th and 164th, respectively.

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.

Average weekly wages in Wisconsin’s smaller counties

All 65 smaller counties in Wisconsin–those with employment below 75,000–reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,093. Among these smaller counties, Sheboygan posted the highest weekly wage, $925, followed by Marathon ($919), Ozaukee ($911), Eau Claire ($904) and Wood ($895). Florence County reported the lowest average wage in the state at $552 per week, followed by Iron County at $585 per week.

When all 72 counties in Wisconsin were considered, 16 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 29 registered wages from $700 to $799, 16 had wages from $800 to $899, and 11 had average weekly wages of $900 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 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 7 largest counties in Wisconsin, third quarter 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.51.1--$1,093--3.6--

Wisconsin

2,893.80.1--929333.137

Brown

159.1-0.63219472123.2202

Dane

342.31.8841,0621183.2202

Milwaukee

488.2-0.53141,0081643.0227

Outagamie

108.7-0.33049172522.2288

Racine

75.5-0.33049102611.2336

Waukesha

246.30.42381,0541273.1212

Winnebago

92.7-0.12949681913.4182

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 Wisconsin, third quarter 2019
AreaEmployment September 2019Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525$1,093

Wisconsin

2,893,841929

Adams

4,682714

Ashland

8,198766

Barron

22,119776

Bayfield

4,491618

Brown

159,133947

Buffalo

3,921743

Burnett

4,642663

Calumet

14,325780

Chippewa

24,797825

Clark

11,091747

Columbia

23,029790

Crawford

7,301682

Dane

342,3191,062

Dodge

36,030866

Door

14,907664

Douglas

15,864769

Dunn

17,515785

Eau Claire

58,477904

Florence

1,044552

Fond du Lac

47,913863

Forest

3,244733

Grant

17,896704

Green

15,728795

Green Lake

6,130730

Iowa

10,383810

Iron

1,699585

Jackson

8,900849

Jefferson

33,318777

Juneau

9,470765

Kenosha

67,070814

Kewaunee

6,832767

La Crosse

69,391884

Lafayette

4,347718

Langlade

7,412691

Lincoln

10,928808

Manitowoc

33,720811

Marathon

71,682919

Marinette

18,339784

Marquette

4,095673

Menominee

2,039633

Milwaukee

488,1671,008

Monroe

21,053824

Oconto

9,150700

Oneida

16,250802

Outagamie

108,713917

Ozaukee

42,938911

Pepin

2,292713

Pierce

10,438698

Polk

15,862717

Portage

34,192824

Price

5,269722

Racine

75,475910

Richland

5,857704

Rock

67,769883

Rusk

4,905675

St. Croix

34,447813

Sauk

37,446767

Sawyer

7,228694

Shawano

12,764656

Sheboygan

61,759925

Taylor

8,123740

Trempealeau

13,896796

Vernon

8,800707

Vilas

8,418634

Walworth

42,793739

Washburn

5,904698

Washington

56,784871

Waukesha

246,2651,054

Waupaca

19,583737

Waushara

6,310661

Winnebago

92,676968

Wood

39,184895

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
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,556.51.1$1,093--3.6--

Alabama

1,989.51.1919363.818

Alaska

338.01.21,105143.721

Arizona

2,913.42.61,018224.54

Arkansas

1,222.80.0841493.818

California

17,713.11.41,30953.818

Colorado

2,749.02.41,17086.11

Connecticut

1,676.6-0.31,23662.350

Delaware

453.21.11,078153.332

District of Columbia

776.40.61,85112.549

Florida

8,838.21.7955293.427

Georgia

4,509.71.41,026203.427

Hawaii

654.1-0.31,012233.915

Idaho

765.22.9838504.110

Illinois

6,023.10.01,125103.623

Indiana

3,083.50.3914373.526

Iowa

1,556.90.1914373.039

Kansas

1,395.90.4893432.943

Kentucky

1,910.80.7884453.427

Louisiana

1,913.5-0.3923352.647

Maine

632.60.9887444.27

Maryland

2,696.90.21,16993.623

Massachusetts

3,642.50.91,35924.27

Michigan

4,375.80.21,021213.039

Minnesota

2,917.80.41,107133.039

Mississippi

1,135.80.1768512.746

Missouri

2,826.50.6942313.915

Montana

478.91.2848483.915

Nebraska

984.70.3908394.013

Nevada

1,412.22.1973264.110

New Hampshire

667.90.81,075163.427

New Jersey

4,104.00.91,21773.039

New Mexico

842.11.7899405.12

New York

9,575.41.11,31443.332

North Carolina

4,501.32.2972273.623

North Dakota

428.40.91,028193.332

Ohio

5,443.30.3976253.137

Oklahoma

1,628.80.5897412.647

Oregon

1,970.71.41,037183.235

Pennsylvania

5,947.90.81,064173.235

Rhode Island

491.30.6991242.844

South Carolina

2,132.42.2866463.721

South Dakota

433.40.4855473.427

Tennessee

3,060.81.9966282.844

Texas

12,603.22.11,109124.110

Utah

1,535.22.8954304.83

Vermont

311.00.0927344.35

Virginia

3,931.41.01,125104.013

Washington

3,489.82.11,33534.35

West Virginia

694.4-1.8897410.351

Wisconsin

2,893.80.1929333.137

Wyoming

283.11.5942314.27

Puerto Rico

878.91.9528(3)-0.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.89.61,012(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.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020