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21-924-CHI
Friday, July 09, 2021

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

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2020

Employment fell in the 13 largest counties in Illinois from December 2019 to December 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that Cook County (-10.1 percent), Kane County (-9.1 percent), and Winnebago County (-9.0 percent) had the largest over-the-year decreases in employment. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 6.1 percent over the year, with 352 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Maui + Kalawao, HI, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 22.8 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 3.8 percent.

Among the 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,377,000) in December 2020. Within Cook County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the 13 largest Illinois counties accounted for 80.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 88 of the 89 smaller counties were below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All 13 large Illinois counties reported average weekly wage gains from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Five counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 13.0 percent, with the largest gain in McLean County (+18.4 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Illinois’ eight other large counties ranged from 12.9 percent to 7.5 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 356 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, across most industries, increases in average weekly wages reflect substantial employment declines combined with wage increases. The lowest paying industry, leisure and hospitality, had the largest employment loss, which results in higher average weekly wages for the industry and the nation. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+44.3 percent). Ector, TX, had the only over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of the 13 largest counties in Illinois were above the national average of $1,339 in the fourth quarter of 2020. Weekly wages in these three counties ranked among the top 75 nationwide: Lake ($1,637, 25th), Cook ($1,571, 39th), and DuPage ($1,456, 56th).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 89 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,690. Average weekly wages were below the national average in the remaining 268 counties. At $760 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Illinois’ smaller counties

Among the 89 smaller counties in Illinois—those with employment below 75,000—Rock Island ($1,561) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,339. Pope County ($609) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 102 counties in Illinois were considered, 14 reported average weekly wages of less than $800, 35 registered wages from $800 to $899, 25 had wages from $900 to $999, and 28 had average weekly wages of $1,000 or higher. (See chart 3.)

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 2019 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm. The 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

QCEW Imputation Issue Caused by Pandemic-Related Challenges

In the spring of 2020, BLS modified its imputation process for QCEW to be more responsive to current economic conditions. While continuing work to improve this process, BLS made an unintended data processing error. This error affected data for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020. BLS has analyzed this issue and has determined that the impact on QCEW employment was negligible at the statewide level. In smaller areas and industries, revisions may be larger than usual. Wage data were not affected. Following the usual QCEW practice, these data will be revised and corrected with the full data update on September 1, 2021.

For more information on QCEW imputation methodology, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.


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 individuals with sensory impairments 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 2020
AreaEstablishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,675.8140,881.3-6.1--$1,339--13.0--

Illinois

386.35,573.8-7.8--1,3781013.018

Champaign

4.288.4-5.01271,08626210.7261

Cook

140.72,377.0-10.13301,5713914.666

DuPage

34.8572.7-7.82561,4565611.9199

Kane

12.7194.0-9.13051,16619713.3127

Lake

20.4317.0-7.32411,6372512.7161

Madison

5.4101.0-3.9789903279.8299

McHenry

7.990.4-7.12301,02431410.9255

McLean

3.377.5-6.01741,17519218.411

Peoria

4.297.3-6.82181,3339114.569

Sangamon

4.8121.6-5.91701,2041697.5333

St. Clair

5.086.3-7.62471,03230714.859

Will

15.4241.8-5.91701,09725412.9147

Winnebago

5.9115.2-9.03011,05328610.0291

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from 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 2020
AreaEmployment December 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,881,253$1,339

Illinois

5,573,8161,378

Adams

31,2511,024

Alexander

858837

Bond

4,173850

Boone

17,3081,062

Brown

4,3441,071

Bureau

10,608949

Calhoun

685617

Carroll

4,021918

Cass

5,241928

Champaign

88,4371,086

Christian

9,026888

Clark

4,248830

Clay

4,686875

Clinton

11,743881

Coles

22,518771

Cook

2,376,9561,571

Crawford

6,6211,082

Cumberland

2,801805

De Kalb

34,0661,050

De Witt

4,6481,183

Douglas

7,324923

Du Page

572,6591,456

Edgar

6,839975

Edwards

2,042846

Effingham

22,066941

Fayette

5,390785

Ford

4,480993

Franklin

8,174780

Fulton

7,653804

Gallatin

833869

Greene

2,244798

Grundy

20,7561,224

Hamilton

1,843896

Hancock

3,793813

Hardin

647699

Henderson

1,050684

Henry

13,175929

Iroquois

7,082810

Jackson

23,679921

Jasper

2,046852

Jefferson

18,706992

Jersey

4,842813

Jo Daviess

6,603862

Johnson

2,270941

Kane

194,0461,166

Kankakee

42,229972

Kendall

27,583904

Knox

15,996803

La Salle

38,7261,008

Lake

317,0071,637

Lawrence

4,209936

Lee

12,4931,020

Livingston

12,8921,031

Logan

8,343971

Macon

44,1401,140

Macoupin

9,725870

Madison

100,981990

Marion

12,055859

Marshall

2,798859

Mason

2,761805

Massac

2,785910

McDonough

9,443897

McHenry

90,3581,024

McLean

77,4951,175

Menard

1,591804

Mercer

2,901796

Monroe

7,904876

Montgomery

8,290852

Morgan

13,492891

Moultrie

4,816924

Ogle

14,3961,054

Peoria

97,3171,333

Perry

4,426884

Piatt

3,362840

Pike

3,753793

Pope

484609

Pulaski

1,248802

Putnam

1,6591,229

Randolph

11,648995

Richland

5,676856

Rock Island

68,9541,561

Saline

7,367772

Sangamon

121,5711,204

Schuyler

1,382808

Scott

883826

Shelby

4,778824

St. Clair

86,3031,032

Stark

1,349937

Stephenson

16,462975

Tazewell

43,901970

Union

4,727788

Vermilion

24,862972

Wabash

3,172927

Warren

5,915845

Washington

6,3821,044

Wayne

3,698750

White

3,822744

Whiteside

19,978890

Will

241,7501,097

Williamson

27,126902

Winnebago

115,2261,053

Woodford

9,8721,007

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 2020
StateEstablishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,675.8140,881.3-6.1$1,339--13.0--

Alabama

134.61,951.2-2.91,0963511.436

Alaska

23.1290.1-6.41,2601710.644

Arizona

173.92,908.7-3.31,2142214.69

Arkansas

94.61,194.8-3.29994911.436

California

1,660.216,380.1-8.31,724318.51

Colorado

219.62,613.7-5.71,3781012.325

Connecticut

126.81,578.4-6.51,551612.227

Delaware

35.1432.9-5.21,2621611.338

District of Columbia

43.8713.0-8.92,293115.26

Florida

765.48,642.8-5.01,1802413.117

Georgia

319.74,405.9-4.01,2082310.942

Hawaii

47.3561.1-16.11,2192116.04

Idaho

71.8763.50.81,0344712.821

Illinois

386.35,573.8-7.81,3781013.018

Indiana

173.12,985.1-4.01,0763911.239

Iowa

105.61,494.3-4.31,0993411.632

Kansas

89.91,346.9-4.51,0704011.534

Kentucky

130.41,839.6-4.81,0574210.843

Louisiana

140.81,796.9-7.01,078388.648

Maine

55.4594.3-4.31,0923614.510

Maryland

174.52,546.1-6.71,445813.616

Massachusetts

266.73,365.8-8.31,766217.03

Michigan

265.33,998.2-8.91,2571912.821

Minnesota

186.42,684.1-7.91,3221312.325

Mississippi

76.11,119.1-2.49015110.445

Missouri

221.52,724.4-4.31,1273311.632

Montana

54.6467.4-1.41,0354512.723

Nebraska

72.5962.7-2.91,0793711.534

Nevada

90.21,283.1-10.71,1782514.411

New Hampshire

57.1637.3-5.21,406917.92

New Jersey

291.03,860.5-7.21,517713.915

New Mexico

64.8767.1-9.51,0524311.829

New York

662.48,693.4-10.31,712414.213

North Carolina

301.74,431.0-2.71,1522911.239

North Dakota

32.6394.4-7.11,136314.750

Ohio

307.35,199.9-5.11,1612712.028

Oklahoma

113.61,569.1-4.41,013487.349

Oregon

167.31,824.3-7.51,2562014.213

Pennsylvania

370.55,549.4-7.41,2871512.624

Rhode Island

40.7449.6-8.31,2591814.77

South Carolina

149.22,074.4-3.51,0354511.141

South Dakota

35.5422.8-1.91,0484414.411

Tennessee

176.23,002.5-2.71,1722611.730

Texas

743.112,251.1-4.31,294149.047

Utah

117.91,557.80.61,1542812.920

Vermont

26.6286.1-8.91,1333214.77

Virginia

289.83,796.1-4.71,3601213.018

Washington

259.73,219.7-6.81,589516.04

West Virginia

51.9654.1-5.39975010.346

Wisconsin

184.22,762.5-4.81,1403011.730

Wyoming

27.7260.2-5.31,061414.651

Puerto Rico

46.0873.8-4.0621(3)8.0(3)

Virgin Islands

3.535.3-11.51,057(3)-1.3(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: Friday, July 09, 2021