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News Release Information

20-2162-CHI
Wednesday, January 06, 2021

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

County Employment and Wages in Iowa — Second Quarter 2020

Employment declined in the four largest counties in Iowa from June 2019 to June 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 Scott County had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment at 9.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 9.4 percent over the year, with all of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 34.2 percent.

Among the four largest counties in Iowa, employment was highest in Polk County (282,300) in June 2020. Within Polk County’s private industry, finance and insurance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the four largest Iowa counties accounted for 38.8 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 95 counties in Iowa with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all 95 smaller counties were below the national average in the second quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All four large Iowa counties reported average weekly wage gains from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Two counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 8.6 percent. Polk County had the largest gain at 10.8 percent. Over-the-year wage gains among Iowa’s remaining large counties ranged from 10.2 percent to 7.6 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 352 had over-the-year wage increases. The increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest percentage wage increase (+22.5 percent). Five large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-6.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the four largest counties in Iowa were below the national average of $1,188 in the second quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in three of these counties ranked among the top half nationwide: Polk ($1,176, 107th), Linn ($1,096, 165th), and Johnson ($1,094, 167th).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 101 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the second quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,045. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 256 counties. At $698 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Iowa’s smaller counties

Among the 95 smaller counties in Iowa–those with employment below 75,000–none reported average weekly wages greater than the national average of $1,188. Dallas County ($1,174) reported the highest average weekly wage in the state, while Decatur County ($666) reported the lowest average weekly wage.

When all 99 counties in Iowa were considered, 28 reported average weekly wages of less than $800, 28 registered wages from $800 to $849, 23 had wages from $850 to $899, and 20 had average weekly wages of $900 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 third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on Second Quarter 2020 QCEW Data

Response rate tables for the second quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-second-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, see www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.

Special Notice: Imputation Methodology Improvements

QCEW implemented improvements to imputation methodology, effective with second quarter 2020 processing. For more information on QCEW imputation methodology and the impact of the improved methods, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.

Special Notice: Business Response Survey

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the novel coronavirus through September 2020. Data for the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic were released on December 7, 2020. For more information, please visit: www.bls.gov/brs/.


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 four largest counties in Iowa, second quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,451.0135,114.4-9.4--$1,188--8.6--

Iowa

104.71,458.8-8.0--978368.427

Johnson

4.477.2-7.51211,09416710.298

Linn

7.1122.3-8.01381,0961657.6215

Polk

18.3282.3-8.51571,17610710.884

Scott

5.884.0-9.92029342977.7209

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 Iowa, second quarter 2020
AreaEmployment June 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

135,114,354$1,188

Iowa

1,458,774978

Adair

2,824803

Adams

1,165762

Allamakee

4,783751

Appanoose

4,468765

Audubon

1,796766

Benton

5,765815

Black Hawk

68,346945

Boone

8,677861

Bremer

9,331842

Buchanan

6,489780

Buena Vista

10,751862

Butler

3,380757

Calhoun

2,741815

Carroll

10,774795

Cass

5,632780

Cedar

5,077808

Cerro Gordo

23,659864

Cherokee

4,857848

Chickasaw

4,730866

Clarke

4,144808

Clay

8,328837

Clayton

6,407843

Clinton

18,842841

Crawford

6,487887

Dallas

44,0581,174

Davis

1,975797

Decatur

2,222666

Delaware

6,663867

Des Moines

19,393835

Dickinson

10,232732

Dubuque

55,171931

Emmet

3,531801

Fayette

6,706741

Floyd

5,263891

Franklin

3,883892

Fremont

2,193824

Greene

3,239848

Grundy

4,178934

Guthrie

3,064858

Hamilton

5,647826

Hancock

5,925804

Hardin

6,443833

Harrison

3,948786

Henry

8,558851

Howard

4,132751

Humboldt

3,693884

Ida

3,614883

Iowa

9,321766

Jackson

5,763738

Jasper

10,810820

Jefferson

6,725909

Johnson

77,2101,094

Jones

5,614810

Keokuk

2,190784

Kossuth

6,426863

Lee

14,538906

Linn

122,2901,096

Louisa

3,866909

Lucas

3,619833

Lyon

4,588736

Madison

3,760788

Mahaska

7,735857

Marion

17,473896

Marshall

15,518907

Mills

3,418882

Mitchell

4,265933

Monona

2,522735

Monroe

3,4331,057

Montgomery

3,852845

Muscatine

21,211988

O'Brien

6,480772

Osceola

2,441813

Page

5,698821

Palo Alto

3,600778

Plymouth

11,469962

Pocahontas

3,009889

Polk

282,2911,176

Pottawattamie

36,444874

Poweshiek

9,370943

Ringgold

1,291763

Sac

2,914802

Scott

83,958934

Shelby

5,321817

Sioux

20,833858

Story

42,6741,068

Tama

5,335853

Taylor

1,861731

Union

5,620826

Van Buren

1,925741

Wapello

15,033888

Warren

11,514860

Washington

8,013748

Wayne

1,786820

Webster

17,037929

Winnebago

4,023762

Winneshiek

9,870848

Woodbury

47,936898

Worth

2,190767

Wright

6,098927

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, second quarter 2020
StateEstablishments,
second quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
June 2019–20
Second quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
second quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,451.0135,114.4-9.4$1,188--8.6--

Alabama

131.21,868.7-6.4964405.942

Alaska

22.7296.2-12.71,1951411.211

Arizona

170.72,708.4-5.11,090227.930

Arkansas

93.01,156.5-5.5924477.333

California

1,633.115,911.2-10.21,468410.912

Colorado

216.42,545.9-8.01,22698.725

Connecticut

123.41,483.6-12.31,407611.39

Delaware

34.5416.0-9.31,156179.022

District of Columbia

41.7701.8-10.01,987111.77

Florida

738.08,113.8-7.11,032286.640

Georgia

307.24,196.0-7.01,075235.744

Hawaii

45.9524.9-20.11,1082112.06

Idaho

67.9748.3-2.3882507.632

Illinois

379.65,391.8-11.31,218108.626

Indiana

171.62,865.7-7.3960415.645

Iowa

104.71,458.8-8.0978368.427

Kansas

90.01,306.0-7.0969387.134

Kentucky

125.41,754.0-8.2970376.441

Louisiana

137.81,710.1-11.0985346.739

Maine

53.8572.5-10.89803512.35

Maryland

175.82,430.3-11.21,305810.713

Massachusetts

263.13,178.8-14.31,570214.01

Michigan

268.53,850.9-12.91,114209.516

Minnesota

185.42,644.6-10.51,200139.022

Mississippi

73.81,063.1-6.4812515.942

Missouri

215.92,622.2-7.51,015327.134

Montana

51.5459.5-4.9919489.119

Nebraska

72.9932.3-6.0960418.028

Nevada

85.91,191.6-15.41,048269.119

New Hampshire

54.8605.4-10.51,2151211.58

New Jersey

284.13,570.3-14.61,376711.39

New Mexico

62.4757.0-9.4958437.831

New York

652.08,142.6-15.91,520312.84

North Carolina

296.24,205.4-6.91,038276.937

North Dakota

32.4390.1-9.71,061243.351

Ohio

302.35,049.8-8.01,031297.036

Oklahoma

112.11,521.3-6.3940444.449

Oregon

160.91,789.3-9.61,1431910.315

Pennsylvania

362.85,314.5-11.11,170169.218

Rhode Island

39.5429.3-13.21,1721513.13

South Carolina

144.41,991.0-7.2928466.937

South Dakota

34.7415.9-5.9912499.022

Tennessee

171.12,847.2-6.61,016315.346

Texas

727.411,807.1-6.31,156175.047

Utah

111.61,474.8-3.01,017309.119

Vermont

26.1271.8-13.61,0552513.62

Virginia

283.33,635.2-8.81,218109.417

Washington

253.83,207.1-8.41,424510.614

West Virginia

51.3634.9-9.4933454.948

Wisconsin

179.22,690.0-8.71,014338.028

Wyoming

27.2260.5-9.6965393.750

Puerto Rico

46.1798.7-7.9556(3)4.7(3)

Virgin Islands

3.435.4-7.01,016(3)6.9(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.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 06, 2021