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21-350-CHI
Thursday, April 08, 2021

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Technical information:
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County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2020

Employment fell in all eight of the largest counties in Minnesota from September 2019 to September 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 Hennepin County and Ramsey County had the largest over-the-year decreases in employment at 9.7 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 6.8 percent over the year, with 355 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 35.4 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 1.9 percent.

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin County (849,900) in September 2020. Within Hennepin County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the eight largest Minnesota counties accounted for 66.8 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 79 counties in Minnesota with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of the 79 smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Seven of the eight large Minnesota counties reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Hennepin County (+9.0 percent) and Dakota (+8.1 percent) had wage gains that were above the national rate of 7.4 percent. Olmsted County’s average weekly wages declined 4.4 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 350 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, the increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Employment declines occurring in some higher-paid industries also feature significant wage increases. San Mateo, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+23.2 percent). Seven large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-11.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the 3 of the 8 largest counties in Minnesota were above the national average of $1,173 in the third quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in these three counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Hennepin ($1,447, 26th), Ramsey ($1,263, 65th), and Olmsted ($1,224, 81st).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 96 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2020. San Mateo, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,922. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 261 counties. At $697 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in Minnesota—those with employment below 75,000— all reported an average weekly wage below the national average of $1,173. Carver County ($1,069) reported the highest average weekly wage in the state, while Fillmore County ($694) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 13 reported average weekly wages of less than $750, 27 registered wages from $750 to $849, 33 had wages from $850 to $949, and 14 had average weekly wages of $950 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 fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.


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 eight largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,561.3138,549.5-6.8--$1,173--7.4--

Minnesota

183.12,703.3-7.4--1,178126.427

Anoka

7.9121.5-6.81991,1261263.6328

Dakota

10.8177.0-7.72261,1391168.1125

Hennepin

41.7849.9-9.73131,447269.075

Olmsted

3.896.7-3.6471,22481-4.4354

Ramsey

14.3305.6-9.22971,263655.5271

St. Louis

5.490.1-8.12489472803.5329

Stearns

4.481.6-6.11651,0102196.9196

Washington

6.284.5-5.0949442864.2316

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 2020
AreaEmployment September 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503$1,173

Minnesota

2,703,2821,178

Aitkin

4,197742

Anoka

121,4501,126

Becker

13,896784

Beltrami

20,034896

Benton

17,296911

Big Stone

1,685803

Blue Earth

37,494930

Brown

13,234869

Carlton

12,380958

Carver

37,3501,069

Cass

9,872729

Chippewa

5,375779

Chisago

15,219937

Clay

18,644874

Clearwater

2,616859

Cook

2,723707

Cottonwood

5,405836

Crow Wing

28,673844

Dakota

176,9921,139

Dodge

5,841988

Douglas

18,782876

Faribault

4,395838

Fillmore

6,082694

Freeborn

11,531833

Goodhue

19,892952

Grant

1,848778

Hennepin

849,8731,447

Houston

5,087703

Hubbard

6,165796

Isanti

11,022828

Itasca

15,494846

Jackson

4,870776

Kanabec

3,866890

Kandiyohi

23,658854

Kittson

1,478732

Koochiching

4,183880

Lac qui Parle

2,089737

Lake

3,860891

Lake of the Woods

1,575747

Le Sueur

8,653914

Lincoln

1,498697

Lyon

12,928943

McLeod

15,019910

Mahnomen

1,472808

Marshall

2,348920

Martin

7,859887

Meeker

7,100838

Mille Lacs

8,784776

Morrison

10,648781

Mower

15,946989

Murray

2,889780

Nicollet

14,153926

Nobles

10,085927

Norman

1,526768

Olmsted

96,6911,224

Otter Tail

22,517810

Pennington

9,753944

Pine

7,431716

Pipestone

4,190789

Polk

12,001872

Pope

4,269858

Ramsey

305,5781,263

Red Lake

1,054727

Redwood

5,834836

Renville

5,686851

Rice

24,119952

Rock

3,240771

Roseau

7,477948

St. Louis

90,140947

Scott

52,6971,037

Sherburne

25,749945

Sibley

4,357879

Stearns

81,6121,010

Steele

19,685908

Stevens

5,4001,001

Swift

3,280790

Todd

6,463849

Traverse

1,178719

Wabasha

6,703785

Wadena

5,319797

Waseca

5,906865

Washington

84,514944

Watonwan

4,275786

Wilkin

1,623941

Winona

22,862889

Wright

43,918920

Yellow Medicine

3,816744

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 2020
StateEstablishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,561.3138,549.5-6.8$1,173--7.4--

Alabama

132.21,902.4-4.5978336.427

Alaska

22.9302.6-10.71,165145.442

Arizona

174.12,797.1-4.21,091227.317

Arkansas

93.61,180.1-3.4892496.131

California

1,643.816,096.8-9.21,466412.01

Colorado

220.12,597.2-5.61,23595.638

Connecticut

125.41,555.6-7.31,32877.415

Delaware

34.9428.8-5.61,150156.821

District of Columbia

43.3713.7-8.11,96216.131

Florida

749.18,329.7-5.81,029278.011

Georgia

313.04,282.1-5.21,084235.835

Hawaii

46.5507.5-22.91,1141810.34

Idaho

70.7763.7-0.2884505.541

Illinois

385.95,558.5-7.81,199116.821

Indiana

172.42,941.8-4.7961395.343

Iowa

105.11,475.0-5.2969366.034

Kansas

89.21,325.4-5.0952406.624

Kentucky

128.01,807.1-5.5935435.835

Louisiana

139.51,734.6-9.6970355.245

Maine

54.4597.3-5.9966379.09

Maryland

172.42,496.6-7.61,27789.57

Massachusetts

265.13,314.8-9.41,48829.76

Michigan

266.94,035.9-7.91,096207.514

Minnesota

183.12,703.3-7.41,178126.427

Mississippi

74.91,092.4-4.0810515.638

Missouri

218.82,681.7-5.1995325.638

Montana

53.0466.9-2.5904486.624

Nebraska

73.7949.9-3.8964386.427

Nevada

87.91,251.0-11.61,048247.813

New Hampshire

56.1634.2-5.21,171138.910

New Jersey

289.33,778.4-8.01,33169.57

New Mexico

63.1771.9-8.6944415.146

New York

657.68,547.7-10.81,446510.05

North Carolina

301.44,308.2-4.41,039266.920

North Dakota

32.5398.2-7.01,02528-0.350

Ohio

305.75,136.8-5.61,040256.624

Oklahoma

112.41,538.5-5.7917462.348

Oregon

164.61,837.3-7.01,113197.415

Pennsylvania

366.55,501.0-7.61,139177.019

Rhode Island

40.1452.5-8.01,0922110.43

South Carolina

146.62,022.9-5.2924446.723

South Dakota

35.2422.3-2.6918457.218

Tennessee

173.62,918.1-4.61,022295.835

Texas

733.111,926.8-5.51,150153.847

Utah

114.31,518.2-1.01,015306.131

Vermont

26.4283.9-8.61,001317.912

Virginia

285.73,737.0-5.01,201106.427

Washington

256.63,266.2-6.31,482311.02

West Virginia

51.7649.1-6.7913471.849

Wisconsin

181.22,746.6-5.2977345.343

Wyoming

27.5264.0-6.893942-0.451

Puerto Rico

45.7831.6-5.3547(3)3.4(3)

Virgin Islands

3.433.9-13.01,019(3)-0.5(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: Thursday, April 08, 2021