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News Release Information

21-348-CHI
Thursday, April 15, 2021

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

County Employment and Wages in North Dakota — Third Quarter 2020

Employment fell 3.9 percent in North Dakota’s only large county, Cass, 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 in September 2020, Cass County’s employment level was 116,700. (See 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.

Cass County’s employment accounted for 29.3 percent of total employment within the state in September 2020. Within the county’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment (21,116). 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 52 counties in North Dakota with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 45 of the 52 smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Cass County’s 6.5-percent wage growth from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020 was lower than the national rate of 7.4 percent and ranked 221st nationally. 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

Cass County’s $1,058 average weekly wage was below the national average of $1,173 and ranked 179th among the 357 large U.S. counties in the third quarter of 2020 (See table 1.) 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 North Dakota’s smaller counties

Among the 52 smaller counties in North Dakota—those with employment below 75,000—seven counties reported average weekly wages above the national average of $1,173. Oliver County ($1,493) reported the highest average weekly wage among North Dakota’s small counties, while Sheridan County ($538) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 53 counties in North Dakota were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages of less than $750, 12 registered wages from $750 to $849, 15 had wages from $850 to $949, and 14 had average weekly wages of $950 or higher. (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 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 largest county in North Dakota, 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--

North Dakota

32.5398.2-7.0--1,02528-0.350

Cass

7.7116.7-3.9511,0581796.5221

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 North Dakota, third quarter 2020
AreaEmployment September 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503$1,173

North Dakota

398,2101,025

Adams

857830

Barnes

4,374795

Benson

1,958826

Billings

685729

Bottineau

2,353853

Bowman

1,446818

Burke

6341,058

Burleigh

54,6571,039

Cass

116,7471,058

Cavalier

1,338858

Dickey

1,758725

Divide

703879

Dunn

1,8191,228

Eddy

710712

Emmons

997728

Foster

1,569878

Golden Valley

593741

Grand Forks

37,608932

Grant

561704

Griggs

795793

Hettinger

708882

Kidder

788792

LaMoure

1,317724

Logan

600606

McHenry

1,306863

McIntosh

1,016732

McKenzie

9,2551,449

McLean

3,4081,200

Mercer

4,0861,309

Morton

11,728921

Mountrail

5,0901,200

Nelson

993672

Oliver

7011,493

Pembina

3,576914

Pierce

1,605794

Ramsey

5,566819

Ransom

1,984742

Renville

719762

Richland

7,626851

Rolette

4,062815

Sargent

3,723860

Sheridan

218538

Sioux

1,490944

Slope

1281,058

Stark

17,2891,105

Steele

5461,003

Stutsman

10,560891

Towner

738785

Traill

3,488890

Walsh

5,074854

Ward

29,696982

Wells

1,468752

Williams

22,7341,314

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 15, 2021