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21-351-CHI
Thursday, April 08, 2021

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County Employment and Wages in Wisconsin — Third Quarter 2020

Employment fell in all of the seven largest counties in Wisconsin 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 Milwaukee County and Racine County had the largest over-the-year decreases in employment at 8.0 percent and 5.8 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 seven largest counties in Wisconsin, employment was highest in Milwaukee County (449,300) in September 2020. Within Milwaukee County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment (93,558). Together, the seven largest Wisconsin counties accounted for 51.9 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 65 counties in Wisconsin with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of the 65 smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All seven large Wisconsin counties reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Dane County has the largest gain (+6.7 percent), followed by Brown County (+6.5 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Wisconsin’s other large counties ranged from 5.9 percent to 4.4 percent. Average weekly wages for the nation increased 7.4 percent over the year.


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

Average weekly wages in all seven of the largest counties in Wisconsin were below the national average of $1,173 in the third quarter of 2020. Among the large counties in the state, Dane County ($1,124) had the highest average weekly wage. Outagamie and Racine Counties had the lowest weekly wages ($964 each).

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 Wisconsin’s smaller counties

Among the 65 smaller counties in Wisconsin—those with employment below 75,000—all reported an average weekly wage below the national average of $1,173. Sheboygan County ($975) reported the highest average weekly wage in the state, while Florence County ($550) reported the state's lowest average weekly wage.

When all 72 counties in Wisconsin were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 24 registered wages from $700 to $799, 24 had wages from $800 to $899, and 16 had average weekly wages of $900 or higher. (See chart 3.) The higher-paying counties were located in and around the Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Madison metropolitan areas and the smaller areas of Racine and Kenosha.

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 seven largest counties in Wisconsin, 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--

Wisconsin

181.22,746.6-5.2--977345.343

Brown

7.3151.3-4.9901,0122156.5221

Dane

16.6327.2-5.21051,1241286.7209

Milwaukee

27.8449.3-8.02451,0531844.4312

Outagamie

5.7103.3-5.0949642645.4276

Racine

4.870.9-5.81459642645.9254

Waukesha

13.9234.3-4.9901,1031494.6307

Winnebago

4.090.1-2.6241,0152134.4312

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 2020
AreaEmployment September 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503$1,173

Wisconsin

2,746,631977

Adams

4,277719

Ashland

7,570823

Barron

21,176782

Bayfield

4,144645

Brown

151,2571,012

Buffalo

3,821780

Burnett

4,562680

Calumet

14,657825

Chippewa

24,389836

Clark

10,891790

Columbia

22,207838

Crawford

6,982721

Dane

327,2321,124

Dodge

35,209926

Door

13,983720

Douglas

15,414827

Dunn

17,052818

Eau Claire

55,376939

Florence

1,014550

Fond du Lac

45,214914

Forest

2,802764

Grant

17,605739

Green

14,827813

Green Lake

5,796774

Iowa

9,500811

Iron

1,603638

Jackson

7,948843

Jefferson

32,418843

Juneau

9,006815

Kenosha

66,490883

Kewaunee

6,499800

La Crosse

65,822916

Lafayette

4,097763

Langlade

7,255723

Lincoln

10,320849

Manitowoc

32,271832

Marathon

68,462962

Marinette

17,940813

Marquette

3,953698

Menominee

1,875684

Milwaukee

449,2531,053

Monroe

20,297860

Oconto

8,691733

Oneida

15,762846

Outagamie

103,333964

Ozaukee

40,434931

Pepin

2,232808

Pierce

10,074748

Polk

15,250755

Portage

32,338882

Price

4,952751

Racine

70,851964

Richland

5,723716

Rock

64,106927

Rusk

4,685711

St. Croix

33,218866

Sauk

33,471808

Sawyer

6,798751

Shawano

12,092682

Sheboygan

58,798975

Taylor

8,232778

Trempealeau

13,089819

Vernon

8,351773

Vilas

8,264716

Walworth

40,520788

Washburn

5,667730

Washington

54,409896

Waukesha

234,3371,103

Waupaca

18,832753

Waushara

6,062696

Winnebago

90,0851,015

Wood

36,753923

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