News Release Information

17-611-CHI
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2016

Eight of Illinois’ 13 large counties reported employment decreases from December 2015 to December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2015 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that Peoria County had the largest decrease in employment at 2.1 percent, followed by Winnebago (-1.4 percent) and Sangamon (-1.3 percent). Five counties experienced employment increases, including Will County, up 3.1 percent, and Madison County, up 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.2 percent from December 2015 to December 2016 with 280 of the 344 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.1 percent over the year. Lafayette, La., had the largest percentage employment decline among the large counties, down 5.1 percent.

Among the 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,590,200) in December 2016. Two other large counties, Du Page (616,700) and Lake (332,400), had employment levels of more than 300,000. Collectively, Illinois' 13 large counties accounted for 80.8 percent of the state's employment with Cook County alone accounting for 43.6 percent. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average weekly wages in Champaign County increased 3.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016, the only large county in the state with an annual wage gain. (See table 1.) Lake County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,376, followed by Cook ($1,250) and Du Page ($1,209) Counties. Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 1.5 percent over the year, declining to $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is one of only eight declines in the history of the series, which dates back to 1978.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties in Illinois with employment levels below 75,000. Eighty-six of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages in 12 of the 13 large counties in Illinois decreased from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016. McLean County’s 9.2-percent decrease in average weekly wages was the largest decline among the state’s large counties. McLean’s over-the-year percentage decrease was also the largest among the 344 large U.S. counties. Over-the-year wage decreases in three other large counties in the state also ranked in the bottom quartile nationwide: Lake (-4.5 percent, 323rd), Madison (-3.8 percent, 306th), and Sangamon (-3.5 percent, 289th). (See table 1.)

Among the 344 large U.S. counties, 290 had over-the-year wage decreases in the fourth quarter of 2016. As noted, McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages (-9.2 percent). Clay, Mo., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 8.3 percent, followed by Lafayette, La. (-8.0 percent), and Douglas, Colo. (-6.8 percent).

Forty-eight large U.S. counties experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest wage gain, up 11.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Washington, Pa., was second with a wage gain of 4.9 percent, followed by Marin, Calif. (4.3 percent), and Elkhart, Ind. (4.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Illinois' 13 large counties were above the national average of $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016 and ranked in the top 50 nationwide: Lake ($1,376, 20th), Cook ($1,250, 40th), and Du Page ($1,209, 49th). St. Clair ($830) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties and ranked 307th nationwide.

Seventy-one percent of the large U.S. counties (243) reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,067. Cameron, Texas, reported the lowest weekly wage ($640), followed by Hidalgo, Texas ($648), and Horry, S.C. ($654).

Nationally, 101 large counties registered average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,365. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,212, followed by San Mateo, Calif., at $2,098.

Average weekly wages in Illinois’ smaller counties

Eighty-six of the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,067. The exceptions were Rock Island ($1,257), Gallatin ($1,192), and Tazewell ($1,125). Calhoun County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $505 in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When the 102 counties in Illinois were considered, all but 6 had wages below the national average of $1,067. Thirty-four counties reported average weekly wages less than $700, 30 reported wages from $700 to $799, 20 had wages from $800 to $899, and 18 had wages of $900 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 2015 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2015 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

Upcoming Industry Changes to QCEW Data

Beginning with the release of first quarter 2017 data, the program will switch to the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry. For more information on the change, please see the Federal Register notice at www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/federal_register_notices/notices/fr08au16.pdf.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 143.7 million full- and part-time workers. 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 sensory impaired individuals 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 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands) Percent change, December 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

143,749.9 1.2 -- $1,067 -- -1.5 --

Illinois

5,947.6 0.4 -- 1,122 9 -2.0 31

Champaign, Ill.

89.9 -0.8 318 946 190 3.7 5

Cook, Ill.

2,590.2 0.6 230 1,250 40 -1.6 168

DuPage, Ill.

616.7 -0.1 287 1,209 49 -2.6 252

Kane, Ill.

209.9 0.2 264 963 177 -0.9 110

Lake, Ill.

332.4 -0.3 302 1,376 20 -4.5 323

Madison, Ill.

100.5 1.7 130 838 301 -3.8 306

McHenry, Ill.

96.7 0.1 268 891 250 -2.0 198

McLean, Ill.

83.8 -0.7 316 918 222 -9.2 344

Peoria, Ill.

100.2 -2.1 338 990 159 -2.3 233

Sangamon, Ill.

127.6 -1.3 327 1,024 126 -3.5 289

St. Clair, Ill.

94.4 -0.1 287 830 307 -2.0 198

Will, Ill.

236.8 3.1 32 938 205 -2.5 242

Winnebago, Ill.

128.0 -1.4 330 875 265 -2.5 242

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 Illinois, fourth quarter 2016
Area Employment December 2016 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

143,749,910 $1,067

Illinois

5,947,623 1,122

Adams

32,605 821

Alexander

1,184 693

Bond

4,687 752

Boone

17,159 911

Brown

4,146 822

Bureau

11,233 790

Calhoun

765 505

Carroll

3,841 683

Cass

5,354 748

Champaign

89,909 946

Christian

10,385 684

Clark

4,734 674

Clay

5,325 693

Clinton

12,113 721

Coles

24,151 708

Cook

2,590,236 1,250

Crawford

6,994 850

Cumberland

2,626 665

De Kalb

37,981 809

De Witt

5,256 944

Douglas

7,600 742

Du Page

616,714 1,209

Edgar

7,489 791

Edwards

2,340 705

Effingham

20,838 758

Fayette

5,171 698

Ford

4,486 757

Franklin

7,995 658

Fulton

8,420 649

Gallatin

1,252 1,192

Greene

2,302 593

Grundy

18,844 1,052

Hamilton

2,089 797

Hancock

3,899 661

Hardin

716 585

Henderson

1,101 552

Henry

14,223 728

Iroquois

7,850 640

Jackson

24,588 740

Jasper

2,002 777

Jefferson

19,755 807

Jersey

4,801 665

Jo Daviess

7,327 678

Johnson

2,332 851

Kane

209,890 963

Kankakee

43,476 804

Kendall

27,770 783

Knox

18,954 663

La Salle

42,616 854

Lake

332,405 1,376

Lawrence

4,543 771

Lee

13,053 832

Livingston

13,783 875

Logan

9,070 769

Macon

49,373 934

Macoupin

10,255 718

Madison

100,501 838

Marion

12,940 716

Marshall

2,938 709

Mason

3,034 651

Massac

3,328 902

McDonough

11,145 696

McHenry

96,738 891

McLean

83,823 918

Menard

1,790 641

Mercer

2,967 633

Monroe

8,184 687

Montgomery

8,781 725

Morgan

14,479 767

Moultrie

4,973 730

Ogle

15,816 857

Peoria

100,172 990

Perry

4,728 735

Piatt

3,293 719

Pike

3,939 641

Pope

578 553

Pulaski

1,449 891

Putnam

1,714 1,018

Randolph

12,565 809

Richland

6,094 699

Rock Island

72,050 1,257

Saline

7,777 718

Sangamon

127,648 1,024

Schuyler

1,492 778

Scott

1,021 668

Shelby

4,713 613

St. Clair

94,430 830

Stark

1,293 723

Stephenson

16,792 814

Tazewell

53,875 1,125

Union

4,973 650

Vermilion

27,080 841

Wabash

3,204 688

Warren

6,437 666

Washington

6,374 867

Wayne

3,727 639

White

4,050 693

Whiteside

21,294 686

Will

236,841 938

Williamson

28,408 759

Winnebago

127,953 875

Woodford

10,152 793

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 2016
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2016 (thousands) Percent change, December 2015-16 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2015-16 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

143,749.9 1.2 $1,067 -- -1.5 --

Alabama

1,932.6 0.7 901 35 -1.3 21

Alaska

310.0 -1.9 1,038 17 -5.2 51

Arizona

2,760.1 2.1 945 25 -2.2 34

Arkansas

1,205.4 0.4 827 47 -1.4 22

California

16,923.3 1.9 1,271 5 -0.3 4

Colorado

2,588.6 2.0 1,086 12 -1.5 24

Connecticut

1,685.5 0.0 1,289 4 -3.4 46

Delaware

441.2 -0.1 1,055 15 -2.9 44

District of Columbia

760.9 0.5 1,763 1 0.6 2

Florida

8,538.9 2.7 942 27 -1.8 28

Georgia

4,349.3 2.4 993 20 -0.9 14

Hawaii

658.3 0.7 954 24 -0.3 4

Idaho

691.6 3.2 800 50 -0.4 8

Illinois

5,947.6 0.4 1,122 9 -2.0 31

Indiana

3,021.7 0.9 883 38 -0.9 14

Iowa

1,542.0 0.1 911 33 -1.0 16

Kansas

1,384.5 0.1 877 39 -2.2 34

Kentucky

1,894.2 0.6 874 41 -1.4 22

Louisiana

1,907.4 -1.6 914 32 -2.9 44

Maine

602.6 0.8 855 43 -2.1 33

Maryland

2,666.7 1.0 1,169 7 -0.4 8

Massachusetts

3,530.4 1.3 1,352 2 -2.4 39

Michigan

4,283.0 1.5 1,026 19 -1.6 25

Minnesota

2,839.7 1.2 1,062 14 -1.1 18

Mississippi

1,134.0 0.0 756 51 -1.8 28

Missouri

2,783.2 0.9 918 31 -1.7 27

Montana

456.5 0.7 822 48 0.5 3

Nebraska

972.4 0.0 876 40 -0.5 10

Nevada

1,307.8 2.7 924 29 -1.2 20

New Hampshire

656.9 1.3 1,092 10 -4.1 48

New Jersey

4,042.1 1.4 1,239 6 -1.9 30

New Mexico

811.4 0.0 844 45 -2.5 41

New York

9,332.5 1.2 1,342 3 -2.3 36

North Carolina

4,326.3 1.8 932 28 -0.7 13

North Dakota

414.4 -3.2 978 21 -4.2 49

Ohio

5,365.6 0.7 943 26 -2.3 36

Oklahoma

1,587.7 -1.2 864 42 -3.5 47

Oregon

1,860.7 2.4 970 22 -1.0 16

Pennsylvania

5,799.8 0.7 1,039 16 -2.3 36

Rhode Island

478.3 0.0 1,027 18 -1.6 25

South Carolina

2,024.3 1.8 855 43 -0.6 12

South Dakota

419.9 0.5 828 46 -0.5 10

Tennessee

2,947.5 1.8 970 22 -1.1 18

Texas

11,974.7 1.2 1,072 13 -2.5 41

Utah

1,415.1 2.9 910 34 -0.3 4

Vermont

312.6 0.1 897 36 -2.4 39

Virginia

3,831.6 0.6 1,091 11 -0.3 4

Washington

3,227.9 2.8 1,150 8 1.7 1

West Virginia

693.1 -1.6 809 49 -2.5 41

Wisconsin

2,842.4 0.5 924 29 -2.0 31

Wyoming

265.8 -3.9 894 37 -4.7 50

Puerto Rico

928.2 -0.3 555 (3) -1.9 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 0.2 769 (3) -1.8 (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, July 13, 2017