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17-214-CHI
Friday, March 24, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all eight of the large counties in Minnesota from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Hennepin County had the largest increase, up 2.4 percent, followed by Dakota (1.8 percent) and Washington (1.5 percent). Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the rates of job growth in Hennepin and Dakota Counties were above the national increase of 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin (912,200) in September 2016, followed by Ramsey (331,100). Two other counties—Dakota and Anoka—each had employment levels of more than 100,000. Collectively, Minnesota's eight large counties accounted for 67.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Ramsey County rose 8.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, the largest increase among Minnesota's large counties. Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,277, followed by Ramsey ($1,162) and Olmsted ($1,151). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 5.4 percent over the year to $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All of the eight large counties in Minnesota had wage increases from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. Five of these counties had wage increases that were greater than the national increase of 5.4 percent. (See table 1.) Ramsey County’s 8.9-percent wage gain ranked 16th among the 344 largest U.S. counties. Two other large counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide for wage growth: Stearns (7.3 percent, 47th) and Washington (6.5 percent, 90th).

Nationally, 339 of the 344 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., had the largest wage gain, up 12.2 percent from the third quarter of 2015. Manatee, Fla., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by Hillsborough, N.H. (10.4 percent); and Boone, Ky., and Elkhart, Ind. (10.3 percent each).

Among the largest U.S. counties, five experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 14.9 percent. Lafayette, La., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 3.4 percent from the third quarter 2015, followed by Benton, Ark. (-2.0 percent); Lake, Ill. (-0.9 percent); and Midland, Texas (-0.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in three of Minnesota’s eight large counties were above the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. As noted, Hennepin County ($1,277) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 22nd among the 344 largest U.S. counties. Ramsey ($1,162) and Olmsted ($1,151) placed 46th and 52nd, respectively. Washington ($870) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties and ranked 248th nationwide.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were at or above the U.S. average ($1,027) in 103 of the 344 largest counties in the third quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., recorded the highest average weekly wage at $2,260, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892); New York, N.Y. ($1,879); and Washington, D.C. ($1,728).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 241 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2016. Horry County, S.C. ($632) reported the lowest wage, followed by Cameron, Texas ($636); Hidalgo, Texas ($654); and Webb, Texas ($680).

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in the state (those with employment below 75,000), Carver County had the highest average weekly wage at $999, followed by Scott County at $942. Cass County had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties at $577. (See table 2.)

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 6 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 36 had wages from $650 to $749, 29 reported wages from $750 to $849, and 16 had wages of $850 or higher. (See chart 1.)

Additional statistics and other information

Quarterly 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 the QCEW Web site at 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 fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.


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 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 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. 13, the number of weeks in a quarter, then divide the result. 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 8 largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands) Percent change, September 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.5 1.7 -- $1,027 -- 5.4 --

Minnesota

2,849.5 1.6 -- 1,053 13 6.4 11

Anoka, Minn.

121.0 0.7 265 1,027 103 6.2 117

Dakota, Minn.

188.0 1.8 164 991 133 5.2 205

Hennepin, Minn.

912.2 2.4 112 1,277 22 6.2 117

Olmsted, Minn.

96.2 1.2 226 1,151 52 3.7 296

Ramsey, Minn.

331.1 0.8 257 1,162 46 8.9 16

St. Louis, Minn.

98.2 0.1 305 874 245 4.9 226

Stearns, Minn.

85.7 0.6 273 884 232 7.3 47

Washington, Minn.

82.3 1.5 195 870 248 6.5 90

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 2016
Area Employment September 2016 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452 $1,027

Minnesota

2,849,452 1,053

Aitkin

3,984 681

Anoka

121,019 1,027

Becker

14,107 727

Beltrami

19,612 800

Benton

17,481 788

Big Stone

1,852 729

Blue Earth

38,966 824

Brown

14,514 795

Carlton

13,635 830

Carver

37,620 999

Cass

11,246 577

Chippewa

5,789 711

Chisago

15,515 844

Clay

18,780 745

Clearwater

2,863 788

Cook

3,178 589

Cottonwood

4,326 716

Crow Wing

30,055 741

Dakota

188,020 991

Dodge

5,884 864

Douglas

18,602 789

Faribault

4,813 744

Fillmore

6,164 640

Freeborn

12,132 779

Goodhue

21,609 879

Grant

1,867 730

Hennepin

912,218 1,277

Houston

5,169 624

Hubbard

6,386 716

Isanti

10,800 770

Itasca

15,701 800

Jackson

5,416 693

Kanabec

3,924 738

Kandiyohi

23,717 738

Kittson

1,415 709

Koochiching

4,658 761

Lac qui Parle

2,200 640

Lake

4,172 803

Lake of the Woods

1,545 683

Le Sueur

9,636 808

Lincoln

1,721 667

Lyon

14,804 795

McLeod

16,604 849

Mahnomen

1,996 679

Marshall

2,222 775

Martin

8,659 810

Meeker

7,311 699

Mille Lacs

9,351 697

Morrison

11,036 695

Mower

16,646 870

Murray

2,940 679

Nicollet

14,956 826

Nobles

10,334 809

Norman

1,682 675

Olmsted

96,233 1,151

Otter Tail

23,202 731

Pennington

10,643 834

Pine

8,432 608

Pipestone

4,438 693

Polk

12,424 743

Pope

4,300 824

Ramsey

331,089 1,162

Red Lake

1,032 672

Redwood

6,664 695

Renville

5,658 749

Rice

25,089 868

Rock

3,583 660

Roseau

8,094 759

St. Louis

98,243 874

Scott

50,871 942

Sherburne

26,106 839

Sibley

4,852 753

Stearns

85,672 884

Steele

22,126 795

Stevens

5,537 856

Swift

3,599 715

Todd

6,041 720

Traverse

1,089 660

Wabasha

6,957 698

Wadena

5,884 736

Waseca

6,709 780

Washington

82,318 870

Watonwan

4,209 680

Wilkin

2,049 857

Winona

25,115 776

Wright

42,980 801

Yellow Medicine

3,943 716

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

United States (2)

142,940.5 1.7 $1,027 -- 5.4 --

Alabama

1,923.8 1.5 870 36 4.9 38

Alaska

337.4 -2.6 1,055 12 1.2 49

Arizona

2,695.5 3.1 950 24 6.9 5

Arkansas

1,205.4 1.0 794 48 5.2 32

California

16,871.1 2.4 1,210 4 6.7 8

Colorado

2,576.5 2.6 1,062 10 5.6 23

Connecticut

1,674.2 0.3 1,204 5 5.0 34

Delaware

440.7 0.8 1,022 16 5.6 23

District of Columbia

759.2 1.7 1,728 1 3.8 45

Florida

8,320.2 3.7 905 29 6.2 14

Georgia

4,290.4 2.9 969 21 5.9 18

Hawaii

648.4 1.8 956 23 6.7 8

Idaho

703.7 3.5 782 50 6.3 12

Illinois

5,933.6 0.6 1,062 10 4.4 40

Indiana

3,025.9 1.8 866 37 5.9 18

Iowa

1,548.6 0.8 873 35 6.2 14

Kansas

1,377.2 0.5 857 39 5.9 18

Kentucky

1,880.2 1.5 857 39 6.5 10

Louisiana

1,908.8 -0.9 883 32 2.9 48

Maine

616.2 0.9 825 45 5.9 18

Maryland

2,648.1 1.4 1,124 8 5.3 30

Massachusetts

3,522.9 2.0 1,277 2 6.8 7

Michigan

4,292.2 2.1 976 19 5.9 18

Minnesota

2,849.5 1.6 1,053 13 6.4 11

Mississippi

1,126.9 0.7 739 51 4.7 39

Missouri

2,782.1 1.6 888 30 5.0 34

Montana

464.5 1.5 792 49 4.3 41

Nebraska

973.9 0.9 857 39 5.5 26

Nevada

1,300.7 3.8 949 25 10.1 1

New Hampshire

655.0 1.8 1,027 15 7.9 2

New Jersey

4,000.0 1.8 1,173 7 5.0 34

New Mexico

811.5 0.2 830 44 4.0 43

New York

9,216.6 1.6 1,222 3 3.5 46

North Carolina

4,290.3 2.3 909 28 5.3 30

North Dakota

423.2 -3.4 964 22 0.7 50

Ohio

5,347.3 1.1 924 26 5.4 27

Oklahoma

1,578.7 -1.3 854 42 3.5 46

Oregon

1,866.5 2.6 970 20 5.2 32

Pennsylvania

5,776.7 1.0 1,013 17 5.4 27

Rhode Island

481.1 0.8 990 18 7.6 3

South Carolina

2,008.6 2.5 832 43 5.6 23

South Dakota

424.2 1.1 809 47 7.0 4

Tennessee

2,918.8 2.5 912 27 5.4 27

Texas

11,830.7 1.3 1,042 14 4.3 41

Utah

1,407.4 3.8 881 33 6.3 12

Vermont

309.9 0.5 880 34 6.2 14

Virginia

3,801.0 1.0 1,063 9 5.0 34

Washington

3,278.9 3.0 1,188 6 6.9 5

West Virginia

691.5 -1.6 816 46 3.9 44

Wisconsin

2,850.1 1.0 885 31 6.2 14

Wyoming

274.8 -4.7 865 38 0.0 51

Puerto Rico

888.2 -0.4 524 (3) 2.3 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.4 1.4 778 (3) 5.9 (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: Friday, March 24, 2017