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17-613-CHI
Thursday, July 13, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2016

The two largest counties in Nebraska reported employment gains from December 2015 to December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 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 employment rose 0.7 percent in Douglas County and 0.1 percent in Lancaster County. (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., registered the largest percentage employment decline among the large counties, down 5.1 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (340,700) in December 2016. Lancaster County recorded an employment level of 169,500. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 52.5 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas was $986 in the fourth quarter of 2016, a decrease of 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $853, unchanged over the year. 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 91 counties in Nebraska with employment levels below 75,000. Two of these smaller counties had average weekly wages above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in Douglas County decreased 0.8 percent, ranking it 104th among the nation's 344 largest counties. Lancaster County’s wages were unchanged over the year and ranked 49th nationwide. (See table 1.)

Among the 344 large U.S. counties, 290 had over-the-year wage decreases. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages with a loss of 9.2 percent. Clay, Mo., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 8.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, 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 the counties of Marin, Calif. (4.3 percent), and Elkhart, Ind. (4.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $986 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 162nd in the fourth quarter of 2016. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $853 ranked 291st among the nation’s largest counties.

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 Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Nemaha ($1,090), Stanton ($1,076), and Washington ($1,033) had average weekly wages above those of the state’s two largest counties. Loup County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $420 in the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in the state were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages less than $600, 30 reported wages from $600 to $699, 34 reported wages from $700 to $799, and 17 had wages of $800 or more. (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 https://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 2 largest counties in Nebraska, 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 --

Nebraska

972.4 0.0 -- 876 40 -0.5 10

Douglas, Neb.

340.7 0.7 223 986 162 -0.8 104

Lancaster, Neb.

169.5 0.1 268 853 291 0.0 49

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

United States(2)

143,749,910 $1,067

Nebraska

972,400 876

Adams

15,280 750

Antelope

2,046 694

Arthur

85 606

Banner

125 708

Blaine

133 683

Boone

2,352 699

Box Butte

3,772 694

Boyd

610 586

Brown

1,208 695

Buffalo

27,134 768

Burt

1,806 704

Butler

2,505 755

Cass

5,547 738

Cedar

2,648 710

Chase

1,833 730

Cherry

2,307 594

Cheyenne

5,342 919

Clay

2,424 830

Colfax

5,253 957

Cuming

3,698 819

Custer

4,538 729

Dakota

12,667 840

Dawes

3,298 616

Dawson

11,384 733

Deuel

578 619

Dixon

1,707 731

Dodge

17,248 754

Douglas

340,676 986

Dundy

571 745

Fillmore

2,229 779

Franklin

749 736

Frontier

807 690

Furnas

2,032 727

Gage

9,151 686

Garden

565 629

Garfield

796 583

Gosper

386 730

Grant

281 600

Greeley

600 629

Hall

34,625 772

Hamilton

3,572 879

Harlan

823 633

Hayes

215 631

Hitchcock

657 712

Holt

4,546 695

Hooker

258 486

Howard

1,426 634

Jefferson

3,286 670

Johnson

1,589 734

Kearney

2,172 718

Keith

3,306 661

Keya Paha

151 548

Kimball

1,356 737

Knox

2,998 621

Lancaster

169,450 853

Lincoln

14,894 743

Logan

193 619

Loup

130 420

Madison

21,677 783

McPherson

83 585

Merrick

2,303 754

Morrill

1,516 706

Nance

1,054 691

Nemaha

3,055 1,090

Nuckolls

1,441 599

Otoe

6,132 716

Pawnee

861 652

Perkins

1,151 842

Phelps

4,789 828

Pierce

1,994 726

Platte

18,551 825

Polk

1,479 716

Red Willow

5,201 687

Richardson

2,508 632

Rock

475 635

Saline

7,235 803

Sarpy

70,627 877

Saunders

5,237 713

Scotts Bluff

16,917 756

Seward

6,074 789

Sheridan

1,753 590

Sherman

816 577

Sioux

164 661

Stanton

1,295 1,076

Thayer

2,400 753

Thomas

260 549

Thurston

2,977 849

Valley

1,793 654

Washington

7,912 1,033

Wayne

4,241 684

Webster

1,077 579

Wheeler

323 694

York

7,583 771

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 31

Indiana

3,021.7 0.9 883 38 -0.9 14

Iowa

1,542.0 0.1 911 33 -1 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 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 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