News Release Information

17-213-CHI
Friday, March 24, 2017

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in North Dakota — Third Quarter 2016

North Dakota’s only large county, Cass, reported an average weekly wage of $950 in the third quarter of 2016, 4.3 percent higher than one year ago, 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.) Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 5.4 percent over the year to $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that although Cass County’s wages were below the U.S. average, eight of the state’s smaller counties, those with employment below 75,000, reported wages above that for the nation. (See table 1.)

Employment in Cass County increased 1.4 percent from September 2015 to September 2016. Cass County’s employment level of 118,600 accounted for 28.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationally, employment rose 1.7 percent during this 12-month period, as 307 of the 344 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 52 smaller counties in North Dakota. Average weekly wages varied among these counties, with five having wages above $1,300 and two with wages under $560. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Cass County’s 4.3-percent wage growth from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016 ranked 269th nationally. (See table 1.) Among the 344 largest U.S. counties, 339 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. 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 decreases in average weekly wages. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-14.9 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-3.4 percent); Benton, Ark. (-2.0 percent); Lake, Ill. (-0.9 percent); and Midland, Texas (-0.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Cass County’s $950 average weekly wage placed in the upper half among the 344 largest U.S. counties, ranking 169th. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties in the nation with an average weekly wage of $2,260. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $2,098, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892); New York, N.Y. ($1,879); and Washington, D.C. ($1,728). Among the largest U.S. counties, Horry County, S.C. ($632), had the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Cameron, Texas ($636); Hidalgo, Texas ($654); and Webb, Texas ($680).

Average weekly wages in North Dakota’s smaller counties

Forty-four of the 52 counties in North Dakota with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,027. Eight small counties had above-average wages, all located in the western portion of the state. The highest wage was in Oliver County at $1,423, followed by Mercer ($1,380) and Williams ($1,357). Sheridan County had the lowest wage in the state, averaging $500 in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 53 counties in North Dakota were considered, 8 had average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 14 had wages from $650 to $749, 13 had wages from $750 to $849, and 18 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. 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 largest county in North Dakota, 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 --

North Dakota

423.2 -3.4 -- 964 22 0.7 50

Cass, N.D.

118.6 1.4 203 950 169 4.3 269

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 2016
Area Employment September 2016 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452 $1,027

North Dakota

423,156 964

Adams

982 733

Barnes

4,674 743

Benson

2,027 685

Billings

702 638

Bottineau

2,629 786

Bowman

1,630 797

Burke

681 898

Burleigh

57,820 956

Cass

118,551 950

Cavalier

1,489 781

Dickey

1,955 658

Divide

864 916

Dunn

2,082 1,309

Eddy

711 651

Emmons

1,020 626

Foster

1,648 784

Golden Valley

669 679

Grand Forks

42,921 930

Grant

534 675

Griggs

909 673

Hettinger

758 766

Kidder

742 658

LaMoure

1,457 675

Logan

623 558

McHenry

1,391 816

McIntosh

1,088 631

McKenzie

8,643 1,353

McLean

3,580 1,011

Mercer

5,488 1,380

Morton

11,331 858

Mountrail

5,690 1,217

Nelson

1,048 622

Oliver

1,102 1,423

Pembina

3,907 866

Pierce

1,733 730

Ramsey

6,636 895

Ransom

2,099 654

Renville

720 782

Richland

7,994 782

Rolette

4,599 706

Sargent

2,923 754

Sheridan

247 500

Sioux

1,628 823

Slope

142 1,098

Stark

18,403 1,095

Steele

609 823

Stutsman

11,694 806

Towner

889 612

Traill

3,395 791

Walsh

5,360 721

Ward

32,418 949

Wells

1,615 620

Williams

25,880 1,357

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