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21-924-CHI
Friday, July 09, 2021

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

County Employment and Wages in Illinois — Fourth Quarter 2020

Employment fell in the 13 largest counties in Illinois from December 2019 to December 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 Cook County (-10.1 percent), Kane County (-9.1 percent), and Winnebago County (-9.0 percent) had the largest over-the-year decreases in employment. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 6.1 percent over the year, with 352 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 22.8 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 3.8 percent.

Among the 13 largest counties in Illinois, employment was highest in Cook County (2,377,000) in December 2020. Within Cook County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the 13 largest Illinois counties accounted for 80.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties in Illinois with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 88 of the 89 smaller counties were below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All 13 large Illinois counties reported average weekly wage gains from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Five counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 13.0 percent, with the largest gain in McLean County (+18.4 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Illinois’ eight other large counties ranged from 12.9 percent to 7.5 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 356 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, across most industries, increases in average weekly wages reflect substantial employment declines combined with wage increases. The lowest paying industry, leisure and hospitality, had the largest employment loss, which results in higher average weekly wages for the industry and the nation. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+44.3 percent). Ector, TX, had the only over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of the 13 largest counties in Illinois were above the national average of $1,339 in the fourth quarter of 2020. Weekly wages in these three counties ranked among the top 75 nationwide: Lake ($1,637, 25th), Cook ($1,571, 39th), and DuPage ($1,456, 56th).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 89 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2020. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,690. Average weekly wages were below the national average in the remaining 268 counties. At $760 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Illinois’ smaller counties

Among the 89 smaller counties in Illinois—those with employment below 75,000—Rock Island ($1,561) reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,339. Pope County ($609) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 102 counties in Illinois were considered, 14 reported average weekly wages of less than $800, 35 registered wages from $800 to $899, 25 had wages from $900 to $999, and 28 had average weekly wages of $1,000 or higher. (See chart 3.)

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 first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

QCEW Imputation Issue Caused by Pandemic-Related Challenges

In the spring of 2020, BLS modified its imputation process for QCEW to be more responsive to current economic conditions. While continuing work to improve this process, BLS made an unintended data processing error. This error affected data for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020. BLS has analyzed this issue and has determined that the impact on QCEW employment was negligible at the statewide level. In smaller areas and industries, revisions may be larger than usual. Wage data were not affected. Following the usual QCEW practice, these data will be revised and corrected with the full data update on September 1, 2021.

For more information on QCEW imputation methodology, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.


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 13 largest counties in Illinois, fourth quarter 2020
Area Establishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,675.8 140,881.3 -6.1 -- $1,339 -- 13.0 --

Illinois

386.3 5,573.8 -7.8 -- 1,378 10 13.0 18

Champaign

4.2 88.4 -5.0 127 1,086 262 10.7 261

Cook

140.7 2,377.0 -10.1 330 1,571 39 14.6 66

DuPage

34.8 572.7 -7.8 256 1,456 56 11.9 199

Kane

12.7 194.0 -9.1 305 1,166 197 13.3 127

Lake

20.4 317.0 -7.3 241 1,637 25 12.7 161

Madison

5.4 101.0 -3.9 78 990 327 9.8 299

McHenry

7.9 90.4 -7.1 230 1,024 314 10.9 255

McLean

3.3 77.5 -6.0 174 1,175 192 18.4 11

Peoria

4.2 97.3 -6.8 218 1,333 91 14.5 69

Sangamon

4.8 121.6 -5.9 170 1,204 169 7.5 333

St. Clair

5.0 86.3 -7.6 247 1,032 307 14.8 59

Will

15.4 241.8 -5.9 170 1,097 254 12.9 147

Winnebago

5.9 115.2 -9.0 301 1,053 286 10.0 291

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from 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 2020
Area Employment December 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

140,881,253 $1,339

Illinois

5,573,816 1,378

Adams

31,251 1,024

Alexander

858 837

Bond

4,173 850

Boone

17,308 1,062

Brown

4,344 1,071

Bureau

10,608 949

Calhoun

685 617

Carroll

4,021 918

Cass

5,241 928

Champaign

88,437 1,086

Christian

9,026 888

Clark

4,248 830

Clay

4,686 875

Clinton

11,743 881

Coles

22,518 771

Cook

2,376,956 1,571

Crawford

6,621 1,082

Cumberland

2,801 805

De Kalb

34,066 1,050

De Witt

4,648 1,183

Douglas

7,324 923

Du Page

572,659 1,456

Edgar

6,839 975

Edwards

2,042 846

Effingham

22,066 941

Fayette

5,390 785

Ford

4,480 993

Franklin

8,174 780

Fulton

7,653 804

Gallatin

833 869

Greene

2,244 798

Grundy

20,756 1,224

Hamilton

1,843 896

Hancock

3,793 813

Hardin

647 699

Henderson

1,050 684

Henry

13,175 929

Iroquois

7,082 810

Jackson

23,679 921

Jasper

2,046 852

Jefferson

18,706 992

Jersey

4,842 813

Jo Daviess

6,603 862

Johnson

2,270 941

Kane

194,046 1,166

Kankakee

42,229 972

Kendall

27,583 904

Knox

15,996 803

La Salle

38,726 1,008

Lake

317,007 1,637

Lawrence

4,209 936

Lee

12,493 1,020

Livingston

12,892 1,031

Logan

8,343 971

Macon

44,140 1,140

Macoupin

9,725 870

Madison

100,981 990

Marion

12,055 859

Marshall

2,798 859

Mason

2,761 805

Massac

2,785 910

McDonough

9,443 897

McHenry

90,358 1,024

McLean

77,495 1,175

Menard

1,591 804

Mercer

2,901 796

Monroe

7,904 876

Montgomery

8,290 852

Morgan

13,492 891

Moultrie

4,816 924

Ogle

14,396 1,054

Peoria

97,317 1,333

Perry

4,426 884

Piatt

3,362 840

Pike

3,753 793

Pope

484 609

Pulaski

1,248 802

Putnam

1,659 1,229

Randolph

11,648 995

Richland

5,676 856

Rock Island

68,954 1,561

Saline

7,367 772

Sangamon

121,571 1,204

Schuyler

1,382 808

Scott

883 826

Shelby

4,778 824

St. Clair

86,303 1,032

Stark

1,349 937

Stephenson

16,462 975

Tazewell

43,901 970

Union

4,727 788

Vermilion

24,862 972

Wabash

3,172 927

Warren

5,915 845

Washington

6,382 1,044

Wayne

3,698 750

White

3,822 744

Whiteside

19,978 890

Will

241,750 1,097

Williamson

27,126 902

Winnebago

115,226 1,053

Woodford

9,872 1,007

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 2020
State Establishments,
fourth quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
December 2019–20
Fourth quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
fourth quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,675.8 140,881.3 -6.1 $1,339 -- 13.0 --

Alabama

134.6 1,951.2 -2.9 1,096 35 11.4 36

Alaska

23.1 290.1 -6.4 1,260 17 10.6 44

Arizona

173.9 2,908.7 -3.3 1,214 22 14.6 9

Arkansas

94.6 1,194.8 -3.2 999 49 11.4 36

California

1,660.2 16,380.1 -8.3 1,724 3 18.5 1

Colorado

219.6 2,613.7 -5.7 1,378 10 12.3 25

Connecticut

126.8 1,578.4 -6.5 1,551 6 12.2 27

Delaware

35.1 432.9 -5.2 1,262 16 11.3 38

District of Columbia

43.8 713.0 -8.9 2,293 1 15.2 6

Florida

765.4 8,642.8 -5.0 1,180 24 13.1 17

Georgia

319.7 4,405.9 -4.0 1,208 23 10.9 42

Hawaii

47.3 561.1 -16.1 1,219 21 16.0 4

Idaho

71.8 763.5 0.8 1,034 47 12.8 21

Illinois

386.3 5,573.8 -7.8 1,378 10 13.0 18

Indiana

173.1 2,985.1 -4.0 1,076 39 11.2 39

Iowa

105.6 1,494.3 -4.3 1,099 34 11.6 32

Kansas

89.9 1,346.9 -4.5 1,070 40 11.5 34

Kentucky

130.4 1,839.6 -4.8 1,057 42 10.8 43

Louisiana

140.8 1,796.9 -7.0 1,078 38 8.6 48

Maine

55.4 594.3 -4.3 1,092 36 14.5 10

Maryland

174.5 2,546.1 -6.7 1,445 8 13.6 16

Massachusetts

266.7 3,365.8 -8.3 1,766 2 17.0 3

Michigan

265.3 3,998.2 -8.9 1,257 19 12.8 21

Minnesota

186.4 2,684.1 -7.9 1,322 13 12.3 25

Mississippi

76.1 1,119.1 -2.4 901 51 10.4 45

Missouri

221.5 2,724.4 -4.3 1,127 33 11.6 32

Montana

54.6 467.4 -1.4 1,035 45 12.7 23

Nebraska

72.5 962.7 -2.9 1,079 37 11.5 34

Nevada

90.2 1,283.1 -10.7 1,178 25 14.4 11

New Hampshire

57.1 637.3 -5.2 1,406 9 17.9 2

New Jersey

291.0 3,860.5 -7.2 1,517 7 13.9 15

New Mexico

64.8 767.1 -9.5 1,052 43 11.8 29

New York

662.4 8,693.4 -10.3 1,712 4 14.2 13

North Carolina

301.7 4,431.0 -2.7 1,152 29 11.2 39

North Dakota

32.6 394.4 -7.1 1,136 31 4.7 50

Ohio

307.3 5,199.9 -5.1 1,161 27 12.0 28

Oklahoma

113.6 1,569.1 -4.4 1,013 48 7.3 49

Oregon

167.3 1,824.3 -7.5 1,256 20 14.2 13

Pennsylvania

370.5 5,549.4 -7.4 1,287 15 12.6 24

Rhode Island

40.7 449.6 -8.3 1,259 18 14.7 7

South Carolina

149.2 2,074.4 -3.5 1,035 45 11.1 41

South Dakota

35.5 422.8 -1.9 1,048 44 14.4 11

Tennessee

176.2 3,002.5 -2.7 1,172 26 11.7 30

Texas

743.1 12,251.1 -4.3 1,294 14 9.0 47

Utah

117.9 1,557.8 0.6 1,154 28 12.9 20

Vermont

26.6 286.1 -8.9 1,133 32 14.7 7

Virginia

289.8 3,796.1 -4.7 1,360 12 13.0 18

Washington

259.7 3,219.7 -6.8 1,589 5 16.0 4

West Virginia

51.9 654.1 -5.3 997 50 10.3 46

Wisconsin

184.2 2,762.5 -4.8 1,140 30 11.7 30

Wyoming

27.7 260.2 -5.3 1,061 41 4.6 51

Puerto Rico

46.0 873.8 -4.0 621 (3) 8.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.5 35.3 -11.5 1,057 (3) -1.3 (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, July 09, 2021