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News Release Information

21-2135-CHI
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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

County Employment and Wages in Iowa — Second Quarter 2021

Employment rose in the four largest counties in Iowa from June 2020 to June 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2020.) Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that Polk County had the largest over-the-year increase in employment at 6.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment increased 6.7 percent over the year, with 339 of the 343 largest U.S. counties reporting gains. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year increase in employment with a gain of 36.8 percent. Calcasieu, LA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 0.9 percent.

Among the four largest counties in Iowa, employment was highest in Polk County (298,596) in June 2021. Within Polk County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment (35,812) in June 2021. Together, the four largest Iowa counties accounted for 38.8 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 343 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 95 counties in Iowa with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average of $1,241 in the second quarter of 2021. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All four large Iowa counties reported average weekly wage gains from the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021. (See chart 2.) The four largest counties in Iowa had rates of wage gains that were below the national rate of 4.5 percent. Scott County had the largest gain (+3.7 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Iowa’s other three large counties ranged from 2.2 percent to 0.8 percent.


Among the 343 largest counties in the United States, 302 had over-the-year wage increases. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+29.7 percent). Atlantic, NJ, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.4 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the four largest counties in Iowa were below the national average of $1,241 in the second quarter of 2021. Wages among Iowa’s four large counties ranged from $1,194 in Polk County to $969 in Scott County.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 90 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the second quarter of 2021. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,516. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in the remaining 253 counties. At $728 a week, Hidalgo, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Iowa’s smaller counties

Among the 95 smaller counties in Iowa—those with employment below 75,000—Dallas ($1,166) reported the highest average weekly wage. Decatur County ($698) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 99 counties in Iowa were considered, 18 reported average weekly wages of less than $800, 27 registered wages from $800 to $849, 29 had wages from $850 to $899, and 25 had average weekly wages of $900 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. This publication is typically published in September of the following year of the reference period or shortly after the QCEW first quarter full data update. The Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online is available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/.

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.


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 establishments, employment, and wages in the United States and the four largest counties in Iowa, second quarter 2021
Area Establishments,
second quarter
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2021
(thousands)
Percent change,
June
2020–21 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Second quarter
2021
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
second quarter
2020–21 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,863.2 144,044.8 6.7 -- $1,241 -- 4.5 --

Iowa

106.1 1,528.0 4.8 -- 999 38 2.1 38

Johnson

4.6 80.2 4.1 267 1,104 178 0.8 281

Linn

7.3 126.8 3.6 293 1,118 169 2.2 219

Polk

18.7 298.6 6.4 142 1,194 112 1.4 261

Scott

5.8 87.5 4.5 242 969 287 3.7 155

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 establishments, employment, and wages in the United States and all counties in Iowa, second quarter 2021
Area Establishments Employment June 2021 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

10,863,217 144,044,799 $1,241

Iowa

106,110 1,528,025 999

Adair

320 2,992 853

Adams

152 1,239 803

Allamakee

459 5,004 752

Appanoose

379 4,628 800

Audubon

222 1,834 805

Benton

670 6,124 811

Black Hawk

3,812 71,500 972

Boone

744 9,009 861

Bremer

705 9,715 849

Buchanan

631 6,913 810

Buena Vista

666 10,932 911

Butler

438 3,748 795

Calhoun

320 2,870 824

Carroll

956 11,177 808

Cass

552 5,835 793

Cedar

580 5,157 850

Cerro Gordo

1,629 23,558 906

Cherokee

458 4,922 827

Chickasaw

437 4,976 893

Clarke

237 4,479 845

Clay

745 8,648 847

Clayton

626 6,608 823

Clinton

1,439 19,560 863

Crawford

512 6,606 860

Dallas

3,015 47,675 1,166

Davis

245 2,073 835

Decatur

226 2,353 698

Delaware

619 6,766 857

Des Moines

1,378 20,335 850

Dickinson

910 11,151 766

Dubuque

3,470 57,422 955

Emmet

329 3,512 804

Fayette

674 6,911 771

Floyd

473 5,618 891

Franklin

370 3,962 902

Fremont

289 2,369 914

Greene

322 3,325 860

Grundy

367 4,298 944

Guthrie

370 3,162 852

Hamilton

476 5,684 862

Hancock

369 6,205 925

Hardin

663 6,588 830

Harrison

457 4,061 804

Henry

623 8,917 901

Howard

333 4,269 836

Humboldt

354 3,867 884

Ida

303 3,805 889

Iowa

693 9,456 816

Jackson

684 5,992 749

Jasper

950 11,148 829

Jefferson

816 7,369 930

Johnson

4,635 80,221 1,104

Jones

642 6,133 820

Keokuk

322 2,300 794

Kossuth

635 6,602 873

Lee

1,068 14,487 931

Linn

7,274 126,841 1,118

Louisa

275 3,873 821

Lucas

251 3,650 822

Lyon

524 4,799 758

Madison

521 4,110 790

Mahaska

634 7,853 885

Marion

1,036 18,675 977

Marshall

1,024 15,948 930

Mills

411 3,661 878

Mitchell

385 3,970 878

Monona

301 2,698 740

Monroe

237 3,570 1,081

Montgomery

383 4,044 857

Muscatine

1,217 22,101 1,020

O'Brien

588 6,590 773

Osceola

267 2,510 840

Page

485 6,173 859

Palo Alto

346 3,665 781

Plymouth

844 11,688 996

Pocahontas

280 3,047 861

Polk

18,742 298,596 1,194

Pottawattamie

2,618 38,594 892

Poweshiek

704 9,677 937

Ringgold

185 1,415 774

Sac

394 3,085 835

Scott

5,811 87,512 969

Shelby

431 5,541 835

Sioux

1,536 21,907 888

Story

2,825 45,441 1,101

Tama

445 5,375 823

Taylor

199 1,960 798

Union

441 5,770 850

Van Buren

223 1,944 803

Wapello

886 15,255 878

Warren

1,234 12,714 869

Washington

807 8,342 760

Wayne

184 1,910 883

Webster

1,184 17,322 938

Winnebago

397 4,124 780

Winneshiek

750 10,331 855

Woodbury

3,243 50,064 887

Worth

232 2,264 777

Wright

496 5,817 948

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: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

Table 3. Covered establishments, employment, and wages by state, second quarter 2021
State Establishments,
second quarter
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
June 2021
(thousands)
Percent change,
June
2020–21
Second quarter
2021
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
second quarter
2020–21
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,863.2 144,044.8 6.7 $1,241 -- 4.5 --

Alabama

137.8 1,952.0 4.4 1,010 35 4.8 15

Alaska

23.7 315.5 6.7 1,181 17 -1.2 51

Arizona

180.2 2,857.8 5.3 1,154 20 5.9 6

Arkansas

96.1 1,205.3 4.4 974 45 5.2 12

California

1,662.9 16,992.1 7.0 1,579 3 7.5 5

Colorado

228.9 2,723.9 7.1 1,283 10 4.4 19

Connecticut

130.1 1,604.1 7.9 1,411 6 0.6 47

Delaware

35.1 440.1 5.1 1,165 19 1.7 41

District of Columbia

44.0 724.6 3.3 2,096 1 5.4 8

Florida

782.5 8,654.0 6.7 1,113 24 7.7 3

Georgia

337.0 4,453.5 6.5 1,139 22 5.9 6

Hawaii

48.7 590.5 12.7 1,117 23 0.7 46

Idaho

76.4 801.8 7.3 930 50 5.3 10

Illinois

394.6 5,743.5 6.5 1,260 11 3.5 25

Indiana

178.2 3,011.8 5.2 1,013 34 5.4 8

Iowa

106.1 1,528.0 4.8 999 38 2.1 38

Kansas

90.5 1,356.0 4.0 995 41 2.7 30

Kentucky

132.4 1,851.2 5.6 999 38 2.9 28

Louisiana

142.7 1,806.6 5.4 1,005 36 2.0 39

Maine

57.0 623.0 8.7 1,005 36 2.4 33

Maryland

175.6 2,599.7 6.8 1,319 9 1.0 44

Massachusetts

277.4 3,497.0 10.1 1,591 2 1.1 43

Michigan

270.2 4,175.6 8.4 1,143 21 2.5 32

Minnesota

192.8 2,814.5 6.4 1,240 13 3.3 26

Mississippi

75.7 1,107.1 4.1 843 51 3.8 22

Missouri

221.6 2,759.3 5.3 1,052 32 3.6 23

Montana

55.1 490.7 7.0 959 47 4.5 18

Nebraska

74.4 976.6 4.8 997 40 3.9 21

Nevada

93.9 1,353.9 14.0 1,106 25 5.3 10

New Hampshire

58.5 657.4 8.7 1,345 8 10.6 1

New Jersey

300.4 3,993.8 12.0 1,387 7 0.8 45

New Mexico

63.0 790.6 4.3 987 42 2.9 28

New York

667.9 8,885.4 9.2 1,540 5 1.3 42

North Carolina

311.1 4,511.3 7.2 1,092 27 5.1 14

North Dakota

32.6 407.4 4.3 1,067 29 0.6 47

Ohio

312.4 5,266.7 4.3 1,068 28 3.6 23

Oklahoma

114.6 1,568.7 3.1 963 46 2.4 33

Oregon

169.2 1,899.6 5.6 1,196 15 4.8 15

Pennsylvania

370.9 5,674.7 6.9 1,193 16 2.0 39

Rhode Island

42.1 472.2 10.0 1,168 18 -0.3 50

South Carolina

150.1 2,091.9 4.9 977 44 5.2 12

South Dakota

36.3 442.3 6.4 936 49 2.6 31

Tennessee

182.3 3,012.4 5.9 1,094 26 7.6 4

Texas

758.0 12,466.7 5.7 1,210 14 4.7 17

Utah

119.9 1,586.0 7.6 1,060 30 4.2 20

Vermont

27.8 292.4 7.5 1,053 31 -0.2 49

Virginia

293.6 3,854.3 6.1 1,257 12 3.2 27

Washington

263.6 3,376.7 5.7 1,547 4 8.3 2

West Virginia

52.7 663.8 4.8 955 48 2.2 37

Wisconsin

186.5 2,845.7 5.7 1,037 33 2.3 35

Wyoming

28.2 275.1 5.6 987 42 2.3 35

Puerto Rico

47.6 867.2 8.6 567 (3) 2.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.5 35.7 0.0 923 (3) -8.4 (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: Wednesday, December 29, 2021