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18-347-CHI
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2017

Employment increased in all eight of the large counties in Minnesota from September 2016 to September 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2016 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Washington County had the largest increase, up 3.3 percent, followed by Anoka, up 2.0 percent. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the rates of job growth in 4 of the 8 large counties were above the national increase of 1.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin (927,200) in September 2017, followed by Ramsey (334,900). Two other counties—Dakota and Anoka—each had employment levels of more than 100,000. Collectively, Minnesota's eight large counties accounted for 67.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, 7 of Minnesota’s 8 large counties had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Olmsted County was the state’s only large county that had a wage gain (2.5 percent). Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,236, followed by Olmsted ($1,180) and Ramsey ($1,124). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage fell 0.6 percent over the year to $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017.

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

Average weekly wages declined over the year in 7 of the 8 large counties in Minnesota, with all of the losses larger than the national decrease of 0.6 percent. (See table 1.) Wage declines in the seven counties ranged from 0.8 percent in Stearns to 3.6 percent in Dakota. Olmsted County’s 2.5-percent wage increase ranked 14th nationwide.

Nationally, 265 of the 346 largest counties registered over-the-year wage decreases. Mercer, N.J., had the largest decline, down 8.8 percent from the third quarter of 2016. Wyandotte, Kan., was second with a wage decrease of 6.0 percent, followed by Clark, Nev. (-5.3 percent); Somerset, N.J. (-5.0 percent); and Clay, Mo. (-4.8 percent).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 71 experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages (8.4 percent), followed by Union, N.J. (8.2 percent); Elkhart, Ind. (6.5 percent); Forsyth, N.C. (5.3 percent); and Maui + Kalawao, Hawaii (4.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Minnesota’s 8 large counties were above the national average of $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017. As noted, Hennepin County ($1,236) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 29th among the 346 largest U.S. counties. Olmsted ($1,180) and Ramsey ($1,124) placed 43rd and 56th, respectively. St. Louis ($844) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties and ranked 269th nationwide.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,021) in 96 of the 346 largest counties in the third quarter of 2017. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties in the nation with an average weekly wage of $2,320. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $2,123, followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,954); New York, N.Y. ($1,889); and Washington, D.C. ($1,759).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 250 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2017. Cameron, Texas ($612), had the lowest wage, followed by the counties of Horry, S.C. ($633); Hidalgo, Texas ($649); and Webb, Texas ($672).

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 $971, followed by Mower County at $898. Cass County had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties at $590, followed by Cook County at $591. (See table 2.)

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 7 reported average weekly wages of $649 or lower, 35 had wages from $650 to $749, 31 reported wages from $750 to $849, and 14 had wages of $850 or higher. (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 2017 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 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process is accelerating for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data will be published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data will be accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release will occur two weeks later, accompanied by a data release notice.


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 144.5 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 2017
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands) Percent change, September 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

144,464.4 1.0 -- $1,021 -- -0.6 --

Minnesota

2,883.0 1.1 -- 1,030 13 -2.0 45

Anoka, Minn.

123.0 2.0 60 1,008 109 -1.9 245

Dakota, Minn.

188.7 0.7 192 959 149 -3.6 326

Hennepin, Minn.

927.2 1.8 75 1,236 29 -2.9 307

Olmsted, Minn.

97.7 1.6 80 1,180 43 2.5 14

Ramsey, Minn.

334.9 0.4 233 1,124 56 -2.5 285

St. Louis, Minn.

99.1 0.6 209 844 269 -3.1 314

Stearns, Minn.

87.2 0.9 167 877 230 -0.8 142

Washington, Minn.

85.4 3.3 16 851 262 -2.0 256

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 2017
Area Employment September 2017 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

144,464,425 $1,021

Minnesota

2,883,045 1,030

Aitkin

4,138 655

Anoka

122,967 1,008

Becker

14,602 724

Beltrami

19,629 799

Benton

17,598 786

Big Stone

1,791 723

Blue Earth

40,267 826

Brown

14,045 769

Carlton

13,745 843

Carver

39,126 971

Cass

11,100 590

Chippewa

5,718 705

Chisago

15,608 840

Clay

19,193 751

Clearwater

2,879 727

Cook

3,202 591

Cottonwood

4,582 699

Crow Wing

30,351 727

Dakota

188,687 959

Dodge

5,977 874

Douglas

18,900 758

Faribault

4,757 709

Fillmore

6,068 629

Freeborn

11,988 767

Goodhue

21,626 871

Grant

1,877 728

Hennepin

927,199 1,236

Houston

5,175 627

Hubbard

6,470 716

Isanti

10,802 786

Itasca

15,977 770

Jackson

5,034 695

Kanabec

3,887 748

Kandiyohi

24,534 728

Kittson

1,491 670

Koochiching

4,561 774

Lac qui Parle

2,174 633

Lake

4,348 766

Lake of the Woods

1,543 655

Le Sueur

9,120 816

Lincoln

1,723 676

Lyon

14,506 795

McLeod

16,244 829

Mahnomen

1,939 689

Marshall

2,227 757

Martin

8,744 781

Meeker

7,385 706

Mille Lacs

9,671 678

Morrison

10,844 709

Mower

16,664 898

Murray

3,038 669

Nicollet

15,221 818

Nobles

10,483 781

Norman

1,667 687

Olmsted

97,720 1,180

Otter Tail

23,470 722

Pennington

10,188 832

Pine

8,462 598

Pipestone

4,416 711

Polk

12,356 734

Pope

4,349 787

Ramsey

334,884 1,124

Red Lake

1,035 682

Redwood

5,999 716

Renville

6,229 723

Rice

25,263 858

Rock

3,609 734

Roseau

8,038 836

St. Louis

99,143 844

Scott

53,608 891

Sherburne

25,960 849

Sibley

4,818 752

Stearns

87,193 877

Steele

21,033 830

Stevens

5,629 874

Swift

3,658 725

Todd

6,533 749

Traverse

1,184 640

Wabasha

6,929 683

Wadena

5,350 712

Waseca

6,591 796

Washington

85,391 851

Watonwan

4,262 659

Wilkin

1,877 786

Winona

24,912 777

Wright

43,978 796

Yellow Medicine

3,916 708

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 2017
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands) Percent change, September 2016-17 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2016-17 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

144,464.4 1.0 $1,021 -- -0.6 --

Alabama

1,941.1 0.8 859 37 -1.3 38

Alaska

335.4 -0.7 1,025 15 -2.8 50

Arizona

2,760.1 2.4 948 24 -0.2 10

Arkansas

1,213.0 0.6 788 49 -0.6 19

California

17,153.4 1.7 1,215 4 0.5 4

Colorado

2,625.9 1.9 1,067 9 0.5 4

Connecticut

1,676.3 0.1 1,179 6 -2.2 47

Delaware

443.0 0.4 1,026 14 0.4 6

District of Columbia

764.7 0.7 1,759 1 1.3 2

Florida

8,305.8 -0.2 896 29 -1.1 31

Georgia

4,343.5 1.3 961 21 -0.9 27

Hawaii

652.5 0.4 953 22 -0.3 13

Idaho

722.3 2.7 778 50 -0.5 16

Illinois

5,969.6 0.5 1,057 10 -0.3 13

Indiana

3,044.0 0.6 861 36 -0.6 19

Iowa

1,546.1 -0.2 855 38 -2.2 47

Kansas

1,376.4 -0.1 839 41 -2.1 46

Kentucky

1,890.4 0.5 837 42 -2.4 49

Louisiana

1,904.3 -0.1 869 33 -1.7 42

Maine

621.9 0.7 821 46 -0.5 16

Maryland

2,661.8 0.5 1,105 8 -1.7 42

Massachusetts

3,568.0 0.9 1,265 2 -0.9 27

Michigan

4,334.3 0.9 964 20 -1.1 31

Minnesota

2,883.0 1.1 1,030 13 -2.0 45

Mississippi

1,129.1 -0.1 729 51 -1.4 39

Missouri

2,805.8 0.9 878 31 -1.2 34

Montana

468.6 0.9 793 48 0.1 8

Nebraska

973.3 -0.2 850 39 -0.8 23

Nevada

1,337.7 2.9 914 26 -3.8 51

New Hampshire

659.1 0.6 1,022 16 -0.4 15

New Jersey

4,043.6 1.1 1,156 7 -1.5 41

New Mexico

816.0 0.3 823 45 -0.8 23

New York

9,329.8 1.2 1,219 3 -0.2 10

North Carolina

4,348.0 1.3 904 27 -0.7 21

North Dakota

419.2 -1.0 953 22 -1.2 34

Ohio

5,383.6 0.6 920 25 -0.8 23

Oklahoma

1,593.3 0.7 843 40 -1.2 34

Oregon

1,905.3 1.8 969 19 -0.1 9

Pennsylvania

5,836.5 1.0 1,002 17 -1.1 31

Rhode Island

484.5 0.8 973 18 -1.8 44

South Carolina

2,027.2 0.8 828 43 -0.5 16

South Dakota

426.2 0.4 803 47 -0.7 21

Tennessee

2,953.3 1.1 903 28 -1.2 34

Texas

12,008.9 1.4 1,032 12 -1.0 29

Utah

1,444.1 2.6 879 30 -0.2 10

Vermont

310.3 0.1 869 33 -1.4 39

Virginia

3,843.6 1.0 1,053 11 -0.8 23

Washington

3,343.4 2.0 1,208 5 1.7 1

West Virginia

694.0 0.2 826 44 1.1 3

Wisconsin

2,866.9 0.5 876 32 -1.0 29

Wyoming

276.2 0.3 868 35 0.3 7

Puerto Rico

862.8 -3.1 509 (3) -2.7 (3)

Virgin Islands

36.9 -1.1 763 (3) -1.9 (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: Tuesday, April 17, 2018