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19-855-CHI
Monday, July 08, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2018

The two largest counties in Nebraska had employment gains from December 2017 to December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2017 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that employment rose 0.5 percent in Lancaster County and 0.3 percent in Douglas County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from December 2017 to December 2018 with 296 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Midland, TX, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 10.0 percent over the year. Bay, FL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.6 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (342,800) in December 2018. Lancaster County had an employment level of 172,400. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 52.4 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas County was $1,039 in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 3.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $904, up 2.6 percent over the year. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.2 percent over the year, increasing to $1,144 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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 increased 3.0 percent, ranking it 176th among the nation's 349 largest counties. Lancaster County’s average wages rose 2.6 percent over the year and ranked 210th nationwide. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 332 of the 349 largest counties had over-the-year wage growth. Tippecanoe, IN, had the largest fourth-quarter over-the-year wage gain at 15.1 percent. Williamson, TN, was second with a wage increase of 13.1 percent, followed by Olmsted, MN, at 13.0 percent.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 15 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Washington, PA, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-6.6 percent), followed by Elkhart, IN (-5.0 percent); Muscogee, GA, (-3.7 percent); and Douglas, CO (-3.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $1,039 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 167th in the fourth quarter of 2018. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $904 ranked 291st among the nation’s largest counties.

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,144 in 94 of the 349 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position among the highest-paid large counties in the nation with an average weekly wage of $2,670. San Francisco, CA, was second at $2,452, followed by San Mateo, CA, ($2,410); New York, NY, ($2,400); and Suffolk, MA ($2,055).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 255 had weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2018. Hidalgo, TX, had the lowest wage at $680, followed by Horry, SC, and Cameron, TX, each at $685.

Average weekly wages in Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Stanton ($1,330) and Washington ($1,168) had average weekly wages above the national average of $1,144. Loup County had the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $479 in the fourth quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in Nebraska were considered, 5 had average weekly wages less than $600, 22 had wages from $600 to $699, 40 had wages from $700 to $799, and 26 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 2017 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2018, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2018 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2017 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2019.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

BLS Local Data App Now Available for Android Devices

The BLS Local Data app, first released for iPhones last fall, is now available for Android devices. Search using your current location, a zip code, or a location name to find employment and wage data for detailed industries and occupations. BLS continues to partner with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Chief Information Officer to expand the features and data in the app. For more information please visit: https://beta.bls.gov/labs/blogs/2019/04/17/bls-local-data-app-now-available-for-android-devices/.


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. 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 2 largest counties in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2018
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands) Percent change, December 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,061.8 1.5 -- $1,144 -- 3.2 --

Nebraska

983.0 0.2 -- 930 40 3.2 30

Douglas, Neb.

342.8 0.3 258 1,039 167 3.0 176

Lancaster, Neb.

172.4 0.5 242 904 291 2.6 210

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 2018
Area Employment December 2018 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,061,773 $1,144

Nebraska

982,981 930

Adams

15,074 812

Antelope

2,091 758

Arthur

86 573

Banner

111 757

Blaine

131 673

Boone

2,424 780

Box Butte

3,768 726

Boyd

574 594

Brown

1,222 733

Buffalo

27,432 798

Burt

1,764 751

Butler

2,581 778

Cass

5,774 763

Cedar

2,654 749

Chase

1,950 781

Cherry

2,239 619

Cheyenne

4,365 824

Clay

2,321 909

Colfax

5,168 893

Cuming

3,651 846

Custer

4,511 778

Dakota

12,652 945

Dawes

3,041 659

Dawson

11,525 808

Deuel

513 642

Dixon

1,653 781

Dodge

17,338 823

Douglas

342,763 1,039

Dundy

566 786

Fillmore

2,194 826

Franklin

720 724

Frontier

863 687

Furnas

1,978 744

Gage

8,973 747

Garden

543 636

Garfield

830 672

Gosper

378 798

Grant

292 664

Greeley

620 679

Hall

34,756 813

Hamilton

3,618 908

Harlan

820 663

Hayes

208 631

Hitchcock

660 720

Holt

4,490 747

Hooker

279 518

Howard

1,590 697

Jefferson

3,389 702

Johnson

1,547 767

Kearney

2,242 791

Keith

3,163 710

Keya Paha

149 568

Kimball

1,446 743

Knox

2,915 685

Lancaster

172,364 904

Lincoln

14,366 790

Logan

190 625

Loup

122 479

Madison

22,026 844

McPherson

72 636

Merrick

2,313 838

Morrill

1,521 770

Nance

1,003 710

Nemaha

2,919 1,061

Nuckolls

1,489 692

Otoe

6,056 777

Pawnee

744 753

Perkins

1,154 885

Phelps

4,695 897

Pierce

1,953 784

Platte

19,179 892

Polk

1,471 753

Red Willow

5,072 731

Richardson

2,593 692

Rock

491 711

Saline

7,126 847

Sarpy

73,215 933

Saunders

5,349 752

Scotts Bluff

16,450 799

Seward

6,027 873

Sheridan

1,755 663

Sherman

809 613

Sioux

156 693

Stanton

1,354 1,330

Thayer

2,362 791

Thomas

257 636

Thurston

2,975 905

Valley

1,770 741

Washington

7,802 1,168

Wayne

4,261 725

Webster

1,031 654

Wheeler

313 752

York

7,565 842

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 2018
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands) Percent change, December 2017-18 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,061.8 1.5 $1,144 -- 3.2 --

Alabama

1,986.6 1.6 957 36 3.1 33

Alaska

308.3 0.4 1,103 16 4.9 7

Arizona

2,921.1 3.0 1,017 24 4.1 11

Arkansas

1,227.0 0.8 869 50 2.4 43

California

17,556.7 1.7 1,392 4 3.3 26

Colorado

2,713.7 2.2 1,180 10 4.1 11

Connecticut

1,697.9 0.5 1,334 5 1.3 49

Delaware

451.2 1.1 1,107 15 2.4 43

District of Columbia

775.1 0.6 1,943 1 7.3 2

Florida

8,902.7 2.1 1,006 27 3.1 33

Georgia

4,499.8 1.8 1,053 21 2.4 43

Hawaii

669.3 0.6 1,016 25 3.3 26

Idaho

734.4 3.2 890 47 3.6 20

Illinois

6,026.0 0.3 1,189 9 3.3 26

Indiana

3,086.2 0.9 941 38 2.8 37

Iowa

1,558.4 0.5 966 35 3.0 35

Kansas

1,402.2 0.8 927 41 3.7 18

Kentucky

1,914.0 0.3 924 42 3.2 30

Louisiana

1,934.1 0.7 968 34 3.8 15

Maine

618.4 1.3 906 44 2.5 41

Maryland

2,702.5 0.8 1,228 8 1.7 48

Massachusetts

3,620.3 1.0 1,457 2 3.3 26

Michigan

4,366.5 1.0 1,077 19 1.3 49

Minnesota

2,902.3 0.9 1,140 14 3.6 20

Mississippi

1,144.3 0.2 793 51 2.5 41

Missouri

2,821.3 0.5 980 31 3.6 20

Montana

468.8 1.6 888 48 5.2 5

Nebraska

983.0 0.2 930 40 3.2 30

Nevada

1,397.4 3.3 1,006 27 5.3 4

New Hampshire

666.0 0.7 1,158 12 2.3 46

New Jersey

4,125.6 0.8 1,298 6 2.7 38

New Mexico

830.2 1.5 905 45 4.6 9

New York

9,613.2 1.5 1,445 3 1.0 51

North Carolina

4,458.9 1.6 1,013 26 5.1 6

North Dakota

422.3 1.5 1,057 20 4.7 8

Ohio

5,442.9 0.5 1,006 27 3.4 24

Oklahoma

1,632.3 1.5 932 39 4.1 11

Oregon

1,935.8 1.7 1,052 22 3.7 18

Pennsylvania

5,932.5 1.0 1,103 16 2.6 39

Rhode Island

487.2 0.8 1,085 18 2.6 39

South Carolina

2,119.6 2.8 893 46 1.9 47

South Dakota

428.4 1.2 885 49 3.4 24

Tennessee

3,039.8 1.8 1,030 23 3.0 35

Texas

12,531.7 2.5 1,148 13 3.5 23

Utah

1,511.5 3.2 972 33 3.8 15

Vermont

314.2 -0.4 954 37 3.2 30

Virginia

3,927.2 1.1 1,164 11 3.8 15

Washington

3,384.2 2.4 1,292 7 6.3 3

West Virginia

704.2 1.5 917 43 8.3 1

Wisconsin

2,892.3 0.6 989 30 4.0 14

Wyoming

272.1 1.8 978 32 4.4 10

Puerto Rico

896.4 0.8 576 (3) 0.9 (3)

Virgin Islands

34.5 0.5 925 (3) 2.3 (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: Monday, July 08, 2019