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18-935-CHI
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2017

The two largest counties in Nebraska had employment gains from December 2016 to December 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2016 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that employment rose 1.5 percent in Lancaster County and 0.7 percent in Douglas County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.5 percent from December 2016 to December 2017 with 316 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registering increases. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 11.5 percent over the year. Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with losses of 1.8 percent each.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (342,700) in December 2017. Lancaster County had an employment level of 170,300. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 52.3 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas County was $1,011 in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 3.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $882, up 2.9 percent over the year. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 3.9 percent over the year, increasing to $1,109 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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 171st among the nation's 346 largest counties. Lancaster County’s average wages rose 2.9 percent over the year and ranked 180th nationwide. (See table 1.)

Among the 346 largest counties in the U.S., 339 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the fourth quarter of 2017. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest percentage increases in average weekly wages among the largest U.S. counties (11.5 percent each). Seven of the 346 largest counties experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a decline of 6.7 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $1,011 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 162nd in the fourth quarter of 2017. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $882 ranked 289th among the nation’s largest counties.

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,109 in 95 of the 346 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,576, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,439), and San Mateo, Calif. ($2,341). Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (251) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wages were in the Texas counties of Cameron ($652) and Hidalgo ($664), followed by Horry, S.C. ($674).

Average weekly wages in Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Stanton ($1,130) and Cheyenne ($1,125) had average weekly wages above the national average of $1,109. Loup County had the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $460 in the fourth quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in Nebraska were considered, 8 had average weekly wages less than $600, 24 had wages from $600 to $699, 41 had wages from $700 to $799, and 20 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 2016 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 2016 are now available online at https://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 first quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process has accelerated for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data are now published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data have been accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release, with smaller county data contained in this release, occurs two weeks later.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 145.9 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.

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

United States (4)

145,921.1 1.5 -- $1,109 -- 3.9 --

Nebraska

980.9 0.9 -- 901 39 3.0 28

Douglas, Neb.

342.7 0.7 240 1,011 162 3.0 171

Lancaster, Neb.

170.3 1.5 135 882 289 2.9 180

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 2017
Area Employment December 2017 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109 $1,109

Nebraska

980,919 901

Adams

15,188 784

Antelope

2,155 757

Arthur

86 539

Banner

118 714

Blaine

130 687

Boone

2,327 737

Box Butte

3,779 739

Boyd

574 592

Brown

1,201 683

Buffalo

27,464 777

Burt

1,775 733

Butler

2,548 754

Cass

5,737 756

Cedar

2,667 728

Chase

1,858 737

Cherry

2,297 620

Cheyenne

4,909 1,125

Clay

2,353 847

Colfax

5,254 833

Cuming

3,718 805

Custer

4,608 755

Dakota

13,139 879

Dawes

3,290 620

Dawson

11,392 774

Deuel

564 616

Dixon

1,707 678

Dodge

17,569 771

Douglas

342,700 1,011

Dundy

579 739

Fillmore

2,138 802

Franklin

732 760

Frontier

846 687

Furnas

2,031 719

Gage

9,153 731

Garden

555 707

Garfield

800 642

Gosper

353 771

Grant

302 671

Greeley

632 628

Hall

34,867 780

Hamilton

3,728 878

Harlan

833 639

Hayes

201 622

Hitchcock

648 691

Holt

4,474 727

Hooker

282 472

Howard

1,608 696

Jefferson

3,369 691

Johnson

1,530 755

Kearney

2,218 740

Keith

3,249 654

Keya Paha

135 576

Kimball

1,416 730

Knox

2,867 658

Lancaster

170,316 882

Lincoln

14,675 765

Logan

193 594

Loup

136 460

Madison

21,855 805

McPherson

75 584

Merrick

2,293 790

Morrill

1,561 724

Nance

1,093 714

Nemaha

3,153 966

Nuckolls

1,470 663

Otoe

6,064 767

Pawnee

789 728

Perkins

1,151 854

Phelps

4,731 892

Pierce

1,962 746

Platte

18,892 861

Polk

1,461 720

Red Willow

5,057 714

Richardson

2,452 665

Rock

494 669

Saline

7,247 828

Sarpy

71,367 904

Saunders

5,315 753

Scotts Bluff

16,715 776

Seward

6,009 832

Sheridan

1,771 589

Sherman

795 603

Sioux

159 681

Stanton

1,345 1,130

Thayer

2,439 765

Thomas

275 750

Thurston

3,053 864

Valley

1,811 678

Washington

7,983 997

Wayne

4,255 709

Webster

1,063 609

Wheeler

318 709

York

7,486 782

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

United States (2)

145,921.1 1.5 $1,109 -- 3.9 --

Alabama

1,955.3 1.1 928 36 2.9 32

Alaska

306.7 -1.2 1,052 19 1.5 51

Arizona

2,834.7 2.6 978 25 3.5 12

Arkansas

1,217.2 1.0 848 48 2.5 42

California

17,293.0 2.1 1,346 4 5.7 4

Colorado

2,653.3 2.5 1,133 10 4.3 9

Connecticut

1,689.7 0.3 1,317 5 2.2 46

Delaware

444.9 0.6 1,081 15 2.6 40

District of Columbia

769.0 0.9 1,812 1 2.7 37

Florida

8,712.0 2.0 975 26 3.4 16

Georgia

4,425.0 1.8 1,027 20 3.4 16

Hawaii

664.5 0.8 984 24 3.1 26

Idaho

712.4 3.0 857 46 7.1 1

Illinois

6,001.1 0.8 1,151 9 2.6 40

Indiana

3,057.8 1.1 915 38 3.6 11

Iowa

1,549.7 0.4 938 32 3.0 28

Kansas

1,390.3 0.4 894 41 1.9 49

Kentucky

1,903.8 0.5 892 42 2.1 47

Louisiana

1,918.8 0.4 933 35 2.1 47

Maine

610.3 1.2 884 43 3.4 16

Maryland

2,683.6 0.5 1,207 8 3.3 22

Massachusetts

3,582.2 1.3 1,411 3 4.4 8

Michigan

4,321.8 0.9 1,062 17 3.4 16

Minnesota

2,875.7 1.3 1,100 14 3.4 16

Mississippi

1,140.6 0.5 774 51 2.4 45

Missouri

2,809.5 1.0 945 31 2.9 32

Montana

461.4 1.0 843 50 2.7 37

Nebraska

980.9 0.9 901 39 3.0 28

Nevada

1,351.9 3.5 955 29 3.2 25

New Hampshire

661.3 0.7 1,132 11 3.7 10

New Jersey

4,106.9 1.6 1,262 6 1.8 50

New Mexico

816.7 0.6 865 45 2.5 42

New York

9,465.3 1.4 1,428 2 6.4 2

North Carolina

4,388.6 1.5 964 28 3.3 22

North Dakota

416.1 0.4 1,010 22 3.3 22

Ohio

5,409.2 0.8 973 27 3.1 26

Oklahoma

1,607.8 1.2 895 40 3.5 12

Oregon

1,900.4 2.0 1,014 21 4.5 7

Pennsylvania

5,870.4 1.2 1,075 16 3.5 12

Rhode Island

483.6 1.1 1,056 18 2.7 37

South Carolina

2,058.8 1.6 879 44 2.8 35

South Dakota

423.8 0.9 856 47 3.4 16

Tennessee

2,984.8 1.3 1,000 23 3.0 28

Texas

12,207.8 2.0 1,109 13 3.5 12

Utah

1,465.5 3.6 936 33 2.9 32

Vermont

314.7 0.5 919 37 2.5 42

Virginia

3,884.2 1.3 1,121 12 2.8 35

Washington

3,305.0 2.4 1,217 7 5.8 3

West Virginia

693.1 0.1 847 49 4.7 5

Wisconsin

2,872.6 1.0 951 30 3.0 28

Wyoming

267.5 0.6 935 34 4.6 6

Puerto Rico

887.0 -4.4 570 (3) 2.5 (3)

Virgin Islands

34.3 -11.1 827 (3) 7.7 (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: Thursday, July 19, 2018