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News Release Information

20-1155-CHI
Monday, July 13, 2020

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

County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2019

Employment rose in Nebraska’s two large counties from December 2018 to December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Acting Regional Commissioner Julie Wilson noted that employment increased 0.8 percent over the year in Douglas County and 0.5 percent in Lancaster County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.2 percent over the year with 285 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. Cleveland, OK, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.2 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was highest in Douglas County (346,300) in December 2019. Lancaster County had an employment level of 174,100. Together, the two largest Nebraska counties accounted for 52.5 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

The two large Nebraska counties reported average weekly wage gains from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019, with the faster rate of increase in Douglas County, up 5.2 percent. In Lancaster County, average weekly wages rose 5.0 percent. Douglas County had an average weekly wage of $1,091. The average weekly wage in Lancaster County was $948. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.5 percent from a year ago to $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 91 counties in Nebraska with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2019, with one exception, Stanton ($1,244). (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The 5.2-percent annual average weekly wage gain in Douglas County ranked 33rd among the nation’s 355 largest counties in the fourth quarter of 2019. The 5.0-percent wage gain in Lancaster County ranked 45th.

Nationally, 341 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Santa Cruz, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (20.7 percent). The remaining 14 large counties had wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the state’s two large counties were below the national average of $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Average weekly wages in Douglas County ($1,091) and Lancaster County ($948) ranked 160th and 285th, respectively.

Nationally, 93 large counties reported average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,825. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 262 counties. At $701 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Nebraska’s smaller counties

All 91 smaller counties in Nebraska–those with employment below 75,000–reported average weekly wages below the national average of $1,185, with the exception of Stanton ($1,244). Other smaller counties with average wages above $1,000 included Nemaha ($1,038), Washington ($1,025), Dakota ($1,006), and Boyd ($1,003). Loup County reported the lowest average wage in the state at $478 per week, followed by Hooker County at $496 per week.

When all 93 counties in Nebraska were considered, 4 reported average weekly wages of less than $600, 15 registered wages from $600 to $699, 32 had wages from $700 to $799, 28 had wages from $800 to $899, and 14 had average weekly wages of $900 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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of this news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.


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 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 2019
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2019 (thousands) Percent change, December 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2018-19 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

149,857.1 1.2 -- $1,185 -- 3.5 --

Nebraska

990.9 0.7 -- 969 38 4.2 6

Douglas

346.3 0.8 199 1,091 160 5.2 33

Lancaster

174.1 0.5 231 948 285 5.0 45

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. 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 2019
Area Employment December 2019 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

149,857,130 $1,185

Nebraska

990,927 969

Adams

15,233 846

Antelope

2,354 784

Arthur

93 516

Banner

114 775

Blaine

121 759

Boone

2,399 840

Box Butte

3,734 762

Boyd

610 1,003

Brown

1,257 746

Buffalo

27,184 819

Burt

1,751 747

Butler

2,593 841

Cass

5,716 797

Cedar

2,662 777

Chase

1,846 808

Cherry

2,148 654

Cheyenne

4,155 782

Clay

2,315 923

Colfax

5,102 938

Cuming

3,790 873

Custer

4,459 812

Dakota

12,546 1,006

Dawes

3,046 688

Dawson

11,535 855

Deuel

525 690

Dixon

1,764 803

Dodge

17,768 852

Douglas

346,262 1,091

Dundy

569 832

Fillmore

2,222 883

Franklin

730 750

Frontier

853 697

Furnas

1,874 800

Gage

8,984 776

Garden

470 704

Garfield

807 692

Gosper

376 791

Grant

267 713

Greeley

603 692

Hall

34,672 837

Hamilton

3,571 917

Harlan

814 709

Hayes

216 647

Hitchcock

652 766

Holt

4,442 786

Hooker

305 496

Howard

1,559 737

Jefferson

3,346 755

Johnson

1,489 831

Kearney

2,236 776

Keith

3,231 720

Keya Paha

136 580

Kimball

1,406 774

Knox

2,918 725

Lancaster

174,108 948

Lincoln

14,292 811

Logan

196 631

Loup

123 478

Madison

22,262 857

McPherson

77 651

Merrick

2,241 873

Morrill

1,525 810

Nance

1,008 725

Nemaha

3,110 1,038

Nuckolls

1,427 697

Otoe

6,214 807

Pawnee

767 749

Perkins

1,157 907

Phelps

4,741 917

Pierce

1,900 803

Platte

19,277 916

Polk

1,478 778

Red Willow

4,980 771

Richardson

2,479 710

Rock

464 695

Saline

7,015 865

Sarpy

74,314 971

Saunders

5,511 818

Scotts Bluff

16,227 817

Seward

6,015 871

Sheridan

1,669 714

Sherman

748 633

Sioux

156 717

Stanton

1,333 1,244

Thayer

2,281 827

Thomas

252 625

Thurston

3,005 881

Valley

1,858 731

Washington

7,724 1,025

Wayne

4,448 697

Webster

1,044 691

Wheeler

319 750

York

7,418 860

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 2019
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2019 (thousands) Percent change, December 2018-19 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2018-19 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

149,857.1 1.2 $1,185 -- 3.5 --

Alabama

2,007.9 1.0 985 36 2.6 39

Alaska

309.9 0.6 1,139 16 3.2 27

Arizona

2,999.8 2.7 1,059 23 4.1 7

Arkansas

1,232.9 0.5 898 50 3.2 27

California

17,836.3 1.5 1,457 4 4.7 4

Colorado

2,772.6 2.2 1,227 9 4.0 8

Connecticut

1,687.4 -0.7 1,383 5 3.8 11

Delaware

455.3 0.8 1,136 17 2.6 39

District of Columbia

782.5 0.8 1,992 1 2.5 42

Florida

9,085.5 2.0 1,044 26 3.6 14

Georgia

4,576.1 1.7 1,090 21 3.6 14

Hawaii

665.1 -0.8 1,053 24 3.5 17

Idaho

756.9 3.1 918 46 3.1 32

Illinois

6,043.5 0.2 1,221 10 2.7 38

Indiana

3,106.0 0.6 969 38 3.0 34

Iowa

1,560.4 0.1 984 37 1.9 47

Kansas

1,410.7 0.6 959 40 3.5 17

Kentucky

1,928.3 0.8 955 41 3.2 27

Louisiana

1,927.7 -0.5 993 34 2.5 42

Maine

620.2 0.7 955 41 5.3 2

Maryland

2,728.1 0.9 1,271 8 3.5 17

Massachusetts

3,660.8 0.9 1,511 2 3.8 11

Michigan

4,385.3 0.4 1,115 18 3.4 22

Minnesota

2,912.8 0.4 1,177 14 3.2 27

Mississippi

1,145.0 0.0 818 51 3.2 27

Missouri

2,846.2 0.9 1,010 32 3.0 34

Montana

474.1 1.1 918 46 3.4 22

Nebraska

990.9 0.7 969 38 4.2 6

Nevada

1,435.5 2.7 1,030 29 2.4 45

New Hampshire

671.3 0.8 1,192 12 2.9 37

New Jersey

4,157.4 0.8 1,332 7 2.5 42

New Mexico

844.0 1.5 942 44 4.0 8

New York

9,691.0 0.8 1,499 3 3.7 13

North Carolina

4,546.9 1.9 1,036 28 2.4 45

North Dakota

424.6 0.5 1,085 22 2.6 39

Ohio

5,477.2 0.5 1,037 27 3.1 32

Oklahoma

1,639.4 0.3 945 43 1.4 49

Oregon

1,969.3 1.6 1,100 19 4.6 5

Pennsylvania

5,985.9 0.8 1,143 15 3.6 14

Rhode Island

489.8 0.6 1,099 20 1.1 50

South Carolina

2,144.8 1.2 931 45 4.0 8

South Dakota

430.7 0.6 916 48 3.5 17

Tennessee

3,085.4 1.6 1,047 25 1.6 48

Texas

12,793.0 2.0 1,187 13 3.4 22

Utah

1,547.8 2.5 1,022 30 5.0 3

Vermont

314.0 -0.4 987 35 3.5 17

Virginia

3,978.7 1.2 1,204 11 3.4 22

Washington

3,457.7 2.2 1,370 6 6.4 1

West Virginia

690.3 -2.0 904 49 -1.4 51

Wisconsin

2,898.0 0.2 1,022 30 3.3 26

Wyoming

276.3 1.4 1,007 33 3.0 34

Puerto Rico

910.7 1.5 575 (3) -0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

39.2 10.8 1,065 (3) 13.5 (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. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, July 13, 2020