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News Release Information

15-435-CHI
Friday, May 01, 2015

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

County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2014

Seven of the eight large counties in Minnesota reported employment increases from September 2013 to September 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2013 annual average employment.) Anoka County had the largest increase, up 1.9 percent followed by Hennepin, up 1.5 percent. Employment in Dakota County rose 1.3 percent. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that these same three large counties experienced over-the-year rates of employment growth below the 2.0 percent national increase. (See table 1.)

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin (872,800) in September 2014, followed by Ramsey (326,100). Two other counties—Dakota and Anoka—had employment levels of more than 100,000. Collectively, Minnesota's eight large counties accounted for 67.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 339 largest counties made up 71.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Olmsted County rose 11.1 percent from the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014, the largest increase among Minnesota's large counties. Hennepin County had the highest average weekly wage in the state at $1,175, followed by Olmsted ($1,077) and Ramsey ($1,057). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 2.9 percent over the year to $949 in the third quarter of 2014.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota with employment below 75,000. Of these 79, only Faribault County ($1,037) and Le Sueur County ($1,008) had average weekly wages above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Five of the 8 large counties in Minnesota recorded wage increases greater than the national increase of 2.9 percent from the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014. (See table 1.) As noted, Olmsted County experienced the state’s largest average weekly wage increase, up 11.1 percent. This was followed by Stearns (5.7 percent) and St. Louis (4.2 percent). Hennepin and Washington had the smallest wage increases among Minnesota’s large counties, up 1.1 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

Among the 339 largest U.S. counties, 328 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest increase with a gain of 11.1 percent. San Francisco, Calif., was second with wage growth of 8.7 percent, followed by Santa Clara, Calif., (7.4 percent). Wage decreases were recorded in 10 large counties nationwide; Collier, Fla., experienced the largest over-the-year wage loss at 3.9 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in three of Minnesota’s eight large counties were above the national average of $949 in the third quarter of 2014. As noted, Hennepin County ($1,175) had the highest average weekly wage in the state, ranking 27th among the 339 largest U.S. counties, followed by Olmsted ($1,077) and Ramsey ($1,057) which placed 46th and 54th respectively. Washington ($783) reported the lowest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties and ranked 267th nationwide.

Nationally, Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,012. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,824, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,733), San Francisco, Calif. ($1,685) and Washington, D.C. ($1,631).

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in the state (those with employment below 75,000), Faribault County had the highest average weekly wage at $1,037 followed by Le Sueur County ($1,008). These two counties were the only smaller counties to have wages greater than the $949 national average. Cass County had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties at $521. (See table 2.)

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, all but 5 had wages below the national average of $949. Eleven reported average weekly wages under $600, 36 had wages from $600 to $699, 28 reported wages from $700 to $799, 4 reported wages from $800 to $899, and 8 had 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 2013 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 2014 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2013 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13.htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2015.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2014 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. (CT).


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 9.4 million employer reports cover 137.7 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. 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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 8 largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2014
AreaEmploymentAverage Weekly Wage (1)
September 2014 (thousands)Percent change, September 2013-14 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2013-14 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

137,724.12.0--$949--2.9--

Minnesota

2,757.91.1--965152.922

Anoka, Minn.

118.21.91479371123.850

Dakota, Minn.

181.51.31929191293.661

Hennepin, Minn.

872.81.51711,175271.1293

Olmsted, Minn.

92.5-0.33221,0774611.11

Ramsey, Minn.

326.10.32901,057542.7140

St. Louis, Minn.

97.60.52768272134.231

Stearns, Minn.

83.60.72637932585.712

Washington, Minn.

76.70.42827832672.6154

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 2014
AreaEmployment September 2014Average Weekly Wage (1)

United States (2)

137,724,117$949

Minnesota

2,757,863965

Aitkin

3,827608

Anoka

118,232937

Becker

13,786676

Beltrami

19,169716

Benton

17,652684

Big Stone

1,809636

Blue Earth

38,078757

Brown

13,502730

Carlton

13,820765

Carver

36,539914

Cass

10,452521

Chippewa

5,776652

Chisago

14,546694

Clay

18,535694

Clearwater

2,729687

Cook

3,189542

Cottonwood

4,760629

Crow Wing

28,995671

Dakota

181,501919

Dodge

5,740773

Douglas

18,377742

Faribault

5,0771,037

Fillmore

6,154578

Freeborn

12,037708

Goodhue

21,929787

Grant

1,925676

Hennepin

872,7651,175

Houston

4,922576

Hubbard

6,168618

Isanti

10,906700

Itasca

16,349745

Jackson

5,696659

Kanabec

3,813663

Kandiyohi

23,171672

Kittson

1,457688

Koochiching

4,711713

Lac qui Parle

2,223607

Lake

4,472791

Lake of the Woods

1,527548

Le Sueur

8,7861,008

Lincoln

1,677597

Lyon

15,079725

McLeod

17,415765

Mahnomen

1,910590

Marshall

2,489731

Martin

8,345722

Meeker

7,277652

Mille Lacs

9,643624

Morrison

10,606631

Mower

16,334816

Murray

3,012602

Nicollet

14,331729

Nobles

10,327669

Norman

1,699615

Olmsted

92,4851,077

Otter Tail

22,846665

Pennington

10,645755

Pine

8,218564

Pipestone

4,519611

Polk

12,537670

Pope

4,280751

Ramsey

326,1291,057

Red Lake

1,030582

Redwood

6,390619

Renville

5,858684

Rice

23,445778

Rock

3,515636

Roseau

8,959808

St. Louis

97,570827

Scott

45,384854

Sherburne

26,586754

Sibley

4,044675

Stearns

83,593793

Steele

21,938720

Stevens

5,374765

Swift

3,473687

Todd

6,160627

Traverse

1,071594

Wabasha

7,127635

Wadena

5,822690

Waseca

6,838772

Washington

76,694783

Watonwan

3,973584

Wilkin

2,045697

Winona

25,013731

Wright

39,910726

Yellow Medicine

3,981652

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 2014
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2014 (thousands)Percent change, September 2013-14Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2013-14National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

137,724.12.0$949--2.9--

Alabama

1,871.21.3815342.530

Alaska

344.7-0.11,01993.019

Arizona

2,539.61.8876242.040

Arkansas

1,170.91.3737471.844

California

16,013.43.11,09553.77

Colorado

2,443.03.7982123.019

Connecticut

1,663.20.81,12441.449

Delaware

426.11.9961162.237

District of Columbia

732.90.81,63114.52

Florida

7,748.43.3826322.138

Georgia

4,059.03.4891212.823

Hawaii

625.10.9870253.94

Idaho

658.42.1721502.626

Illinois

5,807.41.2982122.530

Indiana

2,924.71.4799391.942

Iowa

1,528.81.1800383.610

Kansas

1,363.11.2794402.335

Kentucky

1,827.81.8781422.530

Louisiana

1,928.31.7852273.116

Maine

604.50.3754462.626

Maryland

2,574.51.11,04283.116

Massachusetts

3,386.71.81,16423.019

Michigan

4,141.01.7896192.433

Minnesota

2,757.91.1965152.922

Mississippi

1,105.00.5697511.350

Missouri

2,686.41.0828312.725

Montana

449.50.7732493.77

Nebraska

950.01.1779431.844

Nevada

1,215.84.0840280.551

New Hampshire

633.51.4927183.610

New Jersey

3,880.40.81,08761.747

New Mexico

804.01.1786412.626

New York

8,902.12.01,14533.215

North Carolina

4,085.51.9839292.823

North Dakota

455.94.3977146.11

Ohio

5,219.11.4863263.116

Oklahoma

1,592.31.0826323.610

Oregon

1,752.82.4887223.610

Pennsylvania

5,676.21.0937172.626

Rhode Island

471.81.4895201.844

South Carolina

1,902.72.4768452.433

South Dakota

415.81.7733483.77

Tennessee

2,775.52.4837302.138

Texas

11,433.63.1988113.86

Utah

1,304.73.1803371.548

Vermont

306.51.2805362.335

Virginia

3,667.90.6989102.040

Washington

3,112.83.21,08763.94

West Virginia

709.3-0.2778443.514

Wisconsin

2,783.11.1808351.942

Wyoming

291.31.7877234.43

Puerto Rico

896.7-1.5505(3)0.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.5-1.0720(3)2.0(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: Friday, May 01, 2015