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14-1484-CHI
August 14, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in Nebraska – Fourth Quarter 2013

The two largest counties in Nebraska reported employment gains from December 2012 to December 2013, 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 2012 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that employment rose 2.1 percent in Lancaster County and 1.9 percent in Douglas County, both above the national increase of 1.8 percent.

Nationally, 292 of the 334 largest U.S. counties registered employment increases from December 2012 to December 2013. Weld, Colo., recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. St. Clair, Ill., registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 3.1 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (326,700) in December 2013. Lancaster County recorded an employment level of 163,600. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 51.9 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas was $890 in the fourth quarter of 2013, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $790, down 0.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage was unchanged, remaining at $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 91 counties in Nebraska with employment below 75,000. All 91 of the smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,000. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in Lancaster County declined 0.3 percent, ranking it 214th among the nation's 334 largest counties. Douglas ranked 280th nationwide with a 1.5-percent decrease in average weekly wages. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 185 of the 334 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest wage gain, up 6.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. Ada, Idaho, was second with a wage increase of 6.4 percent, followed by the counties of Washington, Ore. (5.9 percent), and Union, N.J. (5.2 percent).

Among the large U.S. counties, 140 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Douglas, Colo., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 29.7 percent. San Mateo, Calif., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 15.8 percent from the fourth quarter 2012, followed by Virginia Beach City, Va. (-10.0 percent), McHenry, Ill. (-8.8 percent), and Shawnee, Kan. (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $890 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 186th in the fourth quarter of 2013. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $790 ranked 285th among the nation’s largest counties.

Nationally, 98 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,724. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,041, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,972).

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (235) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($587), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($598) and Hidalgo ($620). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than twenty-five percent of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, San Mateo, Calif.

Average weekly wages in Nebraska's smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Washington ($989), Stanton ($988), Dundy ($910), and Nemaha ($910) had average weekly wages above those of the state’s two largest counties. Loup County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $402 in the fourth quarter of 2013. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in the state were considered, 23 reported average weekly wages under $600, 28 reported wages from $600 to $674, 25 reported wages from $675 to $749, and 17 had wages of $750 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 2012 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 2013 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available later in September 2014.

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.


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 9.3 million employer reports cover 136.1 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 www.bls.gov/cew/;however, data in QCEW press releases have been revised (see Technical Note below) 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.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 2 largest counties in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2013 (thousands) Percent change, December 2012-13 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2012-13 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

136,129.4 1.8 -- $1,000 -- 0.0 --

Nebraska

944.3 1.4 -- 796 43 -0.1 32

Douglas, Neb.

326.7 1.9 130 890 186 -1.5 280

Lancaster, Neb.

163.6 2.1 118 790 285 -0.3 214

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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
 

Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment December 2013 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

136,129,407 $1,000

Nebraska

944,268 796

Adams

15,090 708

Antelope

2,055 660

Arthur

78 475

Banner

159 675

Blaine

137 494

Boone

2,352 675

Box Butte

3,979 673

Boyd

588 493

Brown

1,234 599

Buffalo

26,506 690

Burt

1,827 675

Butler

2,642 712

Cass

5,448 692

Cedar

2,742 657

Chase

1,875 697

Cherry

2,206 524

Cheyenne

5,859 868

Clay

2,508 816

Colfax

4,834 722

Cuming

3,897 707

Custer

4,203 753

Dakota

11,947 746

Dawes

3,326 565

Dawson

11,602 656

Deuel

628 613

Dixon

1,783 629

Dodge

16,742 678

Douglas

326,676 890

Dundy

682 910

Fillmore

2,257 728

Franklin

786 639

Frontier

772 604

Furnas

1,978 613

Gage

8,749 661

Garden

553 549

Garfield

838 579

Gosper

467 667

Grant

278 562

Greeley

640 546

Hall

35,461 693

Hamilton

3,248 850

Harlan

845 554

Hayes

204 614

Hitchcock

705 661

Holt

4,521 647

Hooker

277 427

Howard

1,516 605

Jefferson

3,304 613

Johnson

1,673 645

Kearney

2,272 696

Keith

3,246 606

Keya Paha

155 530

Kimball

1,508 788

Knox

2,873 565

Lancaster

163,566 790

Lincoln

14,893 682

Logan

195 564

Loup

110 402

Madison

21,591 704

McPherson

65 515

Merrick

2,322 741

Morrill

1,573 725

Nance

1,089 635

Nemaha

3,095 910

Nuckolls

1,430 565

Otoe

6,200 643

Pawnee

1,061 605

Perkins

1,135 774

Phelps

4,725 768

Pierce

1,987 667

Platte

18,894 744

Polk

1,485 696

Red Willow

5,497 632

Richardson

2,416 577

Rock

450 622

Saline

6,980 728

Sarpy

65,436 795

Saunders

4,919 644

Scotts Bluff

17,056 690

Seward

6,153 774

Sheridan

1,789 513

Sherman

813 515

Sioux

166 583

Stanton

1,500 988

Thayer

2,528 837

Thomas

258 687

Thurston

2,867 779

Valley

1,754 618

Washington

8,179 989

Wayne

4,045 643

Webster

1,032 584

Wheeler

315 628

York

7,530 741

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 2013
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2012-13
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2012-13
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

136,129.4 1.8 $1,000 -- 0.0 --

Alabama

1,866.5 1.0 851 34 -0.5 39

Alaska

315.1 0.0 1,022 14 1.6 7

Arizona

2,571.0 2.4 906 23 -0.5 39

Arkansas

1,154.3 -0.5 771 47 0.4 22

California

15,650.3 2.8 1,175 6 -0.9 43

Colorado

2,383.9 3.1 1,023 13 -0.9 43

Connecticut

1,661.2 0.3 1,238 4 -1.3 49

Delaware

419.6 1.8 1,035 9 -0.6 41

District of Columbia

727.3 0.6 1,638 1 -3.9 51

Florida

7,739.5 2.7 883 29 0.2 27

Georgia

3,986.9 2.5 924 21 -0.1 32

Hawaii

632.9 1.7 871 30 0.3 25

Idaho

634.5 2.6 754 50 3.0 2

Illinois

5,758.9 1.0 1,060 8 0.2 27

Indiana

2,896.9 1.6 814 40 -0.2 35

Iowa

1,510.9 1.4 834 38 1.6 7

Kansas

1,359.5 1.6 832 39 -0.4 38

Kentucky

1,818.0 1.2 804 42 0.2 27

Louisiana

1,911.6 0.9 889 26 0.5 20

Maine

586.8 0.8 786 46 1.7 5

Maryland

2,555.1 0.4 1,076 7 -0.9 43

Massachusetts

3,332.9 1.5 1,258 3 0.8 17

Michigan

4,072.4 2.0 952 20 -0.2 35

Minnesota

2,720.6 1.7 988 16 0.3 25

Mississippi

1,108.1 1.1 729 51 1.3 11

Missouri

2,670.4 1.1 861 32 -0.2 35

Montana

440.0 1.3 760 48 0.4 22

Nebraska

944.3 1.4 796 43 -0.1 32

Nevada

1,180.5 3.0 884 28 0.7 18

New Hampshire

629.3 1.4 1,017 15 -0.8 42

New Jersey

3,887.5 1.2 1,186 5 1.1 14

New Mexico

796.2 -0.1 814 40 1.4 10

New York

8,888.6 1.7 1,266 2 -1.1 48

North Carolina

4,045.5 1.9 860 33 0.7 18

North Dakota

435.0 3.3 980 17 3.8 1

Ohio

5,175.4 1.4 887 27 0.0 30

Oklahoma

1,581.3 0.6 851 34 -0.1 32

Oregon

1,699.6 2.5 894 25 2.6 3

Pennsylvania

5,650.3 0.4 976 18 0.4 22

Rhode Island

462.7 1.4 960 19 1.5 9

South Carolina

1,875.8 2.3 793 44 1.0 15

South Dakota

407.1 1.3 759 49 1.3 11

Tennessee

2,758.3 1.8 895 24 -0.9 43

Texas

11,246.3 2.6 1,027 12 0.0 30

Utah

1,284.7 3.1 836 37 -0.9 43

Vermont

308.5 0.6 848 36 2.3 4

Virginia

3,670.0 0.1 1,028 11 -1.3 49

Washington

2,976.0 2.5 1,034 10 1.7 5

West Virginia

710.1 -0.6 792 45 0.5 20

Wisconsin

2,751.8 1.0 865 31 1.2 13

Wyoming

279.2 0.6 917 22 1.0 15

Puerto Rico

958.3 -2.3 551 (3) 0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 -3.6 754 (3) 2.4 (3)

(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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
 

 Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2013

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014