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15-1227-CHI
Monday, July 20, 2015

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County Employment and Wages in Nebraska — Fourth Quarter 2014

The two largest counties in Nebraska reported employment gains from December 2013 to December 2014, 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 2013 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that employment rose 1.7 percent in Douglas County and 0.8 percent in Lancaster County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 2.2 percent from December 2013 to December 2014 as 319 of the 339 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Weld, Colo., and Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increases, with gains of 8.0 percent each over the year. Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.0 percent.

Among the two largest counties in Nebraska, employment was higher in Douglas (332,400) in December 2014. Lancaster County recorded an employment level of 164,900. Collectively, Nebraska’s two large counties accounted for 51.9 percent of the state's employment. Nationwide, the 339 largest counties made up 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Douglas was $932 in the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 4.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. (See table 1.) Average weekly wages in Lancaster were $819, up 3.8 percent over the year. Nationally, the average weekly wage was $1,035, up 3.5 percent from a year ago.

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. With the exceptions of Blaine County ($1,131) and Stanton County ($1,148), wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2014. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages in Douglas County increased 4.7 percent, ranking it 60th among the nation's 339 largest counties. Lancaster County’s 3.8-percent wage gain ranked 133rd nationwide. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 332 of the 339 largest counties registered over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Benton, Ark., had the largest wage gain, up 9.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. Washington, Pa., was second with a wage increase of 9.2 percent, followed by the counties of Midland, Texas (9.0 percent), Brazoria, Texas (8.9 percent), and Douglas, Colo. (8.8 percent).

Of the 339 largest U.S. counties, 7 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 20.4 percent from the fourth quarter 2013. Olmsted, Minn., had the second largest percentage decrease with a loss of 5.5 percent, followed by Morris, N.J. (-2.9 percent); Rockland, N.Y. (-1.3 percent); and Camden, N.J., and Butler, Pa. (-0.8 percent each).

Large county average weekly wages

Douglas County’s $932 average weekly wage placed near the middle of the national ranking at 181st in the fourth quarter of 2014. Lancaster County’s average weekly wage of $819 ranked 285th among the nation’s largest counties.

Nationally, 95 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,035 in the fourth quarter of 2014. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,166. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,138, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($2,114), Suffolk Mass. ($1,856), and San Francisco, Calif. ($1,850).

Seventy-two percent of the largest U.S. counties (244) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($610), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($621) and Hidalgo ($641), and the Florida counties of Osceola ($687) and Lake ($691).

Average weekly wages in Nebraska’s smaller counties

Among the counties with employment below 75,000, Stanton ($1,148), Blaine ($1,131), Nemaha ($990), and Washington ($957) had average weekly wages above those of the state’s two largest counties. Loup County reported the lowest weekly wage in the state, averaging $414 in the fourth quarter of 2014. (See table 2.)

When all 93 counties in the state were considered, 17 reported average weekly wages less than $600, 31 reported wages from $600 to $699, 31 reported wages from $700 to $799, and 14 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 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 first quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 17, 2015.


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 9.5 million employer reports cover 139.2 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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 2 largest counties in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2014
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2014 (thousands) Percent change, December 2013-14 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2013-14 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

139,204.8 2.2 -- $1,035 -- 3.5 --

Nebraska

958.1 1.4 -- 837 42 5.2 3

Douglas, Neb.

332.4 1.7 183 932 181 4.7 60

Lancaster, Neb.

164.9 0.8 264 819 285 3.8 133

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 2014
Area Employment December 2014 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

139,204,840 $1,035

Nebraska

958,100 837

Adams

15,134 747

Antelope

2,099 702

Arthur

84 455

Banner

163 734

Blaine

136 1,131

Boone

2,363 674

Box Butte

3,941 692

Boyd

574 526

Brown

1,235 651

Buffalo

27,182 727

Burt

1,867 729

Butler

2,711 753

Cass

5,414 701

Cedar

2,783 687

Chase

1,835 738

Cherry

2,250 606

Cheyenne

5,650 880

Clay

2,555 809

Colfax

5,046 708

Cuming

3,919 751

Custer

4,229 797

Dakota

12,337 810

Dawes

3,336 588

Dawson

11,642 701

Deuel

580 602

Dixon

1,737 631

Dodge

17,114 700

Douglas

332,436 932

Dundy

627 742

Fillmore

2,263 740

Franklin

805 659

Frontier

748 663

Furnas

2,020 666

Gage

9,021 693

Garden

555 581

Garfield

851 603

Gosper

405 700

Grant

271 667

Greeley

646 577

Hall

35,017 724

Hamilton

3,408 797

Harlan

835 586

Hayes

214 571

Hitchcock

673 692

Holt

4,601 718

Hooker

270 506

Howard

1,538 615

Jefferson

3,377 651

Johnson

1,690 668

Kearney

2,270 728

Keith

3,381 621

Keya Paha

160 561

Kimball

1,633 816

Knox

2,937 579

Lancaster

164,945 819

Lincoln

14,764 726

Logan

201 552

Loup

119 414

Madison

21,865 754

McPherson

70 541

Merrick

2,477 778

Morrill

1,536 713

Nance

1,141 643

Nemaha

3,211 990

Nuckolls

1,413 574

Otoe

6,189 676

Pawnee

866 648

Perkins

1,161 794

Phelps

4,856 824

Pierce

2,049 708

Platte

18,831 788

Polk

1,490 697

Red Willow

5,398 673

Richardson

2,451 619

Rock

450 651

Saline

6,938 773

Sarpy

67,322 838

Saunders

5,177 672

Scotts Bluff

16,901 741

Seward

6,155 779

Sheridan

1,764 563

Sherman

824 537

Sioux

173 601

Stanton

1,361 1,148

Thayer

2,484 820

Thomas

260 616

Thurston

2,957 814

Valley

1,778 662

Washington

8,169 957

Wayne

4,113 635

Webster

1,056 583

Wheeler

328 664

York

7,548 763

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 2014
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2014 (thousands) Percent change, December 2013-14 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2013-14 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

139,204.8 2.2 $1,035 -- 3.5 --

Alabama

1,891.4 1.3 881 35 3.5 31

Alaska

317.6 0.8 1,063 13 4.0 20

Arizona

2,630.8 2.2 926 25 2.3 47

Arkansas

1,180.5 2.2 807 47 4.5 5

California

16,068.5 2.6 1,209 6 2.9 41

Colorado

2,478.0 3.9 1,066 12 4.1 17

Connecticut

1,681.2 1.2 1,278 4 2.7 45

Delaware

433.0 2.9 1,049 16 1.5 51

District of Columbia

736.9 0.9 1,696 1 3.7 28

Florida

8,009.6 3.5 911 28 3.1 40

Georgia

4,131.9 3.7 958 21 3.8 25

Hawaii

638.3 0.7 908 29 4.2 15

Idaho

650.7 2.5 782 50 4.0 20

Illinois

5,844.1 1.4 1,089 8 2.8 42

Indiana

2,946.5 1.7 846 41 3.9 22

Iowa

1,527.6 1.1 870 38 4.3 11

Kansas

1,377.2 1.3 855 39 2.6 46

Kentucky

1,852.2 1.8 836 43 4.1 17

Louisiana

1,954.0 2.1 923 26 3.8 25

Maine

592.7 0.9 826 44 5.1 4

Maryland

2,590.3 1.3 1,113 7 3.5 31

Massachusetts

3,415.6 2.2 1,315 3 4.5 5

Michigan

4,158.9 2.1 984 20 3.3 37

Minnesota

2,762.9 1.4 1,024 17 3.6 30

Mississippi

1,118.6 1.0 747 51 2.3 47

Missouri

2,709.8 1.5 891 32 3.4 34

Montana

442.2 0.5 794 48 4.5 5

Nebraska

958.1 1.4 837 42 5.2 3

Nevada

1,229.6 4.2 899 30 1.6 50

New Hampshire

638.0 1.4 1,081 10 6.3 2

New Jersey

3,933.6 1.3 1,211 5 2.0 49

New Mexico

808.4 1.3 850 40 4.4 10

New York

9,067.6 2.0 1,321 2 4.3 11

North Carolina

4,141.8 2.4 890 33 3.4 34

North Dakota

454.8 4.5 1,050 15 7.1 1

Ohio

5,264.3 1.6 922 27 3.9 22

Oklahoma

1,614.3 2.1 876 36 2.8 42

Oregon

1,755.4 3.2 928 23 3.8 25

Pennsylvania

5,716.5 1.2 1,013 18 3.7 28

Rhode Island

471.5 1.9 1,003 19 4.5 5

South Carolina

1,931.4 2.9 817 46 3.2 39

South Dakota

412.5 1.3 791 49 4.2 15

Tennessee

2,822.1 2.4 927 24 3.5 31

Texas

11,662.7 3.7 1,070 11 4.3 11

Utah

1,324.2 3.0 872 37 4.3 11

Vermont

311.0 0.7 882 34 4.1 17

Virginia

3,691.4 0.6 1,057 14 2.8 42

Washington

3,069.7 3.2 1,082 9 4.5 5

West Virginia

712.0 0.1 818 45 3.3 37

Wisconsin

2,789.3 1.3 894 31 3.4 34

Wyoming

283.6 1.5 952 22 3.9 22

Puerto Rico

944.2 -1.5 556 (3) 0.7 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 -0.3 746 (3) -1.2 (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.
 

 Chart 1.  Average weekly wages by county in Nebraska, fourth quarter 2014

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, July 20, 2015