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21-350-CHI
Thursday, April 08, 2021

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Technical information:
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County Employment and Wages in Minnesota — Third Quarter 2020

Employment fell in all eight of the largest counties in Minnesota from September 2019 to September 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that Hennepin County and Ramsey County had the largest over-the-year decreases in employment at 9.7 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 6.8 percent over the year, with 355 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Maui + Kalawao, HI, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 35.4 percent. Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 1.9 percent.

Among the eight largest counties in Minnesota, employment was highest in Hennepin County (849,900) in September 2020. Within Hennepin County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Together, the eight largest Minnesota counties accounted for 66.8 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 79 counties in Minnesota with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all of the 79 smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Seven of the eight large Minnesota counties reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Hennepin County (+9.0 percent) and Dakota (+8.1 percent) had wage gains that were above the national rate of 7.4 percent. Olmsted County’s average weekly wages declined 4.4 percent.


Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 350 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, the increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Employment declines occurring in some higher-paid industries also feature significant wage increases. San Mateo, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+23.2 percent). Seven large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-11.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the 3 of the 8 largest counties in Minnesota were above the national average of $1,173 in the third quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in these three counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Hennepin ($1,447, 26th), Ramsey ($1,263, 65th), and Olmsted ($1,224, 81st).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 96 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2020. San Mateo, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,922. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 261 counties. At $697 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Minnesota’s smaller counties

Among the 79 smaller counties in Minnesota—those with employment below 75,000— all reported an average weekly wage below the national average of $1,173. Carver County ($1,069) reported the highest average weekly wage in the state, while Fillmore County ($694) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 87 counties in Minnesota were considered, 13 reported average weekly wages of less than $750, 27 registered wages from $750 to $849, 33 had wages from $850 to $949, and 14 had average weekly wages of $950 or higher. (See chart 3.)

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 2019 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm. The 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.


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 individuals with sensory impairments 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 eight largest counties in Minnesota, third quarter 2020
Area Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 -- $1,173 -- 7.4 --

Minnesota

183.1 2,703.3 -7.4 -- 1,178 12 6.4 27

Anoka

7.9 121.5 -6.8 199 1,126 126 3.6 328

Dakota

10.8 177.0 -7.7 226 1,139 116 8.1 125

Hennepin

41.7 849.9 -9.7 313 1,447 26 9.0 75

Olmsted

3.8 96.7 -3.6 47 1,224 81 -4.4 354

Ramsey

14.3 305.6 -9.2 297 1,263 65 5.5 271

St. Louis

5.4 90.1 -8.1 248 947 280 3.5 329

Stearns

4.4 81.6 -6.1 165 1,010 219 6.9 196

Washington

6.2 84.5 -5.0 94 944 286 4.2 316

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 2020
Area Employment September 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503 $1,173

Minnesota

2,703,282 1,178

Aitkin

4,197 742

Anoka

121,450 1,126

Becker

13,896 784

Beltrami

20,034 896

Benton

17,296 911

Big Stone

1,685 803

Blue Earth

37,494 930

Brown

13,234 869

Carlton

12,380 958

Carver

37,350 1,069

Cass

9,872 729

Chippewa

5,375 779

Chisago

15,219 937

Clay

18,644 874

Clearwater

2,616 859

Cook

2,723 707

Cottonwood

5,405 836

Crow Wing

28,673 844

Dakota

176,992 1,139

Dodge

5,841 988

Douglas

18,782 876

Faribault

4,395 838

Fillmore

6,082 694

Freeborn

11,531 833

Goodhue

19,892 952

Grant

1,848 778

Hennepin

849,873 1,447

Houston

5,087 703

Hubbard

6,165 796

Isanti

11,022 828

Itasca

15,494 846

Jackson

4,870 776

Kanabec

3,866 890

Kandiyohi

23,658 854

Kittson

1,478 732

Koochiching

4,183 880

Lac qui Parle

2,089 737

Lake

3,860 891

Lake of the Woods

1,575 747

Le Sueur

8,653 914

Lincoln

1,498 697

Lyon

12,928 943

McLeod

15,019 910

Mahnomen

1,472 808

Marshall

2,348 920

Martin

7,859 887

Meeker

7,100 838

Mille Lacs

8,784 776

Morrison

10,648 781

Mower

15,946 989

Murray

2,889 780

Nicollet

14,153 926

Nobles

10,085 927

Norman

1,526 768

Olmsted

96,691 1,224

Otter Tail

22,517 810

Pennington

9,753 944

Pine

7,431 716

Pipestone

4,190 789

Polk

12,001 872

Pope

4,269 858

Ramsey

305,578 1,263

Red Lake

1,054 727

Redwood

5,834 836

Renville

5,686 851

Rice

24,119 952

Rock

3,240 771

Roseau

7,477 948

St. Louis

90,140 947

Scott

52,697 1,037

Sherburne

25,749 945

Sibley

4,357 879

Stearns

81,612 1,010

Steele

19,685 908

Stevens

5,400 1,001

Swift

3,280 790

Todd

6,463 849

Traverse

1,178 719

Wabasha

6,703 785

Wadena

5,319 797

Waseca

5,906 865

Washington

84,514 944

Watonwan

4,275 786

Wilkin

1,623 941

Winona

22,862 889

Wright

43,918 920

Yellow Medicine

3,816 744

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 2020
State Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 $1,173 -- 7.4 --

Alabama

132.2 1,902.4 -4.5 978 33 6.4 27

Alaska

22.9 302.6 -10.7 1,165 14 5.4 42

Arizona

174.1 2,797.1 -4.2 1,091 22 7.3 17

Arkansas

93.6 1,180.1 -3.4 892 49 6.1 31

California

1,643.8 16,096.8 -9.2 1,466 4 12.0 1

Colorado

220.1 2,597.2 -5.6 1,235 9 5.6 38

Connecticut

125.4 1,555.6 -7.3 1,328 7 7.4 15

Delaware

34.9 428.8 -5.6 1,150 15 6.8 21

District of Columbia

43.3 713.7 -8.1 1,962 1 6.1 31

Florida

749.1 8,329.7 -5.8 1,029 27 8.0 11

Georgia

313.0 4,282.1 -5.2 1,084 23 5.8 35

Hawaii

46.5 507.5 -22.9 1,114 18 10.3 4

Idaho

70.7 763.7 -0.2 884 50 5.5 41

Illinois

385.9 5,558.5 -7.8 1,199 11 6.8 21

Indiana

172.4 2,941.8 -4.7 961 39 5.3 43

Iowa

105.1 1,475.0 -5.2 969 36 6.0 34

Kansas

89.2 1,325.4 -5.0 952 40 6.6 24

Kentucky

128.0 1,807.1 -5.5 935 43 5.8 35

Louisiana

139.5 1,734.6 -9.6 970 35 5.2 45

Maine

54.4 597.3 -5.9 966 37 9.0 9

Maryland

172.4 2,496.6 -7.6 1,277 8 9.5 7

Massachusetts

265.1 3,314.8 -9.4 1,488 2 9.7 6

Michigan

266.9 4,035.9 -7.9 1,096 20 7.5 14

Minnesota

183.1 2,703.3 -7.4 1,178 12 6.4 27

Mississippi

74.9 1,092.4 -4.0 810 51 5.6 38

Missouri

218.8 2,681.7 -5.1 995 32 5.6 38

Montana

53.0 466.9 -2.5 904 48 6.6 24

Nebraska

73.7 949.9 -3.8 964 38 6.4 27

Nevada

87.9 1,251.0 -11.6 1,048 24 7.8 13

New Hampshire

56.1 634.2 -5.2 1,171 13 8.9 10

New Jersey

289.3 3,778.4 -8.0 1,331 6 9.5 7

New Mexico

63.1 771.9 -8.6 944 41 5.1 46

New York

657.6 8,547.7 -10.8 1,446 5 10.0 5

North Carolina

301.4 4,308.2 -4.4 1,039 26 6.9 20

North Dakota

32.5 398.2 -7.0 1,025 28 -0.3 50

Ohio

305.7 5,136.8 -5.6 1,040 25 6.6 24

Oklahoma

112.4 1,538.5 -5.7 917 46 2.3 48

Oregon

164.6 1,837.3 -7.0 1,113 19 7.4 15

Pennsylvania

366.5 5,501.0 -7.6 1,139 17 7.0 19

Rhode Island

40.1 452.5 -8.0 1,092 21 10.4 3

South Carolina

146.6 2,022.9 -5.2 924 44 6.7 23

South Dakota

35.2 422.3 -2.6 918 45 7.2 18

Tennessee

173.6 2,918.1 -4.6 1,022 29 5.8 35

Texas

733.1 11,926.8 -5.5 1,150 15 3.8 47

Utah

114.3 1,518.2 -1.0 1,015 30 6.1 31

Vermont

26.4 283.9 -8.6 1,001 31 7.9 12

Virginia

285.7 3,737.0 -5.0 1,201 10 6.4 27

Washington

256.6 3,266.2 -6.3 1,482 3 11.0 2

West Virginia

51.7 649.1 -6.7 913 47 1.8 49

Wisconsin

181.2 2,746.6 -5.2 977 34 5.3 43

Wyoming

27.5 264.0 -6.8 939 42 -0.4 51

Puerto Rico

45.7 831.6 -5.3 547 (3) 3.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.4 33.9 -13.0 1,019 (3) -0.5 (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. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 08, 2021