County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, March 19, 2014                                     USDL-14-0433

Technical Information:     (202) 691-6567   *     *
Media Contact:             (202) 691-5902   *

Third Quarter 2013

From September 2012 to September 2013, employment increased in 286 of the 334 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fort Bend, Texas, had the largest increase, 
with a gain of 6.0 percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 1.7 percent. Within Fort 
Bend, the largest employment increase occurred in leisure and hospitality, which gained 2,234 jobs over 
the year (12.1 percent). Peoria, Ill., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the 
largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 3.7 percent. County employment and wage data are compiled 
under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, which produces detailed 
information on county employment and wages within 6 months after the end of each quarter.

The U.S. average weekly wage increased over the year by 1.9 percent to $922 in the third quarter of 
2013. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 
9.9 percent. Within San Mateo, an average weekly wage gain of $2,359, or 82.1 percent, in information 
made the largest contribution to the increase in average weekly wages. Pinellas, Fla., experienced the 
largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 4.3 percent over the year.

Table A.  Large counties ranked by September 2013 employment, September 2012-13 employment 
increase, and September 2012-13 percent increase in employment  

                                       Employment in large counties
     September 2013 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |         September 2012-13        |         September 2012-13
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           134,957.5| United States             2,277.6| United States                 1.7
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,093.3| Los Angeles, Calif.          95.2| Fort Bend, Texas              6.0
 Cook, Ill.                2,445.8| Harris, Texas                61.7| Douglas, Colo.                5.9
 New York, N.Y.            2,424.5| Dallas, Texas                47.3| Brazos, Texas                 5.7
 Harris, Texas             2,192.3| Maricopa, Ariz.              44.6| Lee, Fla.                     5.2
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,719.1| King, Wash.                  42.8| Collier, Fla.                 5.1
 Dallas, Texas             1,509.0| Santa Clara, Calif.          37.5| Placer, Calif.                5.0
 Orange, Calif.            1,441.4| New York, N.Y.               34.2| Weld, Colo.                   5.0
 San Diego, Calif.         1,312.2| Orange, Calif.               32.0| Elkhart, Ind.                 4.9
 King, Wash.               1,212.3| San Diego, Calif.            25.2| Denton, Texas                 4.9
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,016.7| Travis, Texas                24.8| Utah, Utah                    4.9
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Employment

In September 2013, national employment was 135.0 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over 
the year, employment increased 1.7 percent, or 2.3 million. The 334 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more 
jobs accounted for 71.4 percent of total U.S. employment and 76.6 percent of total wages. These 334 
counties had a net job growth of 1.7 million over the year, accounting for 75.8 percent of the overall 
U.S. employment increase.

Fort Bend, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in employment (6.0 percent) among the largest 
U.S. counties. The five counties with the largest increases in employment level were Los Angeles, 
Calif.; Harris, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Maricopa, Ariz.; and King, Wash. These counties had a combined 
over-the-year employment gain of 291,600 jobs, which was 12.8 percent of the overall job increase for 
the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 44 of the large counties from September 2012 to September 2013. Peoria, Ill., 
had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-3.7 percent). Within Peoria, 
professional and business services had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 2,088 (-11.3 
percent). Caddo, La., had the second largest percentage decrease in employment, followed by St. Clair, 
Ill.; Jefferson, Texas; and Lake, Ind. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by third quarter 2013 average weekly wages, third quarter 2012-13
increase in average weekly wages, and third quarter 2012-13 percent increase in average weekly wages 

                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
         third quarter 2013       |    wage, third quarter 2012-13   |         weekly wage, third
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2012-13
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States                $922| United States                 $17| United States                 1.9
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $1,868| San Mateo, Calif.            $153| San Mateo, Calif.             9.9
 San Mateo, Calif.           1,698| Dane, Wis.                     78| Dane, Wis.                    9.3
 New York, N.Y.              1,667| Santa Clara, Calif.            72| Collier, Fla.                 8.0
 Washington, D.C.            1,560| San Francisco, Calif.          71| Whatcom, Wash.                6.9
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,549| Collier, Fla.                  62| Utah, Utah                    6.4
 Arlington, Va.              1,478| Yolo, Calif.                   53| Washington, Ark.              6.0
 Fairfax, Va.                1,434| Whatcom, Wash.                 52| Yolo, Calif.                  6.0
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,429| Alexandria City, Va.           50| Hamilton, Ind.                5.7
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,377| Hamilton, Ind.                 48| Clay, Mo.                     5.1
 King, Wash.                 1,376| Hartford, Conn.                46| San Francisco, Calif.         4.8
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased 1.9 percent during the year ending in the third quarter of 
2013. Among the 334 largest counties, 291 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San 
Mateo, Calif., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (9.9 percent). 

Of the 334 largest counties, 40 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Pinellas, 
Fla., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wage, with a loss of 4.3 percent. Within 
Pinellas, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage 
decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $214 (-18.6 percent) over the year. 
Rockland, N.Y., had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by 
Harford, Md.; Douglas, Colo.; and Mercer, N.J. (See table 1.)

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in September 
2013. King, Wash., had the largest gain (3.7 percent). Within King, trade, transportation, and utilities 
had the largest over-the-year employment level increase among all private industry groups with a gain of 
10,103 jobs, or 4.7 percent. Cook, Ill., had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.0 percent) 
among the 10 largest counties. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over-the-year in 9 of the 10 largest U.S. counties. Harris, Texas, 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (2.9 percent). Within Harris, 
professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. 
Within this industry, average weekly wages increased by $53, or 3.9 percent, over the year. Average 
weekly wages in Orange, Calif., were unchanged over the year.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 334 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2012. September 2013 employment and 2013 third 
quarter average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 3 of this release.

The employment and wage data by county are compiled under the QCEW program, also known as the 
ES-202 program. The data are derived from reports submitted by every employer subject to 
unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The 9.3 million employer reports cover 135.0 million full- and part-
time workers. For additional information about the quarterly employment and wages data, please read 
the Technical Note. Data for the third quarter of 2013 will be available later at
Additional information about the QCEW data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-6567.

Several BLS regional offices are issuing QCEW news releases targeted to local data users. For links to 
these releases, see

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2013 is scheduled to be released 
on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

  |                                    Changes to QCEW Data Files                                      |
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  |  BLS discontinued its ftp service on February 28, 2014. As part of this transition, the QCEW data  |
  |  file collection was substantially reorganized and improved. For more information, see             |
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The PDF version of the news release

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Last Modified Date: March 19, 2014