County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST), Tuesday, March 7, 2017	USDL-17-0297

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

Third Quarter 2016

From September 2015 to September 2016, employment increased in 307 of the 344 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. York, S.C., had the largest percentage 
increase with a gain of 6.0 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.7 percent. 
Within York, the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which 
gained 1,408 jobs over the year (15.0 percent). Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage 
decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 5.8 percent. Within 
Midland, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 1,504 
jobs (-8.2 percent). County employment and wage data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment 
and Wages (QCEW) program, which provides the only detailed quarterly and annual universe count of 
establishments, employment, and wages at the county, metropolitan statistical area, state, and national 
levels by detailed industry. These data are published within 6 months following the end of each quarter.

The U.S. average weekly wage increased 5.4 percent over the year, growing to $1,027 in the third 
quarter of 2016. Clark, Nev., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages 
with a gain of 12.2 percent. Within Clark, an average weekly wage gain of $151 (24.0 percent) in leisure 
and hospitality made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. 
Rockland, N.Y., experienced the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 
14.9 percent over the year. Within Rockland, manufacturing had the largest impact on the county’s 
average weekly wage decline with a decrease of $2,912 (-63.6 percent) over the year.

Large County Employment

In September 2016, national employment was 142.9 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over 
the year, employment increased 1.7 percent, or 2.4 million. In September 2016, the 344 U.S. counties 
with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.7 percent of total 
wages. These 344 counties had a net job growth of 2.0 million over the year, accounting for 80.5 percent 
of the overall U.S. employment increase. The 5 counties with the largest increases in employment levels 
had a combined over-the-year employment gain of 261,700 jobs, which was 10.7 percent of the overall 
job increase for the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 33 of the largest counties from September 2015 to September 2016. Midland, 
Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-5.8 percent), followed by 
Lafayette, La.; Gregg, Texas; Anchorage, Alaska; and Washington, Pa. (See table 1.)

Table A.  Large counties ranked by September 2016 employment, September 2015-16 employment increase, and 
September 2015-16 percent increase in employment 

                                       Employment in large counties
     September 2016 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |         September 2015-16        |         September 2015-16
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           142,940.5| United States             2,444.7| United States                 1.7
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,357.4| Los Angeles, Calif.          70.7| York, S.C.                    6.0
 Cook, Ill.                2,577.2| Maricopa, Ariz.              62.0| Williamson, Tenn.             5.8
 New York, N.Y.            2,411.9| Dallas, Texas                49.6| Utah, Utah                    5.3
 Harris, Texas             2,262.3| King, Wash.                  42.3| Collier, Fla.                 5.1
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,885.6| New York, N.Y.               37.1| Washoe, Nev.                  5.0
 Dallas, Texas             1,662.8| Clark, Nev.                  34.1| Placer, Calif.                4.9
 Orange, Calif.            1,563.4| Orange, Calif.               32.3| Seminole, Fla.                4.8
 San Diego, Calif.         1,415.6| Fulton, Ga.                  31.7| Brevard, Fla.                 4.7
 King, Wash.               1,331.3| San Diego, Calif.            30.4| Volusia, Fla.                 4.7
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,107.4| Cook, Ill.                   29.6| Thurston, Wash.               4.7

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,027, a 5.4 percent increase, during the year ending 
in the third quarter of 2016. Among the 344 largest counties, 339 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. Clark, Nev., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. counties 
(12.2 percent). (See table B.)

Of the 344 largest counties, 5 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Rockland, 
N.Y., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-14.9 percent), followed by 
Lafayette, La.; Benton, Ark.; Lake, Ill.; and Midland, Texas. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by third quarter 2016 average weekly wages, third quarter 2015-16
increase in average weekly wages, and third quarter 2015-16 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 2016       |    wage, third quarter 2015-16   |         weekly wage, third
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2015-16
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States              $1,027| United States                 $53| United States                 5.4
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $2,260| Santa Clara, Calif.          $186| Clark, Nev.                  12.2
 San Mateo, Calif.           2,098| San Mateo, Calif.             172| Manatee, Fla.                10.7
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,892| San Francisco, Calif.         150| Hillsborough, N.H.           10.4
 New York, N.Y.              1,879| Middlesex, Mass.              139| Elkhart, Ind.                10.3
 Washington, D.C.            1,728| King, Wash.                   119| Boone, Ky.                   10.3
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,660| Alameda, Calif.               112| McLean, Ill.                 10.2
 Arlington, Va.              1,648| Hillsborough, N.H.            107| Dane, Wis.                   10.1
 King, Wash.                 1,582| Clark, Nev.                   103| Middlesex, Mass.              9.8
 Middlesex, Mass.            1,555| Suffolk, Mass.                 96| Washington, Ark.              9.5
 Fairfax, Va.                1,546| Ramsey, Minn.                  95| Alachua, Fla.                 9.5
                                  | Dane, Wis.                     95|                                  

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

Among the 10 largest counties, 9 had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in September 
2016. Maricopa, Ariz., had the largest gain (3.4 percent). Within Maricopa, professional and business 
services had the largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 12,662 jobs, or 4.0 
percent. Harris, Texas, had the only percentage decrease in employment among the 10 largest counties 
(-0.9 percent). (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in all of the 10 largest U.S. counties. King, Wash., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (8.1 percent). Within King, trade, 
transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within 
trade, transportation, and utilities, average weekly wages increased by $210, or 17.8 percent, over the 
year. Harris, Texas, had the smallest percentage gain in average weekly wages among the 10 largest 
counties (2.1 percent).

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 344 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2015. September 2016 employment and 2016 third 
quarter average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 3 of this release.

The data are derived from reports submitted by employers who are subject to unemployment insurance 
(UI) laws. The 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 million full- and part-time workers. Data for the 
third quarter of 2016 will be available later at Additional information about the 
quarterly employment and wages data is available in the Technical Note. More information about 
QCEW data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-6567.

The most current news release on quarterly measures of gross job flows is available from QCEW 
Business Employment Dynamics at

Several BLS regional offices issue QCEW news releases targeted to local data users. Links to these 
releases are available at

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released 
on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

The PDF version of the news release

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

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Last Modified Date: March 07, 2017