County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, May 23, 2018	USDL-18-0868

Technical Information:	(202) 691-6567  *  QCEWInfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cew
Media Contact:		(202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES
Fourth Quarter 2017

From December 2016 to December 2017, employment increased in 316 of the 346 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage 
increase with a gain of 11.5 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent. 
Within Midland, the largest employment increase occurred in natural resources and mining, which 
gained 5,247 jobs over the year (27.1 percent). Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-
year percentage decreases in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with losses of 1.8 
percent each. Within Shawnee, professional and business services had the largest decrease in 
employment, with a loss of 1,173 jobs (-8.0 percent). Within Caddo, trade, transportation, and utilities 
had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 769 jobs (-3.3 percent).

The U.S. average weekly wage increased 3.9 percent over the year, growing to $1,109 in the fourth 
quarter of 2017. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in 
average weekly wages, with gains of 11.5 percent each. Within San Mateo, an average weekly wage 
gain of $1,191 (23.1 percent) in information made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in 
average weekly wages. Within Ada, an average weekly wage gain of $1,031 (51.6 percent) in 
manufacturing made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. Clayton, 
Ga., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.7 
percent. Within Clayton, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s 
average weekly wage change with a decrease of $182 (-12.9 percent) over the year.

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|                    QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases                     |
|                                                                                                          |
|  The QCEW publication process is accelerating for a more timely release. Beginning with this release,    |
|  QCEW data will be published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release          |
|  will be accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release will occur on Thursday, June 7,     |
|  2018, accompanied by a data release notice.                                                             |
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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 5 months following the end of each quarter.
 
Large County Employment

In December 2017, national employment was 145.9 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over 
the year, employment increased 1.5 percent, or 2.1 million. In December 2017, the 346 U.S. counties 
with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment and 78.3 percent of total 
wages. These 346 counties had a net job growth of 1.6 million over the year, accounting for 74.4 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 231,600 jobs, which was 10.9 percent of the overall 
job increase for the U.S. (See table A.) 

Employment declined in 25 of the largest counties from December 2016 to December 2017. Shawnee, 
Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment (-1.8 percent 
each), followed by Kanawha, W. Va.; Potter, Texas; and Jefferson, La. (See table 1.) 

Table A.  Large counties ranked by December 2017 employment, December 2016-17 employment increase, and
December 2016-17 percent increase in employment

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                                       Employment in large counties
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      December 2017 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |          December 2016-17        |          December 2016-17
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           145,921.1| United States             2,123.0| United States                 1.5
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,494.5| Los Angeles, Calif.          71.2| Midland, Texas               11.5
 Cook, Ill.                2,604.2| Maricopa, Ariz.              58.5| Utah, Utah                    6.0
 New York, N.Y.            2,516.0| King, Wash.                  38.5| Montgomery, Texas             5.9
 Harris, Texas             2,293.3| New York, N.Y.               34.2| Calcasieu, La.                5.8
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,989.4| Kings, N.Y.                  29.2| Elkhart, Ind.                 5.4
 Dallas, Texas             1,712.8| Clark, Nev.                  28.7| Weld, Colo.                   5.2
 Orange, Calif.            1,621.4| Orange, Fla.                 28.1| Rutherford, Tenn.             5.2
 San Diego, Calif.         1,462.0| Dallas, Texas                28.1| Adams, Colo.                  5.1
 King, Wash.               1,377.5| Orange, Calif.               27.3| Clark, Wash.                  4.8
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,148.3| Santa Clara, Calif.          26.2| Yakima, Wash.                 4.8
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Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,109, a 3.9 percent increase, during the year ending 
in the fourth quarter of 2017. Among the 346 largest counties, 339 had over-the-year increases in 
average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest percentage wage increases 
among the largest U.S. counties (11.5 percent each). (See table B.) 

Of the 346 largest counties, 7 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Clayton, 
Ga., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-6.7 percent), followed by 
Champaign, Ill.; Benton, Ark.; Wyandotte, Kan.; and Rockland, N.Y. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by fourth quarter 2017 average weekly wages, fourth quarter 2016-17
increase in average weekly wages, and fourth quarter 2016-17 percent increase in average weekly wages 

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                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
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        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
        fourth quarter 2017       |    wage, fourth quarter 2016-17  |        weekly wage, fourth
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2016-17
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States              $1,109| United States                 $42| United States                 3.9
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $2,576| San Mateo, Calif.            $241| San Mateo, Calif.            11.5
 New York, N.Y.              2,439| New York, N.Y.                229| Ada, Idaho                   11.5
 San Mateo, Calif.           2,341| Santa Clara, Calif.           211| New York, N.Y.               10.4
 San Francisco, Calif.       2,232| San Francisco, Calif.         154| Douglas, Colo.                9.0
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,986| Douglas, Colo.                108| Santa Clara, Calif.           8.9
 Washington, D.C.            1,812| Ada, Idaho                    108| Washington, Ore.              8.1
 Arlington, Va.              1,727| King, Wash.                   103| San Francisco, Calif.         7.4
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,688| Suffolk, Mass.                101| Elkhart, Ind.                 7.1
 Fairfax, Va.                1,646| Washington, Ore.               98| King, Wash.                   7.0
 Middlesex, Mass.            1,613| Los Angeles, Calif.            81| Weld, Colo.                   6.9
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Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in December 2017. 
Maricopa, Ariz., had the largest gain (3.0 percent). Within Maricopa, construction had the largest over-
the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 10,168 jobs, or 9.7 percent. Cook, Ill., had the 
smallest percentage increase in employment among the 10 largest counties (0.6 percent). Within Cook, 
education and health services had the largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 
6,515 jobs, or 1.5 percent. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in all of the 10 largest U.S. counties. New York, N.Y. 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (10.4 percent). Within New York, 
financial activities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage gain. Within financial 
activities, average weekly wages increased by $1,032, or 22.4 percent, over the year. Harris, Texas, had 
the smallest percentage gain in average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties (2.4 percent). 
Within Harris, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly 
wage growth with an increase of $49 (4.3 percent) over the year. 

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 346 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2016. December 2017 employment and fourth quarter 
2017 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 10.0 million employer reports cover 145.9 million full- and part-time workers. The full 
set of data for the fourth quarter of 2017 will be available on June 7, 2018, at www.bls.gov/cew. 
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 www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cewbd.pdf.

Several BLS regional offices issue QCEW news releases targeted to local data users. Links to these 
releases are available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewregional.htm.

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The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2017 is scheduled to be 
released on Thursday, June 7, 2018. The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 
2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.





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Last Modified Date: May 23, 2018