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Economic News Release
QCEW CEW Program Links

Employment and Average Annual Pay For Large Counties, 2001

Technical information:  (202) 691-6567     USDL 02-650
                                           For release:  10:00 A.M. EST
Media contact:                691-5902     Thursday, November 21, 2002


   Of the 248 largest counties in the United States, 128 had employment
growth in 2001, 111 experienced declines in employment, and 9 had no
changes, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.  Average annual pay was
higher than the national average of $36,214 in 101 of the largest 248 U.S.
counties in 2001.
   Employment and annual pay data by county are compiled from reports sub-
mitted by employers subject to state and federal unemployment insurance
(UI) laws, covering 129.7 million full- and part-time workers.  Average
annual pay is computed by dividing total annual payrolls of employees
covered by UI programs by the average monthly number of these employees.
The attached tables and charts contain data for the nation and for the 248
U.S. counties with employment of 100,000 or more.  Previous issues of this
release included counties with employment of 75,000 or more.  (Some areas
defined as counties in this release are not officially designated as
counties.  In addition, data for San Juan, Puerto Rico, are provided, but
not used in calculating U.S. averages.  See Technical Note.  The 2000 data
used to calculate the 2000-01 changes presented in this release were
adjusted for changes in county classification to make them comparable with
data for 2001.  As a result, the adjusted 2000 data differ to some extent
from the data available on the BLS Web site and in last year's release.)

   The 248 U.S. counties with 100,000 or more employees accounted for 
66.2 percent of total U.S. covered employment, 73.0 percent of total wages, 
and 7.9 percent of the 3,140 U.S. counties.  (San Juan, P.R., is not in-
cluded in this grouping of U.S. counties.)  The largest absolute gains in
employment in 2001 were recorded in the counties of Harris, Texas
(+30,999), San Diego, Calif. (+24,326), Los Angeles, Calif. (+22,633),
Clark, Nev. (+22,362), and Orange, Calif. (+20,580).  (See table A.)
   Placer, Calif., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase 
in employment (6.0 percent), followed by the counties of Collier, Fla. 
(5.9 percent), Collin, Texas (5.7 percent), Manatee, Fla. (5.1 percent), 
and Lee, Fla. (4.7 percent).  (See table 1.)

   Employment declined in 111 counties from 2000 to 2001.  The largest per-
centage decline in employment was in Elkhart County, Ind. (-6.8 percent), 
followed by the counties of Lorain and Mahoning in Ohio (-3.5 percent each) 
and San Francisco, Calif., and Macomb, Mich. (-3.4 percent each).  The lar-
gest absolute declines in employment occurred in Cook County, Ill. (-37,351), 
New York County, N.Y. (-32,910), Wayne County, Mich. (-27,974), Santa Clara 
County, Calif. (-22,112), and San Francisco County, Calif. (-20,423).

                                   - 2 -

Table A.  Top 10 counties ranked by 2001 employment level, 2000-01
employment growth, and 2000-01 percentage growth in employment
                             |                          |
    2001 Employment level    | 2000-01 Employment growth| 2000-01 Percentage
                             |                          |growth in employment
                             |                          |
Los Angeles, Calif. 4,102,386|Harris, Texas       30,999|Placer, Calif.    6.0 
Cook, Ill.          2,634,150|San Diego, Calif.   24,326|Collier, Fla.     5.9    
New York, N.Y.      2,345,709|Los Angeles, Calif. 22,633|Collin, Texas     5.7 
Harris, Texas       1,864,179|Clark, Nev.         22,362|Manatee, Fla.     5.1 
Maricopa, Ariz.     1,562,034|Orange, Calif.      20,580|Lee, Fla.         4.7 
Dallas, Texas       1,551,255|Riverside, Calif.   19,491|Sarasota, Fla.    4.5 
Orange, Calif.      1,410,583|Palm Beach, Fla.    18,625|Lafayette, La.    4.5 
San Diego, Calif.   1,219,159|Maricopa, Ariz.     18,587|Riverside, Calif. 4.1 
King, Wash.         1,147,290|Sacramento, Calif.  16,815|Palm Beach, Fla.  3.9 
Santa Clara, Calif. 1,003,811|Miami-Dade, Fla.    15,481|Ocean, N.J.       3.8 
Average Annual Pay

   Average annual pay in 2001 was higher than the national average of
$36,214 in 101 of the largest 248 U.S. counties.  New York County, N.Y.,
comprised entirely of the borough of Manhattan, regained the top position
among the highest paid large counties after losing it for the first time 
in 2000.  This county led the nation with average annual pay of $74,641.
Santa Clara County, Calif., moved back into second place with average
annual pay of $65,926.  Fairfield, Conn., was third with average annual 
pay of $63,123.  San Mateo, Calif., was fourth with $62,509, followed by 
San Francisco, Calif., at $61,122.  (See table B.)
   There were 147 counties with average annual pay below the national
average.  The lowest level of average annual pay (excluding San Juan,
Puerto Rico) was reported in Cameron County, Texas ($22,146), followed 
by the counties of Hidalgo, Texas ($22,317), Tulare, Calif. ($24,706), 
El Paso, Texas ($25,836), and Volusia, Fla. ($26,093).  (See table 2.)
   Lafayette County, La., led the nation in growth in average annual pay
with an increase of 8.2 percent from 2000 to 2001.  Dutchess County, N.Y.,
was second with 7.4 percent growth, followed by the counties of Escambia,
Fla. (7.1 percent), Fresno, Calif. (6.6 percent), San Francisco, Calif.,
Will, Ill., and Baltimore, Md. (6.2 percent each). 
   Fifteen large counties showed declines in average annual pay from 2000
to 2001.  Santa Clara County, Calif., had the largest decrease, registering
a 13.5 percent decline.  Morris County, N.J., was second with a 10.9 percent 
decline, followed by the counties of San Mateo, Calif. (-6.8 percent), Wash-
ington, Ore. (-5.2 percent), and Ada, Idaho  (-4.0 percent).  These sharp 
declines in pay growth followed extraordinary growth in 2000.  From 1999 to 
2000, pay growth increased by 24.5 percent in Santa Clara County, 19.0 percent 
in Morris County, 30.2 percent in San Mateo County, 13.2 percent in Washington 
County, and 10.0 percent in Ada County.

                                  - 3 -
Table B.  Top 10 counties ranked by 2001 pay level, 2000-01 growth in pay, and 
2000-01 percentage growth in pay
                                Average annual pay        
                           |                           |
                           |                           |   2000-01 Percentage
      2001 Pay level       |   2000-01 Growth in pay   |      growth in pay
                           |                           |
New York, N.Y.      $74,641|San Francisco, Calif.$3,561|Lafayette, La.       8.2  
Santa Clara, Calif.  65,926|Washington, D.C.      3,059|Dutchess, N.Y.       7.4  
Fairfield, Conn.     63,123|Dutchess, N.Y.        2,679|Escambia, Fla.       7.1  
San Mateo, Calif.    62,509|Arlington, Va.        2,463|Fresno, Calif.       6.6
San Francisco, Calif.61,122|Lafayette, La.        2,448|San Francisco, Calif.6.2  
Suffolk, Mass.       58,905|Contra Costa, Calif.  2,445|Will, Ill.           6.2  
Washington, D.C.     56,024|New Castle, Del.      2,372|Baltimore, Md.       6.2  
Somerset, N.J.       55,598|Howard, Md.           2,287|Peoria, Ill.         6.0  
Arlington, Va.       55,310|Suffolk, Mass.        2,245|Howard, Md.          6.0  
Morris, N.J.         53,871|St. Louis City, Mo.   2,224|Monterey, Calif.     5.9  
U.S.                 36,214|U.S.                    894|U.S.                 2.5  
Change in Industry Classification Systems
   Beginning with the release of data for 2001, publications presenting
data from the Covered Employment and Wages program use the 2002 version of
the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for
the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry.  NAICS is the
product of a cooperative effort on the part of the statistical agencies of
the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Due to differences in NAICS and SIC
structures, industry data for 2001 are not comparable to the SIC-based data
for earlier years.
   NAICS uses a production-oriented approach to categorize economic units.
Units with similar production processes are classified in the same industry.  
NAICS focuses on how products and services are created, as opposed to the SIC 
focus on what is produced.  This approach yields significantly different indus-
try groupings than those produced by the SIC approach.
   Data users will be able to work with new NAICS industrial groupings
that better reflect the workings of the U.S. economy.  For example, a new
industry sector called Information brings together units which turn infor-
mation into a commodity with units which distribute that commodity.  Infor-
mation's major components are publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications, 
information services, and data processing.  Under the SIC system, these units 
were spread across the manufacturing, communications, business services, and 
amusement services groups.  Another new sector of interest is Professional 
and technical services.  This sector is comprised of establishments engaged 
in activities where human capital is the major input.
   Users interested in more information about NAICS can access the Bureau
of Labor Statistics Web page at and the
Bureau of Census Web page at
The NAICS 2002 manual is available from the National Technical Information
Service (NTIS) Web page at
    |    Average annual pay for 2001 and other data from the Covered |
    | Employment and Wages (CEW) program is available on the BLS Web |
    | site at                               |

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: November 21, 2002