December 04, 1998
During 1996, eight U.S. counties reported employment of greater than 1 million. Los Angeles County, California, had the highest employment level of any county at 3.8 million. The others reporting more than 1 million employees were Cook County, Illinois; New York County, New York; Harris County, Texas; Dallas County, Texas; Maricopa County, Arizona; Orange County, California; and San Diego County, California.
Among these counties, Maricopa County, Arizona (part of the Phoenix metropolitan area), had the largest percent increase in employment from 1995 to 1996 at 8.4 percent. When reporting changes that did not represent true employment increases were excluded, the employment increase in Maricopa County was 7.2 percent--still substantially higher than the next largest increase among the top eight. (The reporting changes affected the county in which State government jobs were recorded.) Five of the eight counties had percent increases in employment greater than the national average of 2.1 percent.
New York County, New York, experienced the highest change in average annual pay among these eight counties, up 7.7 percent from 1995 to 1996. This change was substantially higher than the next largest increase--4.8 percent in Harris County, Texas (part of the Houston metropolitan area). Five of the eight counties had percent increases in average annual pay increases greater than the national average of 3.9 percent.
These data are a product of the BLS Covered Employed and Wages (ES-202) program. Additional information is available from news release USDL 98-443, "Employment and Average Annual Pay for Large Counties, 1996."