July 12, 2010
All of the 10 largest counties experienced over-the-year percent declines in employment in December 2009. Maricopa, Arizona, experienced the largest decline in employment among the 10 largest counties with a 6.5 percent decrease.
Within Maricopa, every private industry group except education and health services experienced an employment decline, with construction experiencing the largest decline.
Orange, California, had the next largest decline in employment (6.2 percent), followed by Los Angeles, California (‑5.3 percent). New York, New York, experienced the smallest decline in employment (‑3.9 percent) among the 10 largest counties. Dallas, Texas, and Harris, Texas, had the second smallest employment losses (‑4.3 percent each).
From December 2008 to 2009, the largest decline in employment levels occurred in Los Angeles, California (‑217,900), followed by the counties of Maricopa, Arizona (‑113,000), Cook, Illinois (‑111,100), New York, New York (‑93,600), and Harris, Texas (‑90,000).
All of the 10 largest U.S. counties saw an over-the-year increase in average weekly wages. San Diego, California, experienced the largest increase in average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties with a gain of 3.7 percent.
These earnings data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which are preliminary and subject to revision. The 10 largest counties are determined by 2008 annual average employment levels. To learn more, see "County Employment and Wages: Fourth Quarter 2009" (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL 10-0932.