July 06, 2011
Nine of the 10 largest U.S. counties—in terms of annual average employment in 2009—experienced over-the-year percent increases in employment from December 2009 to December 2010.
Harris, Texas (part of the Houston metropolitan area), experienced the largest percent gain in employment, with a 1.8-percent increase. Within Harris, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest over-the-year increase among all private industry groups, with a gain of 7,830 workers (1.8 percent).
Employment in Los Angeles, California—the county with the largest employment in 2009—was unchanged over the year. In Cook County, Illinois (part of the Chicago metropolitan area), employment increased by 0.7 percent, slightly less than the U.S. average of 0.9 percent.
All of the 10 largest U.S. counties had an over-the-year increase in average weekly wages from the fourth quarter 2009 to the fourth quarter 2010.
San Diego, California, experienced the largest increase in average weekly wages, with a gain of 5.3 percent. Within San Diego, the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth came from professional and business services, where total wages increased by $268.7 million over the year (6.8 percent). Maricopa, Arizona (part of the Phoenix metropolitan area), had the smallest wage increase among the 10 largest U.S. counties.
These data are from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program and are preliminary. The data are for all workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance programs. To learn more, see "County Employment and Wages: Fourth Quarter 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0962.