November 02, 2011
From March 2010 to March 2011, employment increased in 256 of the 322 largest U.S. counties. Elkhart, Indiana, posted the largest percentage increase, with a gain of 6.2 percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 1.3 percent. Within Elkhart, the largest employment increase occurred in manufacturing, which gained 5,125 jobs over the year (12.4 percent).
Sacramento, California, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 1.6 percent.
The U.S. average weekly wage increased over the year by 5.2 percent to $935 in the first quarter of 2011. Among the largest counties in the U.S., Peoria, Illinois, had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages, with a gain of 18.9 percent. Within Peoria, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s over-the-year increase in average weekly wages.
Williamson, Texas, experienced the largest decline in average weekly wages, with a loss of 3.8 percent over the year.
County employment and wage data are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. The data are preliminary and subject to revision. Large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or greater. To learn more, see "County Employment and Wages: First Quarter 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-1397.