March 30, 2012
From September 2010 to September 2011, employment increased in 271 of the 322 largest U.S. counties (counties with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2010). The five counties with the largest increases in employment level from September 2010 to September 2011 were Harris, Texas (62,300); New York, New York (60,600); Cook, Illinois (48,500); Maricopa, Arizona (46,000); and Dallas, Texas (37,900).
Among the 10 counties with the largest increases in employment level from September 2010 to September 2011, Hennepin, Minnesota had the largest over-the-year percent increase (3.5 percent), followed by Harris, Texas, and Santa Clara, California (both 3.1 percent).
All of the 10 largest counties (based on 2010 annual average employment) experienced over-the-year percent increases in employment in September 2011. Harris, Texas, experienced the largest gain in employment (3.1 percent) among the 10 largest counties. Within Harris, professional and business services had the largest over-the-year level increase among all private industry groups. Los Angeles, California, had the smallest percent increase (0.8 percent) in employment among the 10 largest counties.
The 322 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more employees accounted for 70.5 percent of total U.S. employment (130.5 million, up by 1.6 percent or 2.0 million workers, from September 2010). These 322 counties had a net job growth of 1.5 million over the year, accounting for 71.5 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase.
These data are from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. To learn more, see "County Employment and Wages: Third Quarter 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0549. These data are derived from summaries of employment of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance. Data for 2011 are preliminary and subject to revision.