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Employment down in 352 of the 357 largest U.S. counties for year ended December 2020

May 25, 2021

From December 2019 to December 2020, employment decreased in 352 of the 357 largest U.S. counties. Maui + Kalawao County, Hawaii, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 22.8 percent, followed by Ector County, Texas (−18.2 percent), and Midland County, Texas (−16.8 percent). National employment decreased to 140.9 million, a 6.1-percent decrease over the year ended December 2020.

Over-the-year percent change in employment, selected counties, December 2019 to December 2020
County Percent change Total employment

Maui + Kalawao, HI

-22.8% 63,500

Ector, TX

-18.2 66,200

Midland, TX

-16.8 90,700

Orleans, LA

-16.7 169,400

Calcasieu, LA

-16.4 83,000

New York, NY

-15.6 2,163,200

Honolulu, HI

-15.1 404,400

Clark, NV

-14.3 899,100

San Francisco, CA

-14.0 665,600

Atlantic, NJ

-12.9 112,000

Napa, CA

-12.7 67,000

Orange, FL

-12.2 778,400

Essex, NJ

-11.8 309,000

Philadelphia, PA

-11.5 633,900

Marin, CA

-11.0 104,300

Multnomah, OR

-11.0 471,400

Cleveland, OK

0.1 87,000

Elkhart, IN

0.2 132,700

Rutherford, TN

0.5 136,700

Davis, UT

2.3 136,500

Utah, UT

3.8 266,100

Within Maui + Kalawao County, the largest employment decrease occurred in leisure and hospitality, which lost 10,959 jobs over the year (−42.1 percent).

Utah County, Utah, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 3.8 percent, followed by Davis County, Utah, at 2.3 percent. Within Utah County, professional and business services had the largest employment increase with a gain of 3,769 jobs (+9.8 percent) from December 2019 to December 2020.

Among the 10 largest U.S. counties, New York County, New York, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment (−15.6 percent). Within New York County, leisure and hospitality had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 172,534 jobs (−54.4 percent).

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program and are preliminary. Large counties are defined as having employment of at least 75,000. To learn more, see “County Employment and Wages – Fourth Quarter 2020.” You can view employment data for the nation, states, counties, and metropolitan areas through the data viewer tool.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment down in 352 of the 357 largest U.S. counties for year ended December 2020 at (visited July 18, 2024).

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