County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST), Thursday, December 17, 2015                                   USDL-15-2392

Technical Information:         (202) 691-6567     *     *
Media Contact:                 (202) 691-5902     *

Second Quarter 2015

From June 2014 to June 2015, employment increased in 319 of the 342 largest U.S. counties (counties 
with 75,000 or more jobs in 2014), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Utah, Utah, had 
the largest percentage increase, with a gain of 7.5 percent over the year, compared with national job 
growth of 2.0 percent. Within Utah, the largest employment increase occurred in trade, transportation, 
and utilities, which gained 3,540 jobs over the year (10.3 percent). Ector, Texas, had the largest over-
the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 4.2 
percent. County employment and wage data are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment 
and Wages (QCEW) program, which produces detailed information on county employment and wages 
within 6 months after the end of each quarter.

The U.S. average weekly wage increased 3.0 percent over the year, growing to $968 in the second 
quarter of 2015. Ventura, Calif., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly 
wages with a gain of 15.2 percent. Within Ventura, an average weekly wage gain of $934, or 53.8 
percent, in manufacturing made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly 
wages. Olmsted, Minn., experienced the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a 
loss of 5.2 percent over the year.

Table A.  Large counties ranked by June 2015 employment, June 2014-15 employment increase, and 
June 2014-15 percent increase in employment

                                       Employment in large counties
        June 2015 employment      |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |            June 2014-15          |            June 2014-15
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           140,594.9| United States             2,820.2| United States                 2.0
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,232.7| Los Angeles, Calif.          82.8| Utah, Utah                    7.5
 Cook, Ill.                2,548.6| Dallas, Texas                64.1| Lee, Fla.                     6.4
 New York, N.Y.            2,378.9| Maricopa, Ariz.              54.8| Williamson, Tenn.             6.3
 Harris, Texas             2,295.1| New York, N.Y.               54.5| Hall, Ga.                     5.8
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,774.4| King, Wash.                  46.7| Brazoria, Texas               5.6
 Dallas, Texas             1,607.2| Orange, Calif.               39.8| Denton, Texas                 5.1
 Orange, Calif.            1,519.8| Santa Clara, Calif.          39.2| Calcasieu, La.                5.0
 San Diego, Calif.         1,374.7| Harris, Texas                38.7| Davis, Utah                   5.0
 King, Wash.               1,285.2| Cook, Ill.                   38.4| Benton, Ark.                  4.9
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,061.4| San Diego, Calif.            36.7| Manatee, Fla.                 4.9

Large County Employment

In June 2015, national employment was 140.6 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over the 
year, employment increased 2.0 percent, or 2.8 million. In June 2015, the 342 U.S. counties with 75,000 
or more jobs accounted for 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.2 percent of total wages. These 
342 counties had a net job growth of 2.2 million over the year, accounting for 78.3 percent of the overall 
U.S. employment increase. 

Utah, Utah, had the largest percentage increase in employment (7.5 percent) among the largest U.S. 
counties. The five counties with the largest increases in employment levels were Los Angeles, Calif.; 
Dallas, Texas; Maricopa, Ariz.; New York, N.Y.; and King, Wash. These counties had a combined over-
the-year employment gain of 302,900 jobs, which was 10.7 percent of the overall job increase for the 
U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 20 of the largest counties from June 2014 to June 2015. Ector, Texas, had the 
largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-4.2 percent). Within Ector, natural resources 
and mining had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 2,352 jobs (-19.0 percent). Atlantic, 
N.J., had the second largest percentage decrease in employment, followed by Gregg, Texas; Midland, 
Texas; and Lafayette, La. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by second quarter 2015 average weekly wages, second quarter 2014-15
increase in average weekly wages, and second quarter 2014-15 percent increase in average weekly wages 

                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
        second quarter 2015       |    wage, second quarter 2014-15  |        weekly wage, second
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2014-15
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States                $968| United States                 $28| United States                 3.0
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $2,109| Santa Clara, Calif.          $214| Ventura, Calif.              15.2
 San Mateo, Calif.           1,863| Ventura, Calif.               143| Santa Clara, Calif.          11.3
 New York, N.Y.              1,842| San Francisco, Calif.         137| Forsyth, N.C.                10.9
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,730| San Mateo, Calif.             114| Riverside, Calif.             8.7
 Washington, D.C.            1,599| Middlesex, Mass.              104| San Francisco, Calif.         8.6
 Arlington, Va.              1,546| Forsyth, N.C.                  91| Davidson, Tenn.               8.1
 Fairfax, Va.                1,517| Davidson, Tenn.                78| Santa Barbara, Calif.         7.8
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,512| Marin, Calif.                  77| Middlesex, Mass.              7.5
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,497| Santa Barbara, Calif.          69| Marin, Calif.                 6.6
 Middlesex, Mass.            1,491| Riverside, Calif.              66| San Mateo, Calif.             6.5

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $968, a 3.0 percent increase, during the year ending in 
the second quarter of 2015. Among the 342 largest counties, 323 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. Ventura, Calif., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. counties 
(15.2 percent).

Of the 342 largest counties, 16 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Olmsted, 
Minn., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 5.2 percent. Within 
Olmsted, education and health services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage 
decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $150 (-10.5 percent) over the year. 
Ector, Texas, had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by 
Midland, Texas; Hillsborough, N.H.; and Lorain, Ohio. (See table 1.) 

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in June 2015. 
Dallas, Texas, had the largest gain (4.2 percent). Within Dallas, trade, transportation, and utilities had 
the largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 17,164 jobs, or 5.6 percent. Cook, 
Ill., had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.5 percent) among the 10 largest counties. 
(See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in 9 of the 10 largest U.S. counties. Orange, Calif., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (4.9 percent). Within Orange, 
professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. 
Within this industry, average weekly wages increased by $87, or 7.0 percent, over the year. Harris, 
Texas, was the only county with unchanged average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 342 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2014. June 2015 employment and 2015 second quarter 
average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 3 of this release.

The employment and wage data by county are compiled under the QCEW program, also known as the 
ES-202 program. The data are derived from reports submitted by every employer subject to 
unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.6 million full- and part-
time workers. The QCEW program provides a quarterly and annual universe count of establishments, 
employment, and wages at the county, MSA, state, and national levels by detailed industry. Data for the 
second quarter of 2015 will be available electronically later at For additional 
information about the quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note. Additional 
information about the QCEW data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-6567.

Several BLS regional offices are issuing QCEW news releases targeted to local data users. For links to 
these releases, see

The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

|                                                                                                          |
|         County Name Change Effective with the BLS Release of Data for the Third Quarter of 2015          |
|                                                                                                          |
|  On May 1st, 2015, Shannon, S.D., was officially renamed Oglala Lakota, S.D. This county is not part of  |
|  this release because it has fewer than 75,000 jobs. However, BLS does publish data for this county. The |
|  name change will be implemented with the BLS release of data for the third quarter of 2015. Data prior  |
|  to third quarter 2015 will still be available under Shannon, S.D.                                       |

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Last Modified Date: December 17, 2015