County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, March 9, 2016                                   USDL-16-0462

Technical Information:         (202) 691-6567     *     QCEWInfo@bls.gov     *     www.bls.gov/cew
Media Contact:                 (202) 691-5902     *     PressOffice@bls.gov

COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES
Third Quarter 2015

From September 2014 to September 2015, employment increased in 312 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. 
Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase, with a gain of 6.5 percent over the year, above 
the national job growth of 1.9 percent. Within Williamson, the largest employment increase occurred in 
professional and business services, which gained 2,538 jobs over the year (8.8 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 8.3 percent. Within Ector, natural resources and mining had the largest decrease in 
employment, with a loss of 3,752 jobs (-28.4 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 2.6 percent over the year, growing to $974 in the third quarter 
of 2015. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages 
with a gain of 24.9 percent. Within Rockland, an average weekly wage gain of $3,170, or 220.4 percent, 
in manufacturing made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. 
Midland, Texas, experienced the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.7 
percent over the year. Within Midland, natural resources and mining had the largest impact on the 
county’s average weekly wage decline with a decrease of $163 (-8.1 percent) over the year.

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

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                                       Employment in large counties
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     September 2015 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |         September 2014-15        |         September 2014-15
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           140,442.2| United States             2,679.6| United States                 1.9
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,261.8| Los Angeles, Calif.          93.0| Williamson, Tenn.             6.5
 Cook, Ill.                2,535.6| Maricopa, Ariz.              65.4| Utah, Utah                    6.3
 New York, N.Y.            2,370.4| Dallas, Texas                62.9| Denton, Texas                 6.1
 Harris, Texas             2,287.6| Orange, Calif.               49.0| Chesterfield, Va.             5.7
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,824.7| New York, N.Y.               48.3| Lee, Fla.                     5.5
 Dallas, Texas             1,616.8| King, Wash.                  42.0| Osceola, Fla.                 5.4
 Orange, Calif.            1,524.0| Santa Clara, Calif.          39.8| Loudoun, Va.                  5.3
 San Diego, Calif.         1,384.0| San Diego, Calif.            38.7| San Francisco, Calif.         5.2
 King, Wash.               1,292.1| Cook, Ill.                   37.8| Clay, Mo.                     5.1
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,076.1| San Francisco, Calif.        34.0| San Mateo, Calif.             5.0
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Large County Employment

In September 2015, national employment was 140.4 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over 
the year, employment increased 1.9 percent, or 2.7 million. In September 2015, the 342 U.S. counties 
with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.3 percent of total 
wages. These 342 counties had a net job growth of 2.1 million over the year, accounting for 79.6 percent 
of the overall U.S. employment increase. 

Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase in employment (6.5 percent) among the largest 
U.S. counties. The five counties with the largest increases in employment levels were Los Angeles, 
Calif.; Maricopa, Ariz.; Dallas, Texas; Orange, Calif.; and New York, N.Y. These counties had a 
combined over-the-year employment gain of 318,600 jobs, which was 11.9 percent of the overall job 
increase for the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 24 of the largest counties from September 2014 to September 2015. Ector, 
Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-8.3 percent). Midland, Texas, 
had the second largest percentage decrease in employment, followed by Gregg, Texas; Lafayette, La.; 
and Atlantic, N.J. (See table 1.)

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

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                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
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        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
         third quarter 2015       |    wage, third quarter 2014-15   |         weekly wage, third
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2014-15
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States                $974| United States                 $25| United States                 2.6
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $2,090| Rockland, N.Y.               $233| Rockland, N.Y.               24.9
 San Mateo, Calif.           1,894| Lake, Ill.                    136| Lake, Ill.                   11.7
 New York, N.Y.              1,829| Washington, Ore.               78| Onondaga, N.Y.                6.5
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,712| Marin, Calif.                  68| Washington, Ore.              6.4
 Washington, D.C.            1,667| Santa Clara, Calif.            65| Marin, Calif.                 6.1
 Arlington, Va.              1,587| San Mateo, Calif.              62| Santa Cruz, Calif.            6.1
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,559| Somerset, N.J.                 60| Genesee, Mich.                5.6
 King, Wash.                 1,463| Onondaga, N.Y.                 56| Davidson, Tenn.               5.5
 Fairfax, Va.                1,462| Davidson, Tenn.                54| Placer, Calif.                5.4
 Somerset, N.J.              1,447| Williamson, Tenn.              54| Williamson, Tenn.             5.2
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Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $974, a 2.6 percent increase, during the year ending in 
the third quarter of 2015. Among the 342 largest counties, 319 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. 
counties (24.9 percent).

Of the 342 largest counties, 20 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Midland, 
Texas, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 6.7 percent. Ector, 
Texas, had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by Lafayette, La.; 
Stark, Ohio; and Gregg, Texas. (See table 1.) 

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in September 
2015. Dallas, Texas, had the largest gain (4.0 percent). Within Dallas, trade, transportation, and utilities 
had the largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 17,638 jobs, or 5.6 percent. 
Harris, Texas, had the smallest percentage increase in employment (0.8 percent) among the 10 largest 
counties. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in all of the 10 largest U.S. counties. San Diego, Calif., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (4.2 percent). Within San Diego, 
professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. 
Within this industry, average weekly wages increased by $120, or 8.4 percent, over the year. Harris, 
Texas, had the smallest percentage gain in average weekly wages (0.1 percent) 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. September 2015 employment and 2015 
third 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 140.4 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 
third quarter of 2015 will be available electronically later at www.bls.gov/cew/. 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 www.bls.gov/cew/cewregional.htm.

_____________
The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released 
on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

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|                                                                                                          |
|         Census Area Name Change Effective with BLS Release of Data for Fourth Quarter of 2015            |
|                                                                                                          |
|  On July 1, 2015, Wade Hampton, Alaska, was officially renamed Kusilvak, Alaska. This census area is     |
|  not part of this release because it has fewer than 75,000 jobs. However, BLS does publish data for this |
|  census area. This name change is not reflected in this quarter’s data release. The census area name     |
|  change will be implemented by BLS with the fourth quarter 2015 news release. The name change will       |
|  also be retroactively implemented for the third quarter data. Data prior to third quarter 2015 will     |
|  still be available under Wade Hampton, Alaska.                                                          |
|                                                                                                          |
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Last Modified Date: March 09, 2016