County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST), Wednesday, December 7, 2016	USDL-16-2253

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

COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES
Second Quarter 2016

From June 2015 to June 2016, employment increased in 291 of the 344 largest U.S. counties, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a 
gain of 6.7 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent. Within Williamson, 
the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which gained 3,033 jobs 
over the year (9.6 percent). Midland, 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 Midland, natural 
resources and mining had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 2,767 jobs (-13.1 percent).
County employment and wage data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) 
program, which provides the only detailed quarterly and annual universe count of establishments, 
employment, and wages at the county, MSA, state, and national levels by detailed industry. These data 
are published within 6 months following the end of each quarter.

The U.S. average weekly wage increased 2.2 percent over the year, growing to $989 in the second 
quarter of 2016. McLean, Ill., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages 
with a gain of 21.0 percent. Within McLean, an average weekly wage gain of $739 (42.2 percent) in 
financial activities made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages.
Ventura, Calif., experienced the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 8.4 
percent over the year. Within Ventura, manufacturing had the largest impact on the county’s average 
weekly wage decline with a decrease of $912 (-34.4 percent) over the year.

Large County Employment

In June 2016, national employment was 142.7 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over the 
year, employment increased 1.5 percent, or 2.1 million. In June 2016, the 344 U.S. counties with 75,000 
or more jobs accounted for 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.6 percent of total wages. These 
344 counties had a net job growth of 1.7 million over the year, accounting for 82.0 percent of the overall 
U.S. employment increase. The five counties with the largest increases in employment levels had a 
combined over-the-year employment gain of 254,900 jobs, which was 12.1 percent of the overall job 
increase for the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 46 of the largest counties from June 2015 to June 2016. Midland, Texas, had 
the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-8.3 percent), followed by Lafayette, La.; 
Gregg, Texas; Peoria, Ill.; McLean, Ill.; and Washington, Pa. (See table 1.)

Table A.  Large counties ranked by June 2016 employment, June 2015-16 employment increase, and 
June 2015-16 percent increase in employment 

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                                       Employment in large counties
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        June 2016 employment      |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |            June 2015-16          |            June 2015-16
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           142,717.2| United States             2,100.9| United States                 1.5
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,337.3| Los Angeles, Calif.          76.7| Williamson, Tenn.             6.7
 Cook, Ill.                2,584.0| Maricopa, Ariz.              51.5| Utah, Utah                    6.5
 New York, N.Y.            2,415.6| Dallas, Texas                46.2| Loudoun, Va.                  5.2
 Harris, Texas             2,272.1| King, Wash.                  43.8| Williamson, Texas             4.7
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,827.4| New York, N.Y.               36.7| Rutherford, Tenn.             4.6
 Dallas, Texas             1,649.4| Fulton, Ga.                  31.2| Denton, Texas                 4.6
 Orange, Calif.            1,557.3| Clark, Nev.                  30.7| Lee, Fla.                     4.5
 San Diego, Calif.         1,405.5| Santa Clara, Calif.          30.0| Seminole, Fla.                4.5
 King, Wash.               1,326.1| Orange, Calif.               28.4| Clay, Mo.                     4.5
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,088.1| San Diego, Calif.            27.6| York, S.C.                    4.5
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Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $989, a 2.2 percent increase, during the year ending in 
the second quarter of 2016. Among the 344 largest counties, 304 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. counties 
(21.0 percent). (See table B.)

Of the 344 largest counties, 36 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Ventura, 
Calif., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-8.4 percent), followed by Forsyth, 
N.C.; Lafayette, La.; Gregg, Texas; and Midland, Texas. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by second quarter 2016 average weekly wages, second quarter 2015-16
increase in average weekly wages, and second quarter 2015-16 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 
        second quarter 2016       |    wage, second quarter 2015-16  |        weekly wage, second
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2015-16
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States                $989| United States                 $21| United States                 2.2
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $2,252| McLean, Ill.                 $201| McLean, Ill.                 21.0
 San Mateo, Calif.           1,871| Santa Clara, Calif.           112| Elkhart, Ind.                 8.5
 New York, N.Y.              1,866| King, Wash.                   104| King, Wash.                   8.1
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,806| Washington, Ore.               89| Washington, Ore.              7.4
 Washington, D.C.            1,623| Somerset, N.J.                 74| Albany, N.Y.                  7.0
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,571| San Francisco, Calif.          72| Benton, Ark.                  6.5
 Arlington, Va.              1,559| Albany, N.Y.                   71| Nassau, N.Y.                  6.4
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,535| Nassau, N.Y.                   70| Ingham, Mich.                 6.0
 Somerset, N.J.              1,508| Elkhart, Ind.                  69| Tulare, Calif.                5.8
 Fairfax, Va.                1,492| Benton, Ark.                   61| Napa, Calif.                  5.6
                                  |                                  | Kane, Ill.                    5.6
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Ten Largest U.S. Counties

Among the 10 largest counties, 9 had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in June 2016.
King, Wash., had the largest gain (3.4 percent). Within King, trade, transportation, and utilities had the 
largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 10,557 jobs, or 4.4 percent. Harris, 
Texas, had the only percentage decrease in employment among the 10 largest counties (-0.8 percent).
(See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in 8 of the 10 largest U.S. counties. King, Wash., also 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (8.1 percent). Within King, trade, 
transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within 
trade, transportation, and utilities, average weekly wages increased by $257, or 21.9 percent, over the 
year. Harris, Texas, had the only percentage loss in average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties 
(-0.1 percent).

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 344 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2015. June 2016 employment and 2016 second quarter 
average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 3 of this release.

The data are derived from reports submitted by every employer subject to unemployment insurance (UI) 
laws. The 9.7 million employer reports cover 142.7 million full- and part-time workers. Data for the 
second quarter of 2016 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 issue 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 third quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on 
Tuesday, March 7, 2017.





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Last Modified Date: December 07, 2016