County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, September 18, 2014	                            USDL-14-1713

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

First Quarter 2014

From March 2013 to March 2014, employment increased in 281 of the 339 largest U.S. counties, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Weld, Colo., had the largest increase, with a gain of 7.5 
percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 1.7 percent. Within Weld, the largest 
employment increase occurred in natural resources and mining, which gained 2,145 jobs over the year 
(24.1 percent). Peoria, Ill., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the largest 
counties in the U.S. with a loss of 2.6 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 3.8 percent over the year, growing to $1,027 in the first 
quarter of 2014. Chester, Pa., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain 
of 13.9 percent. Within Chester, an average weekly wage gain of $520, or 49.1 percent, in trade, 
transportation, and utilities made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly 
wages. Benton, Ark., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 3.2 
percent over the year.

Table A.  Large counties ranked by March 2014 employment, March 2013-14 employment 
increase, and March 2013-14 percent increase in employment  

                                       Employment in large counties
       March 2014 employment      |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |           March 2013-14          |           March 2013-14
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           134,555.0| United States             2,254.3| United States                 1.7
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,125.8| Los Angeles, Calif.          79.4| Weld, Colo.                   7.5
 New York, N.Y.            2,453.1| Harris, Texas                64.0| York, S.C.                    6.4
 Cook, Ill.                2,413.6| New York, N.Y.               58.7| Lee, Fla.                     6.3
 Harris, Texas             2,226.8| Dallas, Texas                45.4| Sarasota, Fla.                5.8
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,749.9| King, Wash.                  39.1| Wyandotte, Kan.               5.5
 Dallas, Texas             1,515.6| Maricopa, Ariz.              39.0| Midland, Texas                5.4
 Orange, Calif.            1,459.9| Santa Clara, Calif.          36.9| Montgomery, Texas             5.2
 San Diego, Calif.         1,321.0| Orange, Calif.               35.0| Collier, Fla.                 4.9
 King, Wash.               1,214.7| Clark, Nev.                  32.3| Sonoma, Calif.                4.8
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,043.4| San Diego, Calif.            26.7| Fort Bend, Texas              4.8
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Employment

In March 2014, national employment was 134.6 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over the 
year, employment increased 1.7 percent, or 2.3 million. The 339 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs 
accounted for 72.0 percent of total U.S. employment and 78.3 percent of total wages. These 339 
counties had a net job growth of 1.7 million over the year, accounting for 74.4 percent of the overall 
U.S. employment increase.

Weld, Colo., 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 level were Los Angeles, Calif.; 
Harris, Texas; New York, N.Y.; Dallas, Texas; and King, Wash. These counties had a combined over-
the-year employment gain of 286,600 jobs, which was 12.7 percent of the overall job increase for the 
U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 50 of the largest counties from March 2013 to March 2014. Peoria, Ill., had the 
largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-2.6 percent). Within Peoria, professional and 
business services had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 1,240 jobs (-7.4 percent). St. 
Clair, Ill. had the second largest percentage decrease in employment, followed by Atlantic, N.J.; Lake, 
Ind.; and Arlington, Va. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by first quarter 2014 average weekly wages, first quarter 2013-14
increase in average weekly wages, and first quarter 2013-14 percent increase in average weekly wages 

                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
         first quarter 2014       |    wage, first quarter 2013-14   |         weekly wage, first
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2013-14
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States              $1,027| United States                 $38| United States                 3.8
                                  |                                  |                                  
 New York, N.Y.             $2,749| New York, N.Y.               $294| Chester, Pa.                 13.9
 Santa Clara, Calif.         2,074| San Mateo, Calif.             181| New York, N.Y.               12.0
 San Mateo, Calif.           2,058| Chester, Pa.                  173| San Mateo, Calif.             9.6
 Somerset, N.J.              2,048| San Francisco, Calif.         166| Forsyth, N.C.                 9.6
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,944| Suffolk, Mass.                150| San Francisco, Calif.         9.3
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,922| Santa Clara, Calif.           137| Suffolk, Mass.                8.8
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,852| Midland, Texas                104| Midland, Texas                8.5
 Washington, D.C.            1,701| Middlesex, Mass.               90| Palm Beach, Fla.              7.8
 Arlington, Va.              1,669| Forsyth, N.C.                  90| Washington, Pa.               7.3
 Morris, N.J.                1,646| Lake, Ill.                     86| Elkhart, Ind.                 7.2
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,027, a 3.8 percent increase, during the year ending 
in the first quarter of 2014. Among the 339 largest counties, 323 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. Chester, Pa., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (13.9 

Of the 339 largest counties, 15 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Benton, 
Ark., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 3.2 percent. Within 
Benton, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage 
decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $253 (-8.9 percent) over the year. 
Cumberland, N.C., had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by 
Dutchess, N.Y.; Ocean, N.J.; and McLean, Ill. (See table 1.)

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in March 2014. 
King, Wash., had the largest gain (3.3 percent). Within King, trade, transportation, and utilities had the 
largest over-the-year employment level increase among all private industry groups with a gain of 10,023 
jobs, or 4.7 percent. Cook, Ill., had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.0 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. New York, N.Y., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (12.0 percent). Within New York, 
financial services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within this 
industry, average weekly wages increased by $1,607, or 21.0 percent, over the year. Orange, Calif., had 
the smallest increase in average weekly wages (2.7 percent) among the 10 largest counties.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 339 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2013. March 2014 employment and 2014 first 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 9.4 million employer reports cover 134.6 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 
first quarter of 2014 will be available 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 second quarter 2014 is scheduled to be released 
on Thursday, December 18, 2014.

|                                                                                                          |
|                  County Changes for the 2014 County Employment and Wages News Releases                   |
|                                                                                                          |
|   Counties with annual average employment of 75,000 or more in 2013 are included in this release and     |
|   will be included in future 2014 releases. Five counties have been added to the publication tables:     |
|   Shelby, Ala.; Osceola, Fla.; Black Hawk, Iowa; Washington, Minn.; and Cleveland, Okla.                 |
|                                                                                                          |

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Last Modified Date: September 18, 2014