County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, September 6, 2017	USDL-17-1220

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

COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES
First Quarter 2017

From March 2016 to March 2017, employment increased in 299 of the 346 largest U.S. counties, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. York, S.C., had the largest percentage increase with a 
gain of 6.8 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.6 percent. Within York, the 
largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which gained 3,539 jobs 
over the year (40.3 percent). Kanawha, W.Va., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in 
employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 2.7 percent. Within Kanawha, trade, 
transportation, and utilities had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 692 jobs (-3.9 
percent).

The U.S. average weekly wage increased 6.6 percent over the year, growing to $1,111 in the first 
quarter of 2017. McLean, Ill., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages 
with a gain of 27.8 percent. Within McLean, an average weekly wage gain of $1,006 (69.9 percent) in 
financial activities made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. 
Peoria, Ill., experienced the only percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 1.1 percent 
over the year. Within Peoria, manufacturing had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage 
change with a decrease of $605 (-31.3 percent) over the year.

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, metropolitan statistical area, state, and national levels by detailed 
industry. These data are published within 6 months following the end of each quarter.

Large County Employment

In March 2017, national employment was 142.3 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over the 
year, employment increased 1.6 percent, or 2.2 million. In March 2017, the 346 U.S. counties with 
75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment and 79.0 percent of total 
wages. These 346 counties had a net job growth of 1.7 million over the year, accounting for 76.1 percent 
of the overall U.S. employment increase. The 5 counties with the largest increases in employment levels 
had a combined over-the-year employment gain of 219,100 jobs, which was 10.0 percent of the overall 
job increase for the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 39 of the largest counties from March 2016 to March 2017. Kanawha, W.Va., 
had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-2.7 percent), followed by Lafayette, 
La.; Anchorage, Alaska; Oklahoma, Okla.; Peoria, Ill.; and Atlantic, N.J. (See table 1.)

Table A.  Large counties ranked by March 2017 employment, March 2016-17 employment increase, and 
March 2016-17 percent increase in employment

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                                       Employment in large counties
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       March 2017 employment      |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |           March 2016-17          |           March 2016-17
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           142,309.2| United States             2,180.3| United States                 1.6
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,359.4| Los Angeles, Calif.          54.8| York, S.C.                    6.8
 Cook, Ill.                2,531.8| Maricopa, Ariz.              48.5| Davis, Utah                   4.9
 New York, N.Y.            2,436.8| Dallas, Texas                41.5| Williamson, Tenn.             4.6
 Harris, Texas             2,265.1| King, Wash.                  41.5| Merced, Calif.                4.5
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,914.1| Clark, Nev.                  32.8| Deschutes, Ore.               4.5
 Dallas, Texas             1,662.0| Orange, Calif.               32.3| Utah, Utah                    4.5
 Orange, Calif.            1,580.2| New York, N.Y.               30.5| Clark, Wash.                  4.2
 San Diego, Calif.         1,421.4| San Diego, Calif.            29.1| Collier, Fla.                 3.8
 King, Wash.               1,335.4| Fulton, Ga.                  28.2| Denton, Texas                 3.8
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,130.2| Santa Clara, Calif.          26.2| Brevard, Fla.                 3.7
                                  |                                  | Rutherford, Tenn.             3.7
                                  |                                  | Collin, Texas                 3.7
                                  |                                  | Galveston, Texas              3.7
                                  |                                  | Thurston, Wash.               3.7
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Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,111, a 6.6 percent increase, during the year ending 
in the first quarter of 2017. Among the 346 largest counties, 345 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. McLean, Ill., had the largest percentage wage increase among the largest U.S. counties 
(27.8 percent). (See table B.)

Of the 346 largest counties, 1 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Peoria, 
Ill., had the only percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-1.1 percent). Somerset, N.J., had the 
smallest percentage wage increase, followed by Fairfield, Conn.; Lafayette, La.; and Winnebago, Wis. 
(See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by first quarter 2017 average weekly wages, first quarter 2016-17
increase in average weekly wages, and first quarter 2016-17 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 
         first quarter 2017       |    wage, first quarter 2016-17   |         weekly wage, first
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2016-17
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States              $1,111| United States                 $69| United States                 6.6
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 New York, N.Y.             $2,954| McLean, Ill.                 $248| McLean, Ill.                 27.8
 Santa Clara, Calif.         2,450| Santa Clara, Calif.           232| Elkhart, Ind.                15.1
 San Mateo, Calif.           2,385| San Francisco, Calif.         203| Midland, Texas               14.3
 San Francisco, Calif.       2,264| San Mateo, Calif.             183| Benton, Ark.                 14.2
 Somerset, N.J.              2,026| Benton, Ark.                  179| Williamson, Texas            12.4
 Suffolk, Mass.              2,016| Midland, Texas                179| New Castle, Del.             12.0
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,939| New York, N.Y.                174| Stearns, Minn.               11.4
 Washington, D.C.            1,885| New Castle, Del.              147| Yolo, Calif.                 11.3
 Arlington, Va.              1,847| King, Wash.                   146| Washington, Ark.             11.0
 Morris, N.J.                1,766| Middlesex, Mass.              142| Ramsey, Minn.                11.0
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Ten Largest U.S. Counties

Among the 10 largest counties, 9 had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in March 2017. 
King, Wash., had the largest gain (3.2 percent). Within King, trade, transportation, and utilities had the 
largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 14,813 jobs, or 6.1 percent. Harris, 
Texas, had the only percentage decrease in employment among the 10 largest counties (-0.2 percent). 
Within Harris, manufacturing had the largest over-the-year employment level decrease, with a loss of 
8,503 jobs, or -4.8 percent. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in all 10 of the largest U.S. counties. King, Wash., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (10.0 percent). Within King, 
information had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within information, 
average weekly wages increased by $496, or 14.4 percent, over the year. Harris, Texas, had the lowest 
percent gain in average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties (3.9 percent). Within Harris, trade, 
transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth with an 
increase of $77 (6.1 percent) over the year.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 346 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2016. March 2017 employment and 2017 first quarter 
average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 3 of this release.

The data are derived from reports submitted by employers who are subject to unemployment insurance 
(UI) laws. The 9.9 million employer reports cover 142.3 million full- and part-time workers. Data for the 
first quarter of 2017 will be available later at www.bls.gov/cew. Additional information about the 
quarterly employment and wages data is available in the Technical Note. More information about 
QCEW data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-6567.

The most current news release on quarterly measures of gross job flows is available from QCEW 
Business Employment Dynamics at www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cewbd.pdf.

Several BLS regional offices issue QCEW news releases targeted to local data users. Links to these 
releases are available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewregional.htm.

_____________
The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

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|                                                                                                          |
|                                              County Changes                                              |
|                                                                                                          |
|  Counties with annual average employment of 75,000 or more in 2016 are included in this release and      |
|  will be included in future 2017 releases. Three counties have been added to these publication tables:   |
|  Sussex, Del.; Maui + Kalawao, Hawaii; and Deschutes, Ore. One county, Gregg, Texas, which was           |
|  published in the 2016 releases, is excluded from this and future 2017 releases because its 2016 annual  |
|  average employment level was less than 75,000.                                                          |
|                                                                                                          |
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|                                                                                                          |
|                                             Industry Changes                                             |
|                                                                                                          |
|  Beginning with this release, the QCEW program now uses the 2017 version of the North American           |
|  Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data  |
|  by industry. For more information on the change to NAICS, please see the Federal Register notice at     |
|  www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/federal_register_notices/notices/fr08au16.pdf. For information on the      |
|  use of the 2017 version of NAICS in QCEW, see www.bls.gov/cew/naics2017.htm.                            |
|                                                                                                          |
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Last Modified Date: September 06, 2017