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Economic News Release
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County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, May 20, 2020		USDL-20-1012

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

COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES – FOURTH QUARTER 2019

From December 2018 to December 2019, employment increased in 285 of the 355 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In December 2019, national 
employment (as measured by the QCEW program) increased to 149.9 million, a 1.2 percent 
increase over the year. Cleveland, OK, had the largest over-the-year increase in employment 
with a gain of 5.8 percent. Employment data in this release are presented for December 2019, 
and average weekly wage data are presented for fourth quarter 2019.

Among the 355 largest counties, 341 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. In 
the fourth quarter of 2019, average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,185, a 3.5 
percent increase over the year. Santa Cruz, CA, had the largest fourth quarter over-the-year wage 
gain at 20.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Large County Employment in December 2019

Cleveland, OK, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment (5.8 percent). 
Within Cleveland, the largest employment increase occurred in trade, transportation, and 
utilities, which gained 4,579 jobs over the year (28.7 percent).

Ector, TX, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss 
of 4.2 percent. Within Ector, natural resources and mining had the largest employment decrease 
with a loss of 2,297 jobs (-15.2 percent).

Large County Average Weekly Wage in Fourth Quarter 2019

Santa Cruz, CA, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages (20.7 
percent). Within Santa Cruz, an average weekly wage gain of $1,679 (109.0 percent) in 
professional and business services made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in 
average weekly wages.

Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss 
of 7.1 percent. Within Linn, manufacturing had the largest impact, with an average weekly wage 
decrease of $646 (-27.7 percent) over the year.

Ten Largest Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment and average 
weekly wages. In December 2019, Maricopa, AZ, had the largest over-the-year employment 
percentage gain among the 10 largest counties (3.5 percent). Within Maricopa, education and 
health services had the largest employment increase with a gain of 14,967 jobs (4.6 percent). 
(See table 2.)

In fourth quarter 2019, King, WA, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage gain in 
average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties (7.8 percent). Within King, information had 
the largest impact, with an average weekly wage increase of $336 (9.4 percent) over the year.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 355 U.S. counties with 
annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018. December 2019 employment and 
fourth quarter 2019 average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 3 of this release.

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/regional-resources.htm.

QCEW data are available in the Census Business Builder suite of web tools assisting business 
owners and regional analysts in data-driven decision making at www.census.gov/data/data-
tools/cbb.html. 

The QCEW news release schedule is available at www.bls.gov/cew/release-calendar.htm.

____________
The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled 
to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). 

The County Employment and Wages news release for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be 
released on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). 



The PDF version of the news release

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: May 20, 2020