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).