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Economic News Release
QCEW QCEW Program Links

County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, September 27, 2012 USDL-12-1939 
Technical Information:	(202) 691-6567  *  	* 
Media Contact: 		(202) 691-5902  * 
County Employment and Wages 
Third Quarter 2018 
From March 2011 to March 2012, employment increased in 293 of the 328 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Gregg, Texas, posted 
the largest increase, with a gain of 6.0 percent over the year, compared with 
national job growth of 1.8 percent. Within Gregg, the largest employment increase 
occurred in construction, which gained 1,948 jobs over the year (28.7 percent). 
Benton, Wash., experienced the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among 
the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 3.9 percent. //CEWQTR ZUNI3PO Test 11/2/2020/
The U.S. average weekly wage increased over the year by 5.4 percent to $984 in the 
first quarter of 2012. Williamson, Texas, had the largest over-the-year increase in 
average weekly wages with a gain of 27.4 percent. Within Williamson, a total wage 
gain of $298.1 million (49.5 percent) in the trade, transportation, and utilities 
industry had the largest impact on the county’s increase in average weekly wages. 
New York, N.Y., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss 
of 6.3 percent over the year. County employment and wage data are compiled under the 
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. 

Table A.  Large counties ranked by March 2012 employment, March 2011-12 employment 
increase, and March 2011-12 percent increase in employment  

                                       Employment in large counties
       March 2012 employment      |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |           March 2011-12          |           March 2011-12
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           130,175.4| United States             2,338.1| United States                 1.8
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       3,925.0| Harris, Texas                70.4| Gregg, Texas                  6.0
 Cook, Ill.                2,373.7| New York, N.Y.               53.0| Williamson, Tenn.             5.6
 New York, N.Y.            2,360.9| Los Angeles, Calif.          52.9| Rutherford, Tenn.             5.3
 Harris, Texas             2,085.3| Maricopa, Ariz.              41.4| Montgomery, Texas             4.9
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,665.1| Cook, Ill.                   35.8| Harford, Md.                  4.7
 Dallas, Texas             1,446.5| Dallas, Texas                34.6| Kent, Mich.                   4.6
 Orange, Calif.            1,386.8| King, Wash.                  33.6| Delaware, Ohio                4.6
 San Diego, Calif.         1,253.4| Santa Clara, Calif.          30.2| Fort Bend, Texas              4.6
 King, Wash.               1,144.4| Hennepin, Minn.              27.1| Kern, Calif.                  4.4
 Miami-Dade, Fla.            989.5| Orange, Calif.               24.1| Douglas, Colo.                4.2
                                  |                                  | Manatee, Fla.                 4.2
                                  |                                  | Ottawa, Mich.                 4.2
                                  |                                  | Washington, Pa.               4.2
                                  |                                  | Denton, Texas                 4.2
                                  |                                  | Davis, Utah                   4.2
                                  |                                  | Utah, Utah                    4.2
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Employment 
In March 2012, national employment, as measured by the QCEW program, was 130.2 
million, up by 1.8 percent or 2.3 million jobs, from March 2011. The 328 U.S. 
counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 71.1 percent of total U.S. 
employment and 77.5 percent of total wages. These 328 counties had a net job growth 
of 1.6 million over the year, accounting for 70.2 percent of the overall U.S. 
employment increase. 
Gregg, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in employment (6.0 percent) among 
the largest U.S. counties. The five counties with the largest increases in 
employment level were Harris, Texas; New York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Maricopa, 
Ariz.; and Cook, Ill. These counties had a combined over-the-year gain of 253,500, 
or 10.8 percent of the overall employment increase for the U.S. (See table A.) 
Employment declined in 32 of the large counties from March 2011 to March 2012. 
Benton, Wash., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-3.9 
percent). Within Benton, professional and business services was the largest 
contributor to the decrease in employment with a loss of 3,103 jobs (-13.3 percent). 
Madison, Ill., had the second largest percent decrease in employment, followed by 
Arlington, Va. Two counties, St. Clair, Ill., and Jefferson, La., tied for the 
fourth largest employment decrease. (See table 1.) 

Table B.  Large counties ranked by first quarter 2012 average weekly wages, first quarter 2011-12
increase in average weekly wages, and first quarter 2011-12 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 2012       |    wage, first quarter 2011-12   |         weekly wage, first
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2011-12
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States                $984| United States                 $50| United States                 5.4
                                  |                                  |                                  
 New York, N.Y.             $2,464| Williamson, Texas            $261| Williamson, Texas            27.4
 Santa Clara, Calif.         1,957| Middlesex, N.J.               160| Middlesex, N.J.              13.6
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,942| Morris, N.J.                  138| Washington, Pa.              12.4
 Somerset, N.J.              1,881| Lake, Ill.                    126| Newport News City, Va.       12.1
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,791| Collin, Texas                 126| Collin, Texas                11.8
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,708| San Mateo, Calif.             112| Tulsa, Okla.                 11.3
 San Mateo, Calif.           1,622| Washington, Pa.               110| Gregg, Texas                 10.9
 Arlington, Va.              1,617| Santa Clara, Calif.           103| Lake, Ill.                   10.3
 Washington, D.C.            1,602| Durham, N.C.                  103| Peoria, Ill.                 10.3
 Morris, N.J.                1,595| Newport News City, Va.        100| Santa Cruz, Calif.           10.0


Large County Average Weekly Wages 
Average weekly wages for the nation increased by 5.4 percent during the year ending 
in the first quarter of 2012. Among the 328 largest counties, 323 had over-the-year 
increases in average weekly wages. Williamson, Texas, had the largest wage gain 
among the largest U.S. counties (27.4 percent).  
Of the 328 largest counties, 4 experienced over-the-year declines in average weekly 
wages. New York, N.Y., had the largest average weekly wage decrease with a loss of 
6.3 percent. Smaller first quarter bonus payments in 2012 contributed to this 
decrease in the average weekly wage. Within New York County, total wages in 
financial activities decreased by $5.3 billion (-13.4 percent) over the year. 
Somerset, N.J., had the second largest decline in average weekly wages, followed by 
Hudson, N.J., and Douglas, Colo. Clayton, Ga., had the smallest over-the-year 
increase in average weekly wages (0.1 percent). (See table 1.) 
Ten Largest U.S. Counties 

All of the 10 largest counties experienced over-the-year percentage increases in 
employment in March 2012. Harris, Texas, experienced the largest gain (3.5 percent). 
Within Harris, professional and business services had the largest over-the-year 
level increase among all private industry groups with a gain of 19,800 jobs (6.0 
percent). San Diego, Calif., had the smallest percent increase in employment (1.1 
percent) among the 10 largest counties. (See table 2.) 
Nine of the 10 largest U.S. counties had an over-the-year increase in average weekly 
wages. San Diego, Calif., experienced the largest increase in average weekly wages 
(7.5 percent), largely due to substantial total wage gains over the year in 
professional and business services ($291.1 million or 7.6 percent). New York, N.Y., 
had the only average weekly wage decline (-6.3 percent) among the 10 largest 
For More Information 
The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 328 U.S. 
counties with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2011. March 2012 
employment and 2012 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 9.2 million employer 
reports cover 130.2 million full- and part-time workers. For additional information 
about the quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note. Data 
for the first quarter of 2012 will be available later at 
Additional information about the QCEW data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-
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 2012 is scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. 
  |                                                                      |
  |                      County Changes for the 2012                     |
  |               County Employment and Wages News Releases              |
  |                                                                      |
  | Counties with annual average employment of 75,000 or more in 2011    |
  | are included in this release and will be included in future 2012     |
  | releases. Seven counties have been added to the publication tables:  |
  | Okaloosa, Fla.; Tippecanoe, Ind.; Johnson, Iowa; St. Tammany, La.;   |
  | Saratoga, N.Y.; Delaware, Ohio; and Gregg, Texas. One county,        |
  | Jackson, Ore., will be excluded.                                     |
  |                                                                      |

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Last Modified Date: October 31, 2020