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Employment up in 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties, December 2014 to December 2015

June 13, 2016

From December 2014 to December 2015, employment increased in 308 of the 342 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs. Williamson, Tennessee (part of the Nashville area), had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 6.8 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.9 percent. Within Williamson, the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services. 

12-month percentage change in employment, selected counties, December 2015
County Percentage change in employment,
December 2014 to December 2015
Employment, December 2015

Williamson, TN

6.8% 120,300

Utah, UT

6.6 215,700

Loudoun, VA

6.3 159,800

Chesterfield, VA

6.0 140,100

Lee, FL

5.9 253,100

Osceola, FL

5.8 87,600

Bell, TX

5.4 119,600

Boone, KY

5.1 85,200

Clay, MO

5.1 99,600

Hall, GA

5.0 82,200

Dallas, TX

3.9 1,651,600

Santa Clara, CA

3.8 1,040,800

Clark, NV

3.7 928,600

Maricopa, AZ

3.2 1,883,200

Miami-Dade, FL

3.0 1,115,900

King, WA

2.9 1,297,200

Los Angeles, CA

2.6 4,341,000

San Diego, CA

2.6 1,399,700

Orange, CA

2.3 1,550,600

New York, NY

2.1 2,442,200

Cook, IL

1.9 2,575,700

United States (total)

1.9 141,924,500

Harris, TX

-0.5 2,302,800

Washington, PA

-2.1 86,500

Weld, CO

-3.1 100,200

Gregg, TX

-5.1 76,200

Lafayette, LA

-5.6 136,100

Midland, TX

-9.3 86,600

Ector, TX

-11.8 70,600

Ector, Texas (part of the Midland–Odessa area), had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the United States, with a loss of 11.8 percent. Within Ector, natural resources and mining had the largest decrease in employment.

Among the 10 largest counties, 9 had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in December 2015. Dallas, Texas, had the largest gain (3.9 percent). Within Dallas, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest over-the-year employment level increase. Harris, Texas (in the Houston area), had the only percentage decrease in employment among the 10 largest counties.

In December 2015, national employment was 141.9 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over the year, from December 2014 to December 2015, employment increased 1.9 percent. In December 2015, the 342 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment. These 342 counties had a net job growth accounting for 81.4 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase for the year.

The five counties with the largest increases in employment were Los Angeles, Dallas, Maricopa, New York, and Cook; together their combined over-the-year employment increase was 12 percent of the increase for the United States as a whole.

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. To learn more, see "County Employment and Wages: Fourth Quarter 2015" (HTML) (PDF). Data for 2015 are preliminary and subject to revision.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment up in 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties, December 2014 to December 2015 at (visited July 13, 2024).

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