Economic News Release

County Employment and Wages News Release


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST), Wednesday, January 13, 2010     USDL-10-0009 
 
Technical Information:  (202) 691-6567  *  QCEWInfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cew 
Media Contact:  (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov 
 
 
                      COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES 
                         Second Quarter 2009 
 
 
From June 2008 to June 2009, employment declined in 324 of the 334 
largest U.S. counties according to preliminary data, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Elkhart County, Ind., located 
about 100 miles east of Chicago, posted the largest percentage 
decline, with a loss of 21.9 percent over the year, compared with a 
national job decrease of 5.1 percent. Nearly 70 percent of the 
employment decline in Elkhart occurred in manufacturing, which lost 
18,400 jobs over the year (-32.2 percent). Yakima County, Wash., 
experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in 
employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a gain of 1.5 
percent.  
 
The U.S. average weekly wage fell over the year by 0.1 percent in the 
second quarter of 2009. This is the second consecutive over-the-year 
decline in average weekly wages and one of only four declines dating 
back to 1978, when these quarterly data were first comparable. (See 
Technical Note.) Large employment and wage losses in both the 
financial activities and manufacturing supersectors contributed 
significantly to the overall decline in the U.S. average weekly wages 
this quarter. Average weekly wages fell 1.8 percent in financial 
activities and 0.3 percent in manufacturing. Among the large counties 
in the U.S., Weld County, Colo., had the largest over-the-year 
decrease in average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2009, with 
a loss of 9.0 percent. Within Weld, trade, transportation, and 
utilities had the largest over-the-year decline in average weekly 
wages with a loss of 32.0 percent. Olmsted, Minn., experienced the 
largest growth in average weekly wages with a gain of 10.8 percent. 

Table A.  Top 10 large counties ranked by June 2009 employment, June 2008-09 employment 
decrease, and June 2008-09 percent decrease in employment  

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                                       Employment in large counties
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        June 2009 employment      |      Decrease in employment,     |  Percent decrease in employment, 
            (thousands)           |            June 2008-09          |            June 2008-09
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           129,674.8| United States            -6,941.9| United States                -5.1
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                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       3,947.3| Los Angeles, Calif.        -256.7| Elkhart, Ind.               -21.9
 Cook, Ill.                2,395.8| Maricopa, Ariz.            -149.9| Macomb, Mich.               -13.2
 New York, N.Y.            2,280.5| Cook, Ill.                 -137.7| Trumbull, Ohio              -12.2
 Harris, Texas             2,009.3| Orange, Calif.             -119.7| Wayne, Mich.                -11.6
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,588.7| New York, N.Y.             -113.2| Collier, Fla.               -11.3
 Dallas, Texas             1,416.7| Clark, Nev.                 -98.5| Ottawa, Mich.               -11.0
 Orange, Calif.            1,380.6| Wayne, Mich.                -85.5| Clark, Nev.                 -10.7
 San Diego, Calif.         1,258.2| San Diego, Calif.           -77.5| Washoe, Nev.                -10.5
 King, Wash.               1,138.3| Dallas, Texas               -71.6| Oakland, Mich.               -9.6
 Miami-Dade, Fla.            932.3| Oakland, Mich.              -65.6| Sarasota, Fla.               -9.2
                                  |                                  |                                  
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Of the 334 largest counties in the United States (as measured by 2008 
annual average employment), 157 had over-the-year percentage declines 
in employment greater than or equal to the national average (-5.1 
percent) in June 2009; 167 large counties experienced smaller 
declines than the national average, while 2 counties experienced no 
change and 3 counties experienced employment gains. The percent