Economic News Release

County Employment and Wages News Release

Technical information:(202) 691-6567    USDL 08-1014 
                                        For release:  10:00 A.M. EDT 
Media contact:              691-5902    Thursday, July 24, 2008 


  In December 2007, Fort Bend County, Texas, had the largest over-
the-year percentage increase in employment among the largest counties 
in the U.S., according to preliminary data released today by the 
Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Fort Bend 
County, which contains a portion of southwest Houston, experienced an 
over-the-year employment gain of 7.4 percent, compared with national 
job growth of 0.8 percent. Pulaski County, Ark., which includes 
Little Rock, had the largest over-the-year gain in average weekly 
wages in the fourth quarter of 2007, with an increase of 26.2 percent 
due to gains in the information supersector. The U.S. average weekly 
wage rose by 4.2 percent over the same time span. 
  Of the 328 largest counties in the United States, as measured by 
2006 annual average employment, 126 had over-the-year percentage 
growth in employment above the national average (0.8 percent) in 
December 2007; 182 large counties experienced changes below the 
national average. The percent change in average weekly wages was 
higher than the national average (4.2 percent) in 128 of the largest 
U.S. counties, but was below the national average in 186 counties. 

Table A.  Top 10 large counties ranked by December 2007 employment, December 2006-07 employment growth,  
and December 2006-07 percent growth in employment  

                                       Employment in large counties
      December 2007 employment    |       Growth in employment,      |   Percent growth in employment, 
            (thousands)           |          December 2006-07        |          December 2006-07
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           137,027.3| United States             1,089.1| United States                 0.8
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,293.4| Harris, Texas                73.2| Fort Bend, Texas              7.4
 Cook, Ill.                2,556.2| New York, N.Y.               52.0| Monterey, Calif.              5.2
 New York, N.Y.            2,419.9| King, Wash.                  35.2| Williamson, Tenn.             4.5
 Harris, Texas             2,061.4| Los Angeles, Calif.          32.9| Madison, Ala.                 4.0
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,848.2| Dallas, Texas                31.3| San Francisco, Calif.         4.0
 Orange, Calif.            1,517.7| San Francisco, Calif.        21.8| Wake, N.C.                    3.9
 Dallas, Texas             1,504.8| Bexar, Texas                 18.8| Hidalgo, Texas                3.9
 San Diego, Calif.         1,340.3| Tarrant, Texas               17.3| Harris, Texas                 3.7
 King, Wash.               1,194.1| Wake, N.C.                   17.1| Tulare, Calif.                3.6
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,032.1| Travis, Texas                16.4| Denton, Texas                 3.6
                                  |                                  | Arlington, Va.                3.6
                                  |                                  |                                  
                                  |                                  |                                  

  The employment and average weekly wage data by county are compiled 
under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (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 9.1 million employer reports cover 137.0 million full- and 
part-time workers. The attached tables contain data for the nation 
and for the 328 U.S. counties with annual average employment levels 
of 75,000 or more in 2006. December 2007 employment and 2007 fourth-
quarter average weekly wages for all states are provided in table 4 
of this release. Final data for all states, metropolitan statistical 
areas, counties, and the nation through the fourth quarter of 2006 
are available on the BLS Web site at 
Preliminary data for first, second, and third quarter 2007 also are 
available on the BLS Web site. Updated data for first, second, and 
third quarter 2007 and preliminary data for fourth quarter 2007 will 
be available later in July on the BLS Web site.