Economic News Release

County Employment and Wages News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, September 29, 2011  USDL-11-1397 
Technical Information:  (202) 691-6567  *  * 
Media Contact:  (202) 691-5902  * 
County Employment and Wages 
First Quarter 2011 
From March 2010 to March 2011, employment increased in 256 of the 322 
largest U.S. counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 
today. Elkhart, Ind., posted the largest percentage increase, with a 
gain of 6.2 percent over the year, compared with national job growth 
of 1.3 percent. Within Elkhart, the largest employment increase 
occurred in manufacturing, which gained 5,125 jobs over the year 
(12.4 percent). Sacramento, Calif., experienced the largest over-the-
year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in 
the U.S. with a loss of 1.6 percent.  
The U.S. average weekly wage increased over the year by 5.2 percent 
to $935 in the first quarter of 2011. Among the large counties in the 
U.S., Peoria, Ill., had the largest over-the-year increase in average 
weekly wages in the first quarter of 2011 with a gain of 18.9 
percent. Within Peoria, professional and business services had the 
largest impact on the county’s over-the-year increase in average 
weekly wages. Williamson, Texas, experienced the largest decline in 
average weekly wages with a loss of 3.8 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 2011 employment, March 2010-11 employment 
increase, and March 2010-11 percent increase in employment  

                                       Employment in large counties
       March 2011 employment      |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |           March 2010-11          |           March 2010-11
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           127,851.0| United States             1,622.8| United States                 1.3
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       3,887.9| Harris, Texas                44.6| Elkhart, Ind.                 6.2
 Cook, Ill.                2,333.9| New York, N.Y.               43.4| Ottawa, Mich.                 4.7
 New York, N.Y.            2,304.1| Los Angeles, Calif.          37.3| Washington, Pa.               4.3
 Harris, Texas             2,014.4| Orange, Calif.               26.7| Prince William, Va.           4.3
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,628.8| Dallas, Texas                26.7| Benton, Wash.                 4.3
 Dallas, Texas             1,416.9| Santa Clara, Calif.          24.6| Butler, Pa.                   4.2
 Orange, Calif.            1,370.6| Cook, Ill.                   22.9| Loudoun, Va.                  4.2
 San Diego, Calif.         1,239.7| Maricopa, Ariz.              21.1| Williamson, Tenn.             4.1
 King, Wash.               1,117.2| King, Wash.                  20.0| Washington, Ore.              4.0
 Miami-Dade, Fla.            967.7| Hennepin, Minn.              19.3| Collier, Fla.                 3.8
                                  |                                  |                                  
Large County Employment 
In March 2011, national employment, as measured by the QCEW program, 
was 127.9 million, up by 1.3 percent or 1.6 million workers, from 
March 2010. The 322 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more employees 
accounted for 70.7 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.4 percent 
of total wages. These 322 counties had a net job growth of 1,054,300 
over the year, accounting for 65.0 percent of the overall U.S. 
employment increase.
Elkhart, Ind., had the largest percentage increase in employment 
among the largest U.S. counties (6.2 percent). The five counties with 
the largest increases in employment level were Harris, Texas; New 
York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Orange, Calif.; and Dallas, Texas. 
These counties had a combined over-the-year gain of 178,700, or 11.0 
percent of the employment increase for the U.S.