Economic News Release

County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, June 19, 2014                                           USDL-14-1138

Technical Information:     (202) 691-6567   *     *
Media Contact:             (202) 691-5902   *

Fourth Quarter 2013

From December 2012 to December 2013, employment increased in 292 of the 334 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Weld, Colo., had the largest increase, with 
a gain of 6.0 percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 1.8 percent. Within Weld, the 
largest employment increase occurred in construction, which gained 1,864 jobs over the year (25.5 
percent). St. Clair, Ill., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the largest counties 
in the U.S. with a loss of 3.1 percent. County employment and wage data are compiled under the 
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, which produces detailed information 
on county employment and wages within 6 months after the end of each quarter.

The U.S. average weekly wage was unchanged over the year, remaining at $1,000 in the fourth quarter 
of 2013. Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain 
of 6.5 percent. Within Santa Cruz, an average weekly wage gain of $416, or 32.9 percent, in 
manufacturing made the largest contribution to the increase in average weekly wages. Douglas, Colo., 
experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 29.7 percent over the year.

Table A.  Large counties ranked by December 2013 employment, December 2012-13 employment 
increase, and December 2012-13 percent increase in employment  

                                       Employment in large counties
      December 2013 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment,
            (thousands)           |          December 2012-13        |          December 2012-13
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           136,129.4| United States             2,344.4| United States                 1.8
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,176.8| Los Angeles, Calif.          76.6| Weld, Colo.                   6.0
 New York, N.Y.            2,500.2| Harris, Texas                64.2| Lee, Fla.                     5.5
 Cook, Ill.                2,463.3| New York, N.Y.               58.4| Sonoma, Calif.                5.2
 Harris, Texas             2,225.4| Maricopa, Ariz.              50.9| Douglas, Colo.                5.2
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,771.9| Dallas, Texas                48.1| Sarasota, Fla.                4.9
 Dallas, Texas             1,530.1| King, Wash.                  40.8| Ocean, N.J.                   4.8
 Orange, Calif.            1,463.1| Santa Clara, Calif.          38.2| Fort Bend, Texas              4.8
 San Diego, Calif.         1,330.2| Orange, Calif.               29.0| Midland, Texas                4.8
 King, Wash.               1,223.4| Cook, Ill.                   27.5| Placer, Calif.                4.7
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,047.5| Clark, Nev.                  26.5| Williamson, Texas             4.7
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Employment

In December 2013, national employment was 136.1 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over 
the year, employment increased 1.8 percent, or 2.3 million. The 334 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more 
jobs accounted for 71.7 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.2 percent of total wages. These 334 
counties had a net job growth of 1.8 million over the year, accounting for 76.2 percent of the overall 
U.S. employment increase.

Weld, Colo., 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 Los Angeles, Calif.; 
Harris, Texas; New York, N.Y.; Maricopa, Ariz.; and Dallas, Texas. These counties had a combined 
over-the-year employment gain of 298,200 jobs, which was 12.7 percent of the overall job increase for 
the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 39 of the large counties from December 2012 to December 2013. St. Clair, Ill., 
had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-3.1 percent). Within St. Clair, 
professional and business services had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 798 jobs (-9.2 
percent). Peoria, Ill., and Broome, N.Y., tied for the second largest percentage decrease in employment, 
followed by Caddo, La., and Winnebago, Wis. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by fourth quarter 2013 average weekly wages, fourth quarter 2012-13
increase in average weekly wages, and fourth quarter 2012-13 percent increase in average weekly wages 

                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average
        fourth quarter 2013       |    wage, fourth quarter 2012-13  |        weekly wage, fourth
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2012-13
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States              $1,000| United States                  $0| United States                 0.0
                                  |                                  |                                  
 San Mateo, Calif.          $2,724| Morris, N.J.                  $74| Santa Cruz, Calif.            6.5
 New York, N.Y.              2,041| Santa Clara, Calif.            65| Ada, Idaho                    6.4
 Santa Clara, Calif.         1,972| Washington, Ore.               65| Washington, Ore.              5.9
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,753| Union, N.J.                    63| Union, N.J.                   5.2
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,741| Santa Cruz, Calif.             55| Clayton, Ga.                  5.1
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,653| Ada, Idaho                     54| Morris, N.J.                  5.0
 Washington, D.C.            1,638| San Francisco, Calif.          51| Winnebago, Wis.               5.0
 Arlington, Va.              1,588| Winnebago, Wis.                46| Weld, Colo.                   4.8
 Fairfax, Va.                1,558| Albany, N.Y.                   45| Dane, Wis.                    4.7
 Morris, N.J.                1,553| Dane, Wis.                     45| Albany, N.Y.                  4.6
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation were unchanged during the year ending in the fourth quarter of 
2013. Among the 334 largest counties, 185 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Santa 
Cruz, Calif., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (6.5 percent).

Of the 334 largest counties, 140 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Douglas, 
Colo., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wage, with a loss of 29.7 percent. Within 
Douglas, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage 
decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $2,545 (-57.4 percent) over the year. 
San Mateo, Calif., had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by 
Virginia Beach City, Va.; McHenry, Ill.; and Shawnee, Kan. (See table 1.)

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in December 2013. 
King, Wash., had the largest gain (3.5 percent). Within King, trade, transportation, and utilities had the 
largest over-the-year employment level increase among all private industry groups with a gain of 10,127 
jobs, or 4.6 percent. Cook, Ill., had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.1 percent) among 
the 10 largest counties. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in 3 of the 10 largest U.S. counties. King, Wash., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (1.9 percent). Within King, 
information had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within this industry, 
average weekly wages increased by $68, or 2.7 percent, over the year. New York, N.Y., had the largest 
decline in average weekly wages (-3.3 percent) among the 10 largest counties.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 334 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2012. December 2013 employment and 2013 fourth 
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 9.3 million employer reports cover 136.1 million full- and part-
time workers. The QCEW program provides a quarterly and annual universe count of establishments, 
employment, and wages at the county, MSA, state, and national levels by detailed industry. Data for the 
fourth quarter of 2013 will be available later at For additional information about the 
quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note. Additional information about the 
QCEW data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-6567.

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 first quarter 2014 is scheduled to be released on 
Thursday, September 18, 2014.

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: June 19, 2014
Recommend this page using: