Economic News Release

County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, March 19, 2015		USDL-15-0427

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

Third Quarter 2014

From September 2013 to September 2014, employment increased in 306 of the 339 largest U.S. 
counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Weld, Colo., had the largest increase, with 
a gain of 8.8 percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 2.0 percent. Within Weld, the 
largest employment increase occurred in natural resources and mining, which gained 2,299 jobs over the 
year (22.1 percent). Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the 
largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 4.0 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 increased 2.9 percent over the year, growing to $949 in the third quarter 
of 2014. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 
11.1 percent. Within Olmsted, an average weekly wage gain of $238, or 19.7 percent, in education and 
health services made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. Collier, 
Fla., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 3.9 percent over the year.

Table A.  Large counties ranked by September 2014 employment, September 2013-14 employment 
increase, and September 2013-14 percent increase in employment

                                       Employment in large counties
     September 2014 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |         September 2013-14        |         September 2013-14
                                  |            (thousands)           |                  
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States           137,724.1| United States             2,708.5| United States                 2.0
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,184.4| Los Angeles, Calif.          87.6| Weld, Colo.                   8.8
 New York, N.Y.            2,494.4| Harris, Texas                79.2| Benton, Ark.                  7.4
 Cook, Ill.                2,481.9| New York, N.Y.               65.7| Midland, Texas                7.4
 Harris, Texas             2,269.5| Dallas, Texas                53.1| Lee, Fla.                     6.1
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,756.8| King, Wash.                  41.5| Sarasota, Fla.                6.1
 Dallas, Texas             1,558.5| Santa Clara, Calif.          41.4| Adams, Colo.                  5.7
 Orange, Calif.            1,475.0| Clark, Nev.                  39.8| Kings, N.Y.                   5.4
 San Diego, Calif.         1,344.5| Maricopa, Ariz.              34.1| Williamson, Tenn.             5.4
 King, Wash.               1,252.8| Orange, Calif.               32.6| San Francisco, Calif.         5.1
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,047.0| San Francisco, Calif.        31.4| Fort Bend, Texas              5.1
                                  |                                  | Montgomery, Texas             5.1

Large County Employment

In September 2014, national employment was 137.7 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over 
the year, employment increased 2.0 percent, or 2.7 million. The 339 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more 
jobs accounted for 71.8 percent of total U.S. employment and 76.9 percent of total wages. These 339 
counties had a net job growth of 2.0 million over the year, accounting for 74.1 percent of the overall 
U.S. employment increase.

Weld, Colo., had the largest percentage increase in employment (8.8 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.; Dallas, Texas; and King, Wash. These counties had a combined over-
the-year employment gain of 327,100 jobs, which was 12.1 percent of the overall job increase for the 
U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 25 of the largest counties from September 2013 to September 2014. Atlantic, 
N.J., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-4.0 percent). Within Atlantic, 
leisure and hospitality had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 5,853 jobs (-12.0 percent). 
Passaic, N.J., had the second largest percentage decrease in employment, followed by McLean, Ill.; 
Peoria, Ill.; and Burlington, N.J. (See table 1.)

Table B.  Large counties ranked by third quarter 2014 average weekly wages, third quarter 2013-14
increase in average weekly wages, and third quarter 2013-14 percent increase in average weekly wages 

                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
         third quarter 2014       |    wage, third quarter 2013-14   |         weekly wage, third
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2013-14
                                  |                                  |                                  
 United States                $949| United States                 $27| United States                 2.9
                                  |                                  |                                  
 Santa Clara, Calif.        $2,012| Santa Clara, Calif.          $138| Olmsted, Minn.               11.1
 San Mateo, Calif.           1,824| San Francisco, Calif.         134| San Francisco, Calif.         8.6
 New York, N.Y.              1,733| San Mateo, Calif.             121| Santa Clara, Calif.           7.4
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,685| Olmsted, Minn.                108| San Mateo, Calif.             7.1
 Washington, D.C.            1,631| Suffolk, Mass.                 84| Brazoria, Texas               7.1
 Arlington, Va.              1,545| Midland, Texas                 80| Midland, Texas                6.8
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,515| Washington, Ore.               71| Washington, Ore.              6.2
 King, Wash.                 1,452| Arlington, Va.                 71| Howard, Md.                   6.0
 Fairfax, Va.                1,447| King, Wash.                    71| Hamilton, Ohio                6.0
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,400| Howard, Md.                    67| Suffolk, Mass.                5.9
                                  |                                  |                                  

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $949, a 2.9 percent increase, during the year ending in 
the third quarter of 2014. Among the 339 largest counties, 328 had over-the-year increases in average 
weekly wages. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (11.1 

Of the 339 largest counties, 10 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Collier, 
Fla., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 3.9 percent. Within 
Collier, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage 
decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $498 (-33.2 percent) over the year. 
Dane, Wis., had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by 
Williamson, Texas; Hamilton, Ind.; 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 September 
2014. Harris, Texas, had the largest gain (3.6 percent). Within Harris, trade, transportation, and utilities 
had the largest over-the-year employment level increase among all private industry groups with a gain of 
15,547 jobs, or 3.4 percent. Cook, Ill., had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.2 percent) 
among the 10 largest counties. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages increased over the year in all of the 10 largest U.S. counties. King, Wash., 
experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (5.1 percent). Within King, 
information had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within this industry, 
average weekly wages increased by $437, or 9.3 percent, over the year. San Diego, Calif., had the 
smallest increase in average weekly wages (0.8 percent) among the 10 largest counties.

For More Information

The tables included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 339 U.S. counties with annual 
average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2013. September 2014 employment and 2014 third 
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 9.4 million employer reports cover 137.7 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 
third quarter of 2014 will be available electronically 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 fourth quarter 2014 is scheduled to be released 
on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

The PDF version of the news release

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Last Modified Date: March 19, 2015
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