Economic News Release

County Employment and Wages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, June 17, 2015				USDL-15-1163

Technical Information:	(202) 691-6567     *     QCEWInfo@bls.gov     *     www.bls.gov/cew
Media Contact:		(202) 691-5902     *     PressOffice@bls.gov

COUNTY EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES
Fourth Quarter 2014

From December 2013 to December 2014, employment increased in 319 of the 339 largest U.S. 
counties (counties with 75,000 or more jobs in 2013), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. Weld, Colo., and Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increases, with 
gains of 8.0 percent each over the year, compared with national job growth of 2.2 percent. 
Within Weld, the largest employment increase occurred in natural resources and mining, which 
gained 2,074 jobs over the year (19.6 percent). Within Midland, the largest employment 
increase also occurred in natural resources and mining, which gained 3,135 jobs over the year 
(14.9 percent). Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment 
among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 5.0 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 3.5 percent over the year, growing to $1,035 in the 
fourth quarter of 2014. Benton, Ark., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in 
average weekly wages with a gain of 9.9 percent. Within Benton, an average weekly wage gain 
of $209, or 16.2 percent, in professional and business services made the largest contribution to 
the county’s increase in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., experienced the largest 
percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 20.4 percent over the year.

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

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                                       Employment in large counties
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      December 2014 employment    |      Increase in employment,     |  Percent increase in employment, 
            (thousands)           |          December 2013-14        |          December 2013-14
                                  |            (thousands)           |
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                                  |                                  |
 United States           139,204.8| United States             3,033.7| United States                 2.2
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                                  |                                  |
 Los Angeles, Calif.       4,243.8| Harris, Texas                87.4| Weld, Colo.                   8.0
 New York, N.Y.            2,568.3| Los Angeles, Calif.          68.3| Midland, Texas                8.0
 Cook, Ill.                2,512.5| New York, N.Y.               66.8| Adams, Colo.                  6.4
 Harris, Texas             2,312.2| Dallas, Texas                64.8| Lee, Fla.                     6.2
 Maricopa, Ariz.           1,821.9| Maricopa, Ariz.              48.4| Williamson, Tenn.             6.1
 Dallas, Texas             1,591.0| Clark, Nev.                  41.0| Utah, Utah                    5.8
 Orange, Calif.            1,506.0| King, Wash.                  40.4| Denton, Texas                 5.7
 San Diego, Calif.         1,359.7| Cook, Ill.                   39.3| Montgomery, Texas             5.7
 King, Wash.               1,262.8| Orange, Calif.               38.1| Benton, Ark.                  5.5
 Miami-Dade, Fla.          1,082.5| Miami-Dade, Fla.             35.0| Fort Bend, Texas              5.5
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Large County Employment

In December 2014, national employment was 139.2 million (as measured by the QCEW 
program). Over the year, employment increased 2.2 percent, or 3.0 million. The 339 U.S. 
counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.1 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.4 
percent of total wages. These 339 counties had a net job growth of 2.2 million over the year, 
accounting for 73.4 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase.

Weld, Colo., and Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increases in employment (8.0 
percent each) among the largest U.S. counties. The five counties with the largest increases in 
employment levels were Harris, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; New York, N.Y.; Dallas, Texas; and 
Maricopa, Ariz. These counties had a combined over-the-year employment gain of 335,700 jobs, 
which was 11.1 percent of the overall job increase for the U.S. (See table A.)

Employment declined in 17 of the largest counties from December 2013 to December 2014. 
Atlantic, N.J., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-5.0 percent). 
Within Atlantic, leisure and hospitality had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 
7,333 jobs (-16.8 percent). Norfolk City, Va., had the second largest percentage decrease in 
employment, followed by McLean, Ill.; Peoria, Ill.; and Lake, Ill. (See table 1.)

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

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                                  Average weekly wage in large counties
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        Average weekly wage,      |    Increase in average weekly    |    Percent increase in average 
        fourth quarter 2014       |    wage, fourth quarter 2013-14  |        weekly wage, fourth
                                  |                                  |          quarter 2013-14
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                                  |                                  |
 United States              $1,035| United States                 $35| United States                 3.5
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                                  |                                  |
 San Mateo, Calif.          $2,166| Santa Clara, Calif.          $134| Benton, Ark.                  9.9
 New York, N.Y.              2,138| Midland, Texas                118| Washington, Pa.               9.2
 Santa Clara, Calif.         2,114| Suffolk, Mass.                108| Midland, Texas                9.0
 Suffolk, Mass.              1,856| Douglas, Colo.                100| Brazoria, Texas               8.9
 San Francisco, Calif.       1,850| New York, N.Y.                 91| Douglas, Colo.                8.8
 Washington, D.C.            1,696| Washington, Pa.                91| Clayton, Ga.                  7.6
 Fairfield, Conn.            1,674| Benton, Ark.                   90| Jefferson, Texas              7.6
 Arlington, Va.              1,613| San Francisco, Calif.          87| Rockingham, N.H.              7.4
 Fairfax, Va.                1,584| Brazoria, Texas                86| Yolo, Calif.                  7.1
 Somerset, N.J.              1,543| King, Wash.                    81| Vanderburgh, Ind.             7.0
                                  |                                  | Atlantic, N.J.                7.0
                                  |                                  | Hamilton, Tenn.               7.0
                                  |                                  | Nueces, Texas                 7.0
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Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,035, a 3.5 percent increase, during the year 
ending in the fourth quarter of 2014. Among the 339 largest counties, 332 had over-the-year 
increases in average weekly wages. Benton, Ark., had the largest percentage wage increase 
among the largest U.S. counties (9.9 percent).

Of the 339 largest counties, 7 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. San 
Mateo, Calif., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, with a loss of 20.4 
percent. Within San Mateo, information had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly 
wage decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $8,606 (-60.1 percent) 
over the year. This decline in average weekly wages is partially due to wages returning to normal 
after higher levels in 2012 and 2013. Olmsted, Minn., had the second largest percentage decrease 
in average weekly wages, followed by Morris, N.J.; Rockland, N.Y.; Camden, N.J.; and Butler, 
Pa. (See table 1.)

Ten Largest U.S. Counties

All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in 
December 2014. Dallas, Texas, had the largest gain (4.2 percent). Within Dallas, trade, 
transportation, and utilities had the largest over-the-year employment level increase among all 
private industry groups with a gain of 17,303 jobs, or 5.5 percent. Cook, Ill., and Los Angeles, 
Calif., had the smallest percentage increases in employment (1.6 percent each) 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 (6.2 percent). Within 
King, information had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within 
this industry, average weekly wages increased by $421, or 16.5 percent, over the year. Maricopa, 
Ariz., had the smallest percentage increase in average weekly wages (2.2 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. December 2014 employment and 
2014 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 9.5 million employer reports cover 139.2 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 2014 will be available electronically later at 
www.bls.gov/cew/. 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 www.bls.gov/cew/cewregional.htm.

_____________
The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2015 is scheduled to be 
released on Thursday, September 17, 2015.





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Last Modified Date: June 17, 2015
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