Employment increased in 286 of the 334 largest U.S. counties
Within Fort Bend, the largest employment increase occurred in leisure and hospitality, which gained 2,234 jobs over the year (12.1 percent). Peoria, Ill., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 3.7 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 over the year by 1.9 percent to $922 in the third quarter of 2013. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 9.9 percent. Within San Mateo, an average weekly wage gain of $2,359, or 82.1 percent, in information made the largest contribution to the increase in average weekly wages.
Pinellas, Fla., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 4.3 percent over the year. In September 2013, national employment was 135.0 million (as measured by the QCEW program). Over the year, employment increased 1.7 percent, or 2.3 million. The 334 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 71.4 percent of total U.S. employment and 76.6 percent of total wages.
These 334 counties had a net job growth of 1.7 million over the year, accounting for 75.8 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase.
Fort Bend, Texas, 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; Dallas, Texas; Maricopa, Ariz.; and King, Wash. These counties had a combined over-the-year employment gain of 291,600 jobs, which was 12.8 percent of the overall job increase for the U.S.
Employment declined in 44 of the large counties from September 2012 to September 2013. Peoria, Ill., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment (-3.7 percent). Within Peoria, professional and business services had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 2,088 (-11.3 percent). Caddo, La., had the second largest percentage decrease in employment, followed by St. Clair, Ill.; Jefferson, Texas; and Lake, Ind.
Average weekly wages for the nation increased 1.9 percent during the year ending in the third quarter of 2013. Among the 334 largest counties, 291 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (9.9 percent).
Of the 334 largest counties, 40 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Pinellas, Fla., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wage, with a loss of 4.3 percent. Within Pinellas, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage decrease. Within this industry, average weekly wages declined by $214 (-18.6 percent) over the year.
Rockland, N.Y., had the second largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages, followed by Harford, Md.; Douglas, Colo.; and Mercer, N.J. (See table 1.) Ten Largest U.S. Counties All of the 10 largest counties had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in September 2013. King, Wash., had the largest gain (3.7 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 10,103 jobs, or 4.7 percent. Cook, Ill., had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.0 percent) among the 10 largest counties.
Average weekly wages increased over-the-year in 9 of the 10 largest U.S. counties. Harris, Texas, experienced the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages (2.9 percent). Within Harris, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth. Within this industry, average weekly wages increased by $53, or 3.9 percent, over the year. Average weekly wages in Orange, Calif., were unchanged over the year. ■