Employment in the nation’s 10 largest counties ranged from almost 1.0 million in Miami-Dade, Florida, to almost 4.0 million in Los Angeles, California, in September 2012. All of the 10 largest counties had percentage increases in employment from September 2011 to September 2012. Harris, Texas (part of the Houston metropolitan area), had the largest gain (3.8 percent). Within Harris, among private industry groups, professional and business services had the largest over-the-year employment increase; a gain of 19,152 jobs (5.6 percent) resulting in employment of 360,700. Cook, Illinois (part of the Chicago metropolitan area), had the smallest percentage increase in employment (1.0 percent) among the 10 largest counties.
Nine of the 10 largest U.S. counties had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Maricopa, Arizona (part of the Phoenix metropolitan area), experienced the largest decline in average weekly wages (−2.1 percent). Education and health services had the largest impact on Maricopa county’s average weekly wage decline. Within this industry, employment grew by 5,374 (2.2 percent) to 248,200, while total wages paid to those workers decreased (−2.1 percent).
King, Washington (part of the Seattle metropolitan area), had the only average weekly wage increase (2.3 percent) among the 10 largest counties.
These data are from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. To learn more, see “County Employment and Wages: Third Quarter 2012″ (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-13-0542. Data for the most recent quarter are preliminary and subject to revision.
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