From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, 308 of the nation’s largest 342 counties increased jobs, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released this month.
Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 6.8% over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.9%. Within Williamson, the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which gained 3,185 jobs over the year (10.9%). Rounding out the top five was Utah County, Utah (6.6%); Loudoun County, Va. (6.3%); Chesterfield, Va.6.0%; and Lee, Fla. (5.9%).
Ector, Texas had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 11.8%. Within Ector, natural resources and mining had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 4,509 jobs (-34.1%). County employment and wage data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, which provides the only detailed quarterly and annual universe count of establishments, employment, and wages at the county, MSA, state, and national levels by detailed industry. These detailed data are published within six months following the end of each calendar quarter.
The U.S. average weekly wage increased 4.4%over the year, growing to $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015. Wyandotte, Kan., had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 10.4%. Within Wyandotte, an average weekly wage gain of $250, or 21.2%, in manufacturing made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, experienced the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 11.5% over the year. Within Midland, natural resources and mining had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage decline with a decrease of $257 (-11.6%) over the year.