May 24, 2018
The latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that from December 2016 to December 2017, employment increased in 316 of the 346 largest U.S. counties. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 11.5 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent. On the other hand, however, Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with losses of 1.8 percent each.
Within Midland, the largest employment increase occurred in natural resources and mining, which gained 5,247 jobs over the year (27.1 percent). While at the same time, professional and business services had the largest decrease in employment within Shawnee, with a loss of 1,173 jobs (-8.0 percent). Trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 769 jobs (-3.3 percent), within Caddo.
Average weekly wage in the U.S. rose 3.9 percent over the year, growing to $1,109 in the fourth quarter of 2017. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in average weekly wages, with gains of 11.5 percent each. Within San Mateo, an average weekly wage gain of $1,191 (23.1 percent) in information made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. While over in Ada, average weekly wage gain of $1,031 (51.6 percent) in manufacturing made the largest contribution to the county’s increase in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., recorded the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.7 percent. Within Clayton, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage change with a decrease of $182 (-12.9 percent) over the year.
Large County Employment
A breakout of the figures revealed that, in December 2017, the 346 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment and 78.3 percent of total wages. Further, these 346 counties had a net job growth of 1.6 million over the year, accounting for 74.4 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase. In December 2017, national employment was 145.9 million. Over the year, employment increased 1.5 percent, or 2.1 million.
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