Economic Analysis - Regional or Local

County Employment and Wage Growth Move in Different Directions in Q3 2017


County Employment and Wage Growth Move in Different Directions in Q3 2017 ( )

County Employment and Wage Growth: Employment Up but Wages Down in Third Quarter 2017.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this week released its Third Quarter figures for county employment and wage growth. Employment increased in 283 of the 346 (82%) largest U.S. counties from September 2016 to September 2017.

Midland County, TX, had the largest percentage increase, with a gain of 10.4 percent over the year. Collier County, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 5.2 percent. The national job growth rate of 1.0 percent.

The U.S. average weekly wage decreased 0.6 percent over the year, declining to $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017. This is the third decline since first quarter 2016, and one of only nine declines in the history of the series, which dates back to 1978. Mercer County, NJ, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 8.8 percent. Midland County, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 8.4 percent.





Ten Largest U.S. Counties

Among the 10 largest counties, 9 had over-the-year percentage increases in employment in September 2017. King County, WA, had the largest gain (2.8 percent). Within King, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest over-the-year employment level increase, with a gain of 16,733 jobs, or 6.6 percent. Miami-Dade County, FL, had the only percentage decrease in employment among the 10 largest counties (-1.7 percent). Within Miami-Dade, leisure and hospitality had the largest over-the-year employment level decrease, with a loss of 6,855 jobs, or -4.9 percent. (See table 2.)

Average weekly wages decreased over the year in 7 of the 10 largest U.S. counties. Dallas County, Texas, experienced the largest percentage loss in average weekly wages (-1.9 percent). Within Dallas, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage loss. Within trade, transportation, and utilities, average weekly wages decreased by $61, or -5.5 percent, over the year. King County, WA had the largest percentage gain in average weekly wages among the 10 largest counties (2.7 percent). Within King, information had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth with an increase of $169 (3.4 percent) over the year.

For more information, visit MuniNet Guide’s county demographics pages.


by Jeffrey L Garceau

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