September 27, 2012: From March 2011 to March 2012, employment increased in 293 of the 328 largest U.S. counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Gregg, Texas, posted the largest increase, with a gain of 6.0 percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 1.8 percent. Within Gregg, the largest employment increase occurred in construction, which gained 1,948 jobs over the year (28.7 percent). Benton, Wash., experienced the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 3.9 percent.
The U.S. average weekly wage increased over the year by 5.4 percent to $984 in the first quarter of 2012. Williamson, Texas, had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 27.4 percent. Within Williamson, a total wage gain of $298.1 million (49.5 percent) in the trade, transportation, and utilities industry had the largest impact on the county’s increase in average weekly wages. New York, N.Y., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.3 percent over the year. County employment and wage data are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.