The BLS county employment and wage summary is out for the final quarter of 2016.
From December 2015 to December 2016, employment increased in 280 of the 344 largest U.S. counties. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 5.1 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.2 percent. Lafayette, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 5.1 percent.
Clark County made the top quintile with gains of 2.6 percent from Q4 2015 to Q4 2016. But Washoe come in 20th among large counties with a 3.4 percent increase in employment. Clark County was notable for having the eighth largest nominal increase, adding 23,700 jobs.
The U.S. average weekly wage decreased 1.5 percent over the year, declining to $1,067 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is one of only eight declines in the history of the series, which dates back to 1978. The 1.5 percent decline in average weekly wages was the largest decline since fourth quarter 2011, when average weekly wages decreased by 1.7 percent. The most recent decline occurred in first quarter 2016,
when the U.S. average weekly wage decreased 0.6 percent over the year.
McLean, Ill., had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 9.2 percent. Clayton, Ga., experienced the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 11.3 percent over the year. Clark and Washoe Counties fared slightly better than average with wage declines of 1.2% and 1.4% respectively.