This Is What Happened to Employment in the 10 Largest Counties, and It’s Bad

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary source of employment data in the United States. It issues the monthly unemployment rates that cover the entire country, states and America’s largest cities. Among its other reports is one called the “County Employment and Wages Summary.” That report was just released for the second quarter of the year. Although it covers the nation’s 357 largest counties based on population, it focuses on the 10 largest. The drop in employment in these counties over the past year is breathtakingly large.

According to the report, employment, based on total people with jobs, dropped in all 357 counties measured in the period from June 2019 to June 2020. The total number of people employed was 135.1 million, down by 9.4%.

The largest drop was in Atlantic County, New Jersey, where the number of people employed fell by 34.2%. The smallest declines were in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, and Utah County, Utah. Each posted a loss of 0.2%.

The 10 largest counties are home to America’s largest cities. These include Cook County, which includes Chicago; Harris County, which includes Houston; Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix; and King County, which includes Seattle.

These are America’s 10 largest counties and the employment change from June 2019 to June 2020.

CountyEmployment (thousands)Change
Los Angeles, California3,945.3−12.2%
Cook, Illinois2,297.3−13.1%
New York, New York2,048.7−18.8%
Harris, Texas2,179.4−7.3%
Maricopa, Arizona1,924.6−4.6%
Dallas, Texas1,623.5−5.8%
Orange, California1,442.0−12.7%
San Diego, California1,325.1−11.2%
King, Washington1,312.9−8.9%
Miami-Dade, Florida1,036.8−9.3%

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