After the recent financial meltdown, many Americans probably know what it’s like to search and wonder where all the jobs are. Recently the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided a little more insight by releasing a report that analyzed the number of employed people in each of the largest 334 counties.
Topping the Bureau’s list is Weld County in Colorado, with 1,864 jobs gained in the year. The Bureau sites major increases in construction as the reason for its success. On the other hand, St. Clair County in Illinois experienced the largest decline.
In order to be considered a “large” county, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a county needed to have an average annual employment level of at least 75,000 people. The study was conducted December 2012 through December 2013, a period in which the country gained 2.3 million jobs nationally—a 1.8 percent increase to 136.1 million jobs.
Another thing to celebrate: the country’s 10 largest counties all experienced an increase in employed people, particularly King County in Washington, which includes Seattle, with a 3.9 percent increase.
Although these numbers provide more insight into the employment arena, the numbers are not exempt from error. For instance, a county that experienced decreased employment is not necessarily a negative. Unemployment may not be going up, but, rather, more people are retiring. Such is the case with three counties in Virginia – Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington. For these three counties, the number of employed people dropped, but so did the unemployment rate. Similarly, an increase in employment numbers might be because of a migration of working age people, not necessarily a strict decrease in unemployment.