Office-Using Employment in the 10 Largest Counties in the US

Economic Pulse
June 19, 2014

Today’s quarterly report on County Employment and Wages (CEW) for Q4 2013 provides a count of employment, establishments and wages across all 9.3 million establishments covered by state and federal unemployment insurance laws.

By contrast, the monthly payroll report is a survey that samples just 557,000 establishments. As estimates, the data get benchmarked to the more accurate results of CEW data once a year.

One other advantage the CEW data provide is that the data are reported on a county level; the payroll report releases data for typically larger metropolitan statistical areas. One disadvantage to the CEW data is the lag in reporting: today’s data cover Q4 2013.

Office Employment across the 10 Largest Counties:


  • Growth in the office-using segment varied dramatically by locale.
  • Financial activities employment was generally a laggard, though in four counties (Harris, Dallas, Maricopa--home to Phoenix—and Miami-Dade) growth in financial activities’ employment was greater than growth in employment at professional and business service establishments.
  • Cook, Los Angeles and San Diego counties had the broadest disparity in growth across the segments comprising office-using employment.
  • Eight of the ten largest counties experienced private sector employment growth greater than the national rate of private-sector employment growth (+2.1%); only in Cook County was performance well below the national gain (+1.3%).

(Click or tap images to enlarge)