County economies, one year later

According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in 95% of the largest counties was lower in March 2021 compared to March 2020, painting the most complete picture available to-date of the post-COVID labor market situation at the local level.

Of the 343 largest counties, 9 counties had net increases in jobs in March 2020-March 2021:

  1. Utah County, UT (6.1%)
  2. Elkhart County, IN (4.3%)
  3. Davis County, UT (2.0%)
  4. Weber County, UT (1.6%)
  5. Cleveland County, OK (1.3%)
  6. Pasco County, FL (0.8%)
  7. Denton County, TX (0.6%)
  8. Okaloosa County, FL (0.2%)
  9. Ada County, ID (0.2%)

And two counties were essentially flat:

  • St. Johns County, FL
  • Salt Lake County, UT

Employment in Nashville-Davidson County was down by -5.3% in March 2021 compared to the onset of the pandemic, but other parts of the region fared better, with only minor dips in Rutherford County and Williamson County (-0.3%). Mighty Austin-Travis County was down by -2.4%.

Labor markets in many tourist-driven economies recovered well this summer, but the 2021Q1 data makes clear how far they have to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels:

  • Clark County, NV (-12.1%)
  • Atlantic County, NJ (-12.2%)
  • Honolulu County, HI (-13.4%)
  • Orleans Parish, LA (-14.7%)

For other counties and industry-level data, stay tuned for the full QCEW 2021Q1 release, scheduled for September 1.