May 19, 2022

New Data: 2016 County Business Patterns Shows Overall Growth in Employment

From the U.S. Census:

CTop 10 States in Employment Growthonstruction led all sectors in the largest rate of employment growth with an increase of 5.0 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to new U.S. Census Bureau economic statistics released today. Overall, construction employment grew from 6.0 million in 2015 to 6.3 million in 2016. In addition, annual payroll in Construction (NAICS 23) grew 6.5 percent from $348.6 billion in 2015 to $371.3 billion in 2016; and average payroll per employee grew 1.4 percent from $58,020 to $58,824.

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

These statistics come from the 2016 County Business Patterns (CBP), which provides detailed annual information on the number of establishments, first quarter employment, and first quarter and annual payroll at the national, state, metropolitan area, county and congressional district levels for nearly 1,200 industries defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

  • The number of all establishments rose 1.2 percent from 7,663,938 in 2015 to 7,759,807 in 2016. First quarter employment was up 2.1 percent from 124,085,947 to 126,752,238, and annual payroll was up 2.9 percent from $6.3 trillion in 2015 to $6.4 trillion in 2016.
  • The largest employment gains in Construction occurred in California (36,817), Florida (33,463) and New York (27,662). Employment gains in Specialty Trade Contractors (NAICS 238) (221,140) led this growth with Building Finishing Contractors (NAICS 2383) increasing the most among Specialty Trade Contractors with a growth of 93,209 employees.
  • The greatest number of employees was in Health Care and Social Assistance (NAICS 62), which rose 2.7 percent to 19.7 million employees working at 890,519 establishments in 2016.
  • Food Services and Drinking Places, (NAICS 722) had the largest increase in first quarter employment with an increase of 4.2 percent from 11,164,851 in 2015 to 11,636,640 in 2016.
  • The largest percentage increases in first quarter employment among states occurred in Florida (5.0 percent) and Arizona (3.7 percent).
  • Among the top 50 U.S. counties with the most employees, the top three for employment growth were:
    • Wake County, N.C., (whose largest city is Raleigh) with a growth of 5.2 percent and an employment increase of 22,293.
    • Kings County, N.Y., (whose largest borough is Brooklyn) with an increase of 28,282 employees and a growth of 4.9 percent.
    • Bexar County, Texas, (whose largest city is San Antonio) with an increase of 31,394 in employment, representing 4.4 percent growth.

CBP data can be accessed using multiple tools available via the Census Bureau’s website, including American FactFinderQuickFactsCensus Business Builder and My Congressional District. Data for QuickFacts, Census Business Builder and My Congressional District are not available now but are released on a flow basis.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.