Unemployment this year hit its lowest level since 2007, but that didn’t stop jobs from being a core issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Certainly, one source of the wave of discontent that President-elect Donald Trump rode to victory is the sluggish pace of wage growth in recent years.

The real problem is that, as with so much of the economy, the job market has become widely split between winners and losers. Despite some pretty good national figures — including a roughly 5 percent overall unemployment rate — the fact is that if you travel from state to state and from county to county, you will find radically different job conditions.

For example, nobody — save for desperate employers — is complaining about the job market in California’s Silicon Valley. Visit sections of the Rust Belt, though, and you will see a sadly different story. Clearly some areas of the country are benefiting while others are missing out.

So who are the winners and losers in the job war?

Rich Blog analyzed data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, comparing both job growth over the past year and absolute wage levels for 343 of the largest counties in the United States. Based on average rankings in these categories, what follows is a look at 10 counties that are decidedly winning the job war and 10 that are lagging badly behind.

Job Growth, Ranked, by Select U.S. Counties

WashingtonIdahoMontanaNorth DakotaMinnesotaWisconsinMichiganOregonWyomingSouth DakotaIowaIllinoisIndianaOhioCaliforniaNevadaUtahColoradoNebraskaKansasMissouriKentuckyArizonaNew MexicoTexasOklahomaArkansasLouisianaMississippiTennesseeAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaWest VirginiaMarylandPennsylvaniaNew YorkVermontNew HampshireMaineMassachusettsRhode IslandConnecticutNew JerseyDelawareVirginiaNorth CarolinaSouth CarolinaAlaskaHawaiiWashington DCDE VT NJ RI CT NH MA MD DC HI
Overall Rank County Name State % Job Growth % Job Growth Rank average weekly wage average weekly wage rank
1 San Francisco, CA California 4.8 8 2054 4
2 Fulton, GA Georgia 4 28 1562 13
3 Benton, AR Arkansas 5 6 1266 38
4 Mecklenburg, NC North Carolina 4.1 25 1365 23
5 Williamson, TN Tennessee 7.9 1 1198 49
6 Loudoun, VA Virginia 6.2 3 1193 32
7 King, WA Washington 3.6 44 1456 16
8 Olmsted, MN Minnesota 4.1 25 1162 55
8 Santa Clara, CA California 3.1 78 2210 2
10 Hudson, NJ New Jersey 3.2 69 1523 15
11 Arlington, VA Virginia 3.1 78 1734 9
11 Clayton, GA Georgia 4 28 1146 59
13 Contra Costa, CA California 3.4 55 1285 34
14 Somerset, NJ New Jersey 2.9 94 2022 5
15 Collin, TX Texas 3.3 63 1272 37
16 Davidson, TN Tennessee 3.9 31 1097 70
17 Dallas, TX Texas 3.2 69 1291 33
18 Wake, NC North Carolina 4.2 21 1053 88
19 Mercer, NJ New Jersey 2.9 94 1395 20
20 Suffolk, MA Massachusetts 2.7 109 1890 7
21 Cobb, GA Georgia 3.4 55 1128 62
22 Hamilton, IN Indiana 4.4 16 1027 103
22 San Mateo, CA California 2.6 116 2195 3
24 Richmond City, VA Virginia 3.2 69 1173 54
25 Solano, CA California 3.5 50 1070 77
26 Denver, CO Colorado 2.8 99 1312 30
27 Placer, CA California 4.6 12 995 121
28 Delaware, OH Ohio 3.3 63 1096 71
29 Douglas, CO Colorado 3 86 1195 50
29 Madison, AL Alabama 3.4 55 1066 81
31 Multnomah, OR Oregon 3.4 55 1065 84
32 Palm Beach, FL Florida 4.3 18 995 122
32 Washington, OR Oregon 2.8 99 1247 41
34 Travis, TX Texas 2.9 94 1173 53
35 Arapahoe, CO Colorado 2.6 116 1248 40
36 Howard, MD Maryland 2.6 116 1233 43
37 Fairfax, VA Virginia 2.2 150 1622 11
38 Williamson, TX Texas 3.5 50 1009 112
39 Snohomish, WA Washington 2.8 99 1124 65
40 Morris, NJ New-Jersey 2.1 158 1696 10
41 Hillsborough, FL Florida 3.8 33 977 137
42 Franklin, OH Ohio 3.1 78 1041 93
42 Salt Lake, UT Utah 3.8 33 973 138
44 Hennepin, MN Minnesota 2.2 150 1361 26
44 Washington Washington DC 2 168 1766 8
46 New York, NY New York 1.9 176 2783 1
47 Sacramento, CA California 2.7 109 1102 69
48 Montgomery, PA Pennsylvania 2.1 158 1371 22
49 Middlesex, NJ New Jersey 2.2 150 1299 31
49 Norfolk, MA Massachusetts 2.4 130 1191 51
51 Denton, TX Texas 4.2 21 923 166
52 Orange, CA California 2.4 130 1143 60
53 Monmouth, NJ New Jersey 3.1 78 1006 114
54 Westchester, NY New York 1.9 176 1416 17
55 Boulder, CO Colorado 2.3 142 1176 52
55 Camden, NJ New Jersey 3.5 50 960 144
57 Alameda, CA California 2 168 1353 27
58 Gwinnett, GA Georgia 3.2 69 989 128
59 Clark, WA Washington 4.2 21 906 177
60 Oakland, MI Michigan 2.3 142 1147 57
61 Essex, NJ New Jersey 1.9 176 1362 25
62 Galveston, TX Texas 3.8 33 919 169
62 Maricopa, AZ Arizona 3.3 63 972 139
64 Duval, FL Florida 3.1 78 991 125
65 Middlesex, MA Massachusetts 1.8 192 1568 12
65 Warren, OH Ohio 3.9 31 912 173
67 San Diego, CA California 2.3 142 1108 67
68 Jefferson, KY Kentucky 2.8 99 1013 111
69 Polk, IA Iowa 2.5 124 1058 87
69 Rockingham, NH New Hampshire 3.1 78 982 133
71 Nassau, NY New York 2.2 150 1128 63
72 Thurston, WA Washington 3.8 33 900 182
73 Larimer, CO Colorado 3.8 33 897 183
74 Henrico, VA Virginia 2.6 116 1028 102
75 Clay, MO Missouri 3.8 33 896 186
76 Chester, PA Pennsylvania 1.8 192 1343 28
77 Durham, NC North Carolina 1.8 192 1315 29
78 Butler, OH Ohio 3.6 44 900 181
79 Queens, NY New York 3 86 963 141
80 Orange, FL Florida 3.7 41 895 188
81 Dane, WI Wisconsin 2.6 116 1005 116
82 Washoe, NV Nevada 4.7 9 853 225
83 Jefferson, CO Colorado 2.4 130 1024 105
83 Marin, CA California 1.7 200 1282 35
85 Los Angeles, CA California 1.9 176 1138 61
86 Anne Arundel, MD Maryland 2.1 158 1068 80
86 Burlington, NJ New Jersey 2.3 142 1035 96
88 Rutherford, TN Tennessee 5.5 4 848 235
89 Clackamas, OR Oregon 3.2 69 916 172
90 Macomb, MI Michigan 2.3 142 1028 101
91 Ingham, MI Michigan 2.9 94 951 150
92 Pierce, WA Washington 3.4 55 895 190
93 Charleston, SC South Carolina 3.4 55 894 191
94 El Paso, CO Colorado 3.6 44 877 203
95 Washtenaw, MI Michigan 2.1 158 1047 90
96 Hillsborough, NH New Hampshire 1.9 176 1085 73
96 Miami-Dade, FL Florida 2.7 109 972 140
98 Montgomery, MD Maryland 1.4 235 1403 18
99 Boone, KY Kentucky 3.8 33 853 224
100 Lehigh, PA Pennsylvania 2.3 142 1004 117
101 Broward, FL Florida 2.8 99 926 163
102 Adams, CO Colorado 2.7 109 941 154
103 Chesterfield, VA Virginia 4.3 18 840 247
104 Prince William, VA Virginia 4.4 16 838 250
104 Seminole, FL Florida 4.5 14 833 252
106 Bell, TX Texas 4.1 25 842 243
107 Ada, ID Idaho 4.2 21 839 248
108 Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania 1.5 224 1206 47
108 Riverside, CA California 4.7 9 823 262
110 Tarrant, TX Texas 2.1 158 1005 115
111 Lake, IL Illinois 1 263 1532 14
112 Northampton, PA Pennsylvania 3.1 78 881 200
113 Essex, MA Massachusetts 1.7 200 1069 79
113 Fairfield, CT Connecticut 0.9 273 1899 6
113 Hamilton, OH Ohio 1.6 211 1106 68
116 Hall, GA Georgia 4.6 12 810 272
116 Ottawa, MI Michigan 4.5 14 816 270
116 Spartanburg, SC South-Carolina 3.5 50 848 234
119 Bergen, NJ New Jersey 1.3 242 1227 44
120 Cook, IL Illinois 1.2 251 1278 36
120 St Louis, MO Missouri 1.6 211 1074 76
122 Elkhart, IN Indiana 3.4 55 849 233
123 Washington, MN Minnesota 3.2 69 856 220
124 Utah, UT Utah 6.7 2 794 289
125 Calcasieu, LA Louisiana 2.8 99 889 194
125 Kalamazoo, MI Michigan 2.2 150 961 143
125 Kings, NY New York 3.8 33 825 260
128 Sonoma, CA California 2.4 130 923 164
129 Kent, MI Michigan 3 86 870 209
130 DeKalb, GA Georgia 1.5 224 1085 72
130 Hamilton, TN Tennessee 2.8 99 882 197
132 Baltimore City, MD Maryland 1.2 251 1210 46
133 DuPage, IL Illinois 1.2 251 1204 48
134 Plymouth, MA Massachusetts 2.4 130 916 170
134 St Louis City, MO Missouri 1.3 242 1147 58
136 Rockland, NY New York 1.8 192 1007 113
137 Benton, WA Washington 1.9 176 986 131
138 Delaware, PA Pennsylvania 1.3 242 1117 66
138 Ramsey, MN Minnesota 1 263 1215 45
140 Gloucester, NJ New Jersey 3.3 63 840 246
140 Lee, FL Florida 5.1 5 771 304
142 Clark, NV Nevada 2.8 99 866 211
142 Jackson, MO Missouri 1.6 211 1030 99
142 Suffolk, NY New York 1.5 224 1060 86
145 San Joaquin, CA California 3.6 44 821 267
146 Marion, IN Indiana 1.4 235 1069 78
147 Alexandria City, VA Virginia 0.6 295 1400 19
147 Ocean, NJ New Jersey 3.7 41 809 273
147 Spokane, WA Washington 3 86 852 228
150 Montgomery, TX Texas 1.6 211 1025 104
151 Bexar, TX Texas 2.1 158 934 158
152 Providence, RI Rhode Island 1.5 224 1038 94
153 Wayne, MI Michigan 1 263 1156 56
153 Winnebago, WI Wisconsin 1.8 192 991 127
155 Worcester, MA Massachusetts 1.7 200 996 120
156 Knox, TN Tennessee 2.6 116 875 205
157 Baltimore, MD Maryland 1.7 200 993 123
158 Barnstable, MA Massachusetts 3 86 846 238
159 Cumberland, PA Pennsylvania 2.2 150 907 175
160 Lucas, OH Ohio 2.4 130 886 196
161 Bristol, MA Massachusetts 2.3 142 896 185
161 Orleans, LA Louisiana 1.8 192 981 135
163 Douglas, NE Nebraska 1.9 176 947 152
164 Richmond, NY New-York 2.6 116 865 213
164 Washington, AR Arkansas 3.6 44 798 285
166 New Castle, DE Delaware 0.7 289 1244 42
166 Prince George’s, MD Maryland 1.5 224 1022 107
168 New London, CT Connecticut 1.4 235 1033 97
169 Cumberland, ME Maine 1.9 176 935 157
170 Hartford, CT Connecticut 0.3 310 1363 24
171 New Hanover, NC North-Carolina 3.4 55 802 280
171 Shelby, AL Alabama 1.6 211 991 124
173 Pinellas, FL Florida 2.5 124 865 212
174 Bucks, PA Pennsylvania 1.9 176 929 161
174 Shelby, TN Tennessee 1.6 211 991 126
176 Alachua, FL Florida 3.3 63 807 275
177 Buncombe, NC North-Carolina 4.3 18 738 323
177 Greenville, SC South-Carolina 2.5 124 860 217
177 Wyandotte, KS Kansas 1.8 192 951 149
180 Marion, OR Oregon 3.5 50 784 294
180 Osceola, FL Florida 5 6 665 338
182 Kitsap, WA Washington 2.2 150 887 195
182 St Charles, MO Missouri 2.5 124 856 221
184 Frederick, MD Maryland 1.8 192 940 155
185 Catawba, NC North-Carolina 4 28 748 320
186 Waukesha, WI Wisconsin 1.3 242 1022 108
187 Horry, SC South-Carolina 4.7 9 587 343
188 Harris, TX Texas -1.2 332 1381 21
189 New Haven, CT Connecticut 1 263 1042 91
189 Stanislaus, CA California 2.7 109 840 245
191 Davis, UT Utah 3.2 69 796 286
192 Saratoga, NY New-York 2.1 158 881 199
193 Forsyth, NC North-Carolina 1.2 251 1019 109
193 Jackson, OR Oregon 3.6 44 751 316
193 Pulaski, AR Arkansas 1.9 176 896 184
196 Chatham, GA Georgia 2.7 109 833 253
196 Cuyahoga, OH Ohio 0.9 273 1048 89
198 Yolo, CA California 1 263 1028 100
199 Johnson, KS Kansas 0.9 273 1041 92
199 Monroe, NY New-York 1.7 200 923 165
201 Harford, MD Maryland 1.5 224 961 142
201 Santa Cruz, CA California 2 168 881 198
203 Dauphin, PA Pennsylvania 1.4 235 984 132
204 Fort Bend, TX Texas 1.4 235 982 134
205 Allegheny, PA Pennsylvania 0.4 306 1128 64
205 Collier, FL Florida 2.4 130 844 240
207 Jefferson, AL Alabama 0.9 273 1030 98
208 Lancaster, PA Pennsylvania 2.7 109 823 263
208 Montgomery, OH Ohio 2.4 130 843 242
210 Escambia, FL Florida 3.1 78 783 295
210 Okaloosa, FL Florida 3 86 795 287
212 Brown, WI Wisconsin 1.7 200 906 178
212 Pasco, FL Florida 3.7 41 670 337
214 Midland, TX Texas -9 343 1261 39
214 Sarasota, FL Florida 2.8 99 800 283
216 St Joseph, IN Indiana 3 86 781 298
217 Manatee, FL Florida 3.2 69 749 318
218 Ventura, CA California 0.2 314 1083 74
219 Norfolk City, VA Virginia 1.1 260 987 130
220 Hampden, MA Massachusetts 1.5 224 921 167
221 Milwaukee, WI Wisconsin 0.9 273 997 119
222 San Bernardino, CA California 2.4 130 822 264
222 Virginia Beach City, VA Virginia 3 86 765 308
224 Albany, NY New-York 0.7 289 1023 106
224 St Tammany, LA Louisiana 2 168 852 227
224 Volusia, FL Florida 3.3 63 694 332
227 Honolulu, HI Hawaii 1.3 242 935 156
227 Outagamie, WI Wisconsin 1.9 176 856 222
227 Will, IL Illinois 2 168 851 230
230 Passaic, NJ New-Jersey 1 263 981 136
231 York, SC South-Carolina 2.5 124 806 276
232 Butler, PA Pennsylvania 1.5 224 902 179
233 Brevard, FL Florida 2 168 846 237
234 Lake, FL Florida 3.2 69 653 339
234 Polk, FL Florida 2.9 94 754 314
236 Brazoria, TX Texas -0.6 324 1065 85
237 Jefferson, TX Texas -1.5 335 1080 75
237 Richland, SC South-Carolina 1.7 200 868 210
239 Lexington, SC South-Carolina 2.8 99 757 313
240 Bronx, NY New-York 1.2 251 927 162
241 Anchorage Borough, AK Alaska -1.1 331 1065 83
242 Anoka, MN Minnesota 1.4 235 901 180
242 Fayette, KY Kentucky 1.7 200 861 215
244 Smith, TX Texas 2.4 130 794 288
245 Guilford, NC North-Carolina 1.6 211 871 208
245 Whatcom, WA Washington 2.1 158 825 261
247 Washington, PA Pennsylvania -2.5 338 1066 82
248 Dakota, MN Minnesota 0.5 303 997 118
249 Boone, MO Missouri 2.6 116 770 306
250 East Baton Rouge, LA Louisiana 1 263 930 160
250 Peoria, IL Illinois -0.9 328 1035 95
252 Merrimack, NH New-Hampshire 1.2 251 907 174
252 York, PA Pennsylvania 1.6 211 862 214
254 Berks, PA Pennsylvania 1.5 224 878 202
255 Allen, IN Indiana 1.9 176 835 251
256 Fresno, CA California 2.4 130 774 302
257 Napa, CA California 0.7 289 957 145
258 Johnson, IA Iowa 1.1 260 906 176
258 McLennan, TX Texas 2.1 158 804 278
260 Bibb, GA Georgia 2.3 142 778 300
260 Dutchess, NY New-York 0.6 295 954 147
262 Lane, OR Oregon 2.5 124 749 319
262 Minnehaha, SD South-Dakota 1.3 242 881 201
264 Onondaga, NY New-York 0.9 273 916 171
265 Newport News City, VA Virginia -1.9 336 1016 110
266 Sangamon, IL Illinois -0.1 319 988 129
266 Summit, OH Ohio 0.6 295 946 153
268 Linn, IA Iowa 0.4 306 954 146
269 Erie, NY New-York 1.1 260 893 193
270 Lancaster, NE Nebraska 1.9 176 802 279
271 Butte, CA California 2.4 130 723 327
271 Saginaw, MI Michigan 1.9 176 801 281
273 Chittenden, VT Vermont 0.1 316 954 148
274 Orange, NY New-York 1.6 211 826 258
274 Santa Barbara, CA California 0.3 310 933 159
276 Oklahoma, OK Oklahoma -0.6 324 951 151
277 Yellowstone, MT Montana 1.6 211 822 266
278 Kane, IL Illinois 1 263 860 216
279 Sedgwick, KS Kansas 0.9 273 871 207
280 Brazos, TX Texas 2.1 158 725 326
280 Cass, ND North-Dakota 0.6 295 895 189
282 Chesapeake City, VA Virginia 1.9 176 763 309
283 Bernalillo, NM New-Mexico 1.3 242 841 244
283 Marion, FL Florida 2.2 150 671 336
285 Tippecanoe, IN Indiana 0.8 283 871 206
286 Tulsa, OK Oklahoma -0.5 322 921 168
287 Weber, UT Utah 2 168 726 325
288 Montgomery, AL Alabama 1.5 224 810 271
289 Atlantic, NJ New-Jersey 1.2 251 838 249
290 San Luis Obispo, CA California 1.4 235 821 268
290 Yakima, WA Washington 2 168 680 335
292 Tulare, CA California 1.9 176 708 329
293 Pima, AZ Arizona 1.2 251 829 256
294 Lubbock, TX Texas 1.7 200 759 311
295 Hinds, MS Mississippi 0.7 289 850 232
296 Greene, MO Missouri 1.7 200 740 322
297 Weld, CO Colorado -2.6 339 895 187
298 McHenry, IL Illinois 1.2 251 805 277
298 Winnebago, IL Illinois 0.9 273 832 255
300 McLean, IL Illinois -2.7 340 893 192
301 El Paso, TX Texas 1.7 200 691 333
302 Jefferson, LA Louisiana -1.2 332 875 204
302 Monterey, CA California 0.3 310 852 226
302 Shawnee, KS Kansas 0.6 295 844 241
305 Lake, OH Ohio 0.8 283 833 254
306 Bay, FL Florida 1.6 211 711 328
306 Cumberland, NC North-Carolina 1.5 224 751 315
308 Harrison, MS Mississippi 1.6 211 702 330
308 Leon, FL Florida 1.3 242 780 299
310 Champaign, IL Illinois -0.8 326 859 218
311 Kanawha, WV West-Virginia -0.5 322 855 223
311 Luzerne, PA Pennsylvania 1.3 242 772 303
311 Muscogee, GA Georgia 0.1 316 851 229
314 Hidalgo, TX Texas 1.6 211 614 341
314 Lake, IN Indiana -0.4 321 850 231
314 Mobile, AL Alabama 0.8 283 819 269
317 Westmoreland, PA Pennsylvania 1 263 791 291
318 Genesee, MI Michigan 0.8 283 808 274
319 Lorain, OH Ohio 1 263 782 297
320 Lafayette, LA Louisiana -5.5 342 857 219
321 Kern, CA California -0.8 326 847 236
322 Scott, IA Iowa 0.9 273 793 290
323 Vanderburgh, IN Indiana 0.8 283 799 284
324 Stearns, MN Minnesota 0.4 306 822 265
325 Nueces, TX Texas -2.3 337 846 239
326 Richmond, GA Georgia -0.3 320 825 259
327 Merced, CA California 0.9 273 742 321
327 Oneida, NY New-York 0.7 289 771 305
329 Gregg, TX Texas -4.4 341 829 257
329 Potter, TX Texas 0.4 306 787 292
329 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 0.1 316 800 282
332 Madison, IL Illinois 0.3 310 782 296
333 Lackawanna, PA Pennsylvania 0.6 295 751 317
334 St Clair, IL Illinois 0.5 303 761 310
335 Broome, NY New-York 0.5 303 758 312
336 Stark, OH Ohio 0.6 295 726 324
337 Cleveland, OK Oklahoma 0.7 289 700 331
338 St Louis, MN Minnesota -0.9 328 786 293
339 Webb, TX Texas 0.8 283 650 340
340 Caddo, LA Louisiana -1 330 776 301
341 Cameron, TX Texas 0.6 295 592 342
342 Erie, PA Pennsylvania -1.4 334 769 307
343 Mahoning, OH Ohio 0.2 314 683 334

These counties are winning the job war

Here are 10 counties that, between strong employment growth and high average wages, are handily winning the job war:

1. San Francisco County, California

Besides being a well-known city, San Francisco is also a county and it did very well in this study. In fact, it was the only county that ranked in the top 10 for both percentage job growth and average wage level. Its 4.8 percent job growth was well over two times the national average of 2.0 percent and ranked eighth out of all major counties. Its average weekly wage of $2,054 is nearly double the national average of $1,043, and ranked fourth overall. The biggest drawback is that San Francisco’s growth has also created a demand for housing that has driven prices sky high, so those generous wages may be more a necessity than a luxury.

2. Fulton County, Georgia

The dynamic growth of the Atlanta area is the key to Fulton County’s thriving job market. Its 4 percent job growth was exactly double the national average and ranked in the top 10 percent nationally. Its average weekly wage of $1,562 ranked even higher, placing in the top 5 percent of all major counties.

3. Benton County, Arkansas

Walmart has been controversial at times for its employment policies, but apparently it has been good for the job market in its home county of Benton. The county’s 5 percent job growth ranked sixth overall, and its average weekly wage of $1,266 ranked 38th, or just outside the top 10 percent of all major counties.

4. Mecklenberg County, North Carolina

Comprising Charlotte, Mecklenberg has been home to one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas. This has fueled job growth of 4.1 percent over the past year, good for a national rank of 25th. The county’s average weekly wage of $1,365 is similarly highly-placed, ranking 23rd overall.

5. Williamson County, Tennessee

If you asked which part of the country experienced the fastest job growth over the past year, it is likely that few people would come up with the the correct answer — Williamson, Tennessee. However, this county located just south of Nashville has made it a priority to attract major businesses such as Nissan, Mars, and Verizon. The result is 7.9 percent job growth in the past 12 months, the highest percentage growth in the nation. Average weekly wages are a respectable $1,198, which is in the top 15 percent of all counties.

6. Loudoun County, Virginia

Just as in real estate, location means everything when it comes to a job market, and Loudoun County’s situation close to Washington, D.C., and as home to Dulles International Airport is clearly working to its advantage. Loudoun County ranked third nationally with 6.2 percent job growth, and its average weekly wage of $1,193 ranked 50th, or just within the top 15 percent of large counties nationally.

7. King County, Washington

This is home to Seattle, whose high wages have driven the county’s average into the top 5 percent nationally, at $1,456 per week. The job market is also enjoying healthy growth, with a 3.6 percent increase in employment over the past year which would put it in the top 15 percent nationally.

8. (Tie) Olmstead County, Minnesota

This county may not be a household name, but it is a good place to look for work. Perhaps the best known city in Olmstead is Rochester, home to the renowned Mayo Clinic. Appropriately then, the county’s job market is quite healthy, with a job growth rate better than double the national average at 4.1 percent, and an average weekly wage of $1,162 that places in the top 20 percent nationally.

8. (Tie) Santa Clara County, California

From being at the hub of Silicon Valley to hosting the most recent Super Bowl, Santa Clara County has a lot going for it. Count high wages among those positives, as the weekly average of $2,210 ranked second nationally (trailing only New York, NY). The job market has continued to grow at a decent rate with a 3.1 percent increase in jobs, placing it in the top quarter nationally.

10. Hudson County, New Jersey

Located just across the river from Manhattan, Hudson County is ideally located for businesses looking to benefit from New York City’s vibrant economy without paying its high costs. Hudson County’s average weekly wage of $1,523 is in the top 5 percent nationally, and job growth over the past year was well above average at 3.2 percent.

These counties are losing the job war

The success stories listed above are all examples of areas where the job market is thriving; and if the whole country were like that, there would be little dissatisfaction with the economy. However, there are also parts of the country where finding a job and earning a decent wage are real problems.

Here are the 10 worst job markets:

1. Mahoning County, Ohio

Ohio has frequently been highlighted as a battleground state in the election because many of its residents are starved for good job opportunities. The experience of Mahoning County illustrates why — at $683, its average weekly wage is one of the 10 worst in the nation. Also, Mahoning saw job growth of just 0.2 percent over the past year, one-tenth the national average.

2. Erie County, Pennsylvania

Not far from Mahoning County, Erie County in Pennsylvania is also experiencing acute problems with its job market. Here, the biggest problem is that they have lost rather than created jobs over the past year, with a drop in employment of 1.4 percent. While the average weekly wage of $769 is noticeably higher than in Mahoning, it still falls well below the national average of $1,043.

3. Cameron County, Texas

It’s not just the Rust Belt that is suffering from a weak job market. Much further south in Cameron County, the average weekly wage of $592 is next to worst in the nation, and job growth over the past year was an anemic 0.6 percent.

4. Caddo County, Louisianna

The bad news in Caddo County is that the average weekly wage of $776 is in the bottom 20 percent nationally; what’s worse is that they are also losing what jobs they have, with a 1 percent decline in employment over the past year.

5. Webb County, Texas

Texas generally has been hailed for its strong economy in recent years, but Cameron County and Webb County prove that not all areas of the state are sharing the wealth. Webb’s average weekly wage of $650 is fourth-lowest in the nation, and employment grew by less than 1 percent over the past year.

6. St. Louis County, Minnesota

Not only do conditions vary across the country, but they can differ greatly within a single state. Minnesota has one of the top 10 job markets in Olmstead County, but also one of the 10 worst in St. Louis County. The big problem here is job losses totaling nearly 1 percent over the past year.

7. Cleveland County, Oklahoma

Not to be confused with Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland County in Oklahoma suffers primarily from average wages in the bottom 5 percent nationally.

8. Stark County, Ohio

The average weekly wage of $726 in Stark County is among the bottom 5 percent nationally and, with job growth of just 0.6 percent over the past year, this is unlikely to improve by much anytime soon.

9. Broome County, New York

Comprising the city of Binghamton, Broome County is yet another example where low wages (an average of $758 a week) and negligible job growth (0.5 percent over the past year) make for a challenging job situation.

10. St. Clair County, Illinois

St. Clair’s figures are very similar to Broome County’s, with just a slightly higher average wage, so it is no surprise to see it also in the bottom 10 in rank.

What is the key that separates the winners and losers in the job war? The counties above tell different types of success stories as well as different tales of woe. The common element behind success seems to be adaptability. The economy and jobs of 30 years ago are not going to come back. Those areas that have moved ahead with training and infrastructure are likely to have more dynamic

Methodology

We based our analysis on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, comparing both job growth over the past year and absolute wage levels for 343 of the largest counties in the United States. We then ranked all the counties based on that percentage of growth. Counties with the best growth in jobs and wages rose to the top.

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