March 17, 2003

Orange and San Diego counties in California showed some of the largest gains in businesses, jobs and payrolls between 2000 and 2001, according to a report on business activity released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau. They were the only counties among the nation's largest with gains in all three categories.

According to the report, 2001 County Business Patterns, each county added about 30,000 jobs. Orange County showed a net gain of almost 1,400 businesses; in San Diego, the increase was more than 1,100. Meanwhile, annual payroll in Orange went up $2.3 billion and in San Diego, $2.0 billion.

In addition to Orange and San Diego counties, Los Angeles County made the top five in two of the three categories -- it was first in business growth (up nearly 1,700) and third in payroll (up $2.3 billion).

Santa Clara County, Calif., led all counties in employment gains, adding 43,500 jobs. It was followed by New York County (Manhattan), N.Y., (41,800) and Harris County (Houston), Tex., (41,200). New York County ($6.8 billion) and Harris County ($5.3 billion) led all counties in payroll growth.

Nationwide, private sector employment grew by 0.9 percent from 114 million in 2000 to 115 million in 2001. In addition, pay for all employees grew by 2.8 percent to $4.0 trillion.

The report defines employment as all full- and part-time employees who were on the payroll during the pay period that includes March 12.

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