Jobs growth

This indicator, the percentage of jobs gained or lost (net) per capita over the previous year, suggests whether the economy as a whole is growing. Strong job growth can reflect local economic vitality, a healthy business environment, and good entrepreneurship. It also reflects that national macroeconomy and the global economy, but the differences among neighboring counties highlight local performance (source: U.S. Census).

Chesapeake watershed region and county-level maps comparing jobs growth scores.

How is it measured?

The U.S. Census Business Dynamics Statistics program has job growth data at the county level. The per capita job growth of the current year is compared agaisnt the average per capita job growth of the previous four years; this net difference is the base indicator that is then scored. The data of the 197 counties that intersect the Chesapeake Bay watershed boundary are aggregated into regions, used to calculate a z-score, converted to a report card score, and then weighted by population. For the z-score, net job growth data are compared to the mean and standard deviation of the 197 Chesapeake Bay counties.

For the 2021 report card, data from 2019 was used. The mean of the Chesapeake Bay watershed net jobs growth was 2.82 jobs per 10000 people, and the standard deviation was 201.83 jobs per 10000 people.

Threshold Levels

To compare between the four economic indicators, we established a z-score lower and upper bounds (-2.5 to 2.5) that are used to translate a z-score to a 0–100 grading scale—the equation is y = 20x + 50 where y = the report card score and x = the z-score.