From June 2015 to June 2016, employment increased in the three South Sound counties monitored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agency reported today.

The BLS tracks employment in the 344 largest counties in the country, including 10 in Washington. Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap Counties are among the roster, and second quarter employment saw a climb in all three, with Pierce seeing the biggest jump in the state among those that qualified. That county saw a 3.7 percent increase, while Thurston posted the second largest spike at 3.3 percent. Kitsap County also saw a modest employment increase at 1.1 percent.

Williamson County in Tennessee had the largest percentage increase in the nation, with a second quarter gain of 6.7 percent over the year, well above the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent. With its 3.7 percent gain, Pierce County ranked 29th in the country among qualified counties. Thurston County was 43rd, and Kitsap 204th.

Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 8.3 percent.