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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, June 27, 2008

A Gas Station for Every 2,500 People

     Texas, California and Florida accounted for more than 20 percent of the nation's 116,855 gas stations with paid employees in 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's about one gas station per 2,500 people.

     These economic numbers come from County Business Patterns: 2006, an annual report that contains data covering the more than 7.6 million businesses with paid employees at the national and state levels, and more than 3,100 counties. The report provides data on the number of establishments, number of employees, and quarterly and annual payroll for most of the 1,100 industries according to the North American Industry Classification System.

     Gas stations employed more than 910,000 people, with a total annual payroll of $15 billion. At the county level, Los Angeles (1,723); Harris (Houston), Texas (1,397); and Cook (Chicago), Ill. (1,090); had the highest number of gas stations.

     Nationally, the average annual payroll per gas station employee in 2006 was $16,449. Hawaii ($27,669), Connecticut ($21,927) and Alaska ($21,890) had the highest average annual payroll per employee in this industry. Among larger counties, Honolulu, Hawaii ($32,142), Troup, Ga. ($31,833), and Hunterdon, N.J. ($28,869), were among those that reported average annual payroll per employee higher than the national average.

     Other key findings for all industries:

  • Of the nearly 120 million employed by businesses with paid employees, more than one third were employed in three sectors: health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing.
  • Three states accounted for one-fourth of all establishments with paid employees - California (878,128), Florida (517,069) and New York (515,950).
  • Among counties with the most employees in 2006, New York had the highest average annual payroll per employee at $92,138. Santa Clara, Calif., was second at $76,234.
  • Los Angeles County had the largest number of business establishments at 249,977, employing nearly 3.9 million. Cook County, Ill., had the second largest number of business establishments at 131,433, employing 2.4 million workers.
  • A sampling of the 50 most populous counties in the United States shows average annual payrolls per employee of $59,220 in Fairfax, Va.; $50,398 in Harris, Texas; and $41,038 in Franklin, Ohio.

     County Business Patterns excludes self-employed people, employees of private households, railroad employees, agriculture production workers and most government employees. Information on businesses without paid employees will be released this year as part of the Nonemployer Statistics report. Data for metropolitan statistical areas and five-digit ZIP codes also will be released this year.


County Business Patterns defines employment as all full- and part-time employees who were on the payroll during the pay period that includes March 12. Data are obtained from Census Bureau reports and administrative records from other federal agencies. Quality assurance procedures are applied to all phases of collection, processing and tabulation to minimize errors. The data are subject to error from miscoding and estimation for missing or misreported data. Further information about methodology and data limitations is available at <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/methodology.htm>.

Editor's note: Population estimates for the United States can be found at <http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2007-01.xls>. For the purpose of this release, any calculations using population data were from the 2006 population figures. These correspond to the same source year as the County Business Patterns in this release.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014