Where jobs were hot at decade's dawn

Call it a case of "that was then." Santa Clara County, Calif., led the nation in job growth in 1999-2000, according to a report on business activity released last week by the Census Bureau.

Santa Clara, which includes high-tech hotbed San Jose, had a 6.2 percent increase in employment. Santa Clara also had the highest percentage increase in payroll, up 36.7 percent. Nationwide, private-sector employment grew 3 percent, from 111 million in 1999 to 114 million in 2000.

Counties with top job growth 1999-2000:

1. Santa Clara, Calif. 6.2%

2. New York, N.Y. 3.9

3. Maricopa, Ariz. (Phoenix) 3.8

4. Los Angeles, Calif. 3.1

5. Cook, Ill. (Chicago) 2.1

Counties with largest payroll gains:

1. Santa Clara, Calif. 36.7%

2. Middlesex, Mass. 19.4

3. New York, N.Y. 18.1

4. Los Angeles, Calif. 7.9

5. Cook, Ill. 7.9

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