Here's a snapshot of Carbon, Monroe and Schuylkill counties through the lens of the National Association of Counties' 2013 County Tracker:

Carbon County:

Its economic output growth rate rose to 0.4 percent from 2012 to 2013; its jobs growth rate rose 1.7 percent, and its median home prices growth rate edged up by 2.2 percent.

Carbon County's largest industries as of 2013 are telecommunications, at $295.8 million; local government, at $161.8 million; real estate, at $129.8 million; health care, at $103 million; and hospitals, at $81.9 million.

The average county wage is $31,700.

Monroe County:

Its economic output growth rate slipped to -2.2 percent from 2012 to 2013; its jobs growth rate grew slightly, by 0.4 percent, and its median home prices growth rate rose by 8.3 percent.

Monroe County's largest industries as of 2013 are real estate, at $1.1 billion; federal government, at $596.6 million; chemicals, at $558.9 million; local government, at $474 million; and health care, at $221.9 million.

The average county wage is $41,100.

Schuylkill County:

Its economic output growth rate dipped to -0.3 percent from 2012 to 2013; its jobs growth rate also edged down, by -1.5 percent, and its median home prices growth rate rose by 5.9 percent.

Schuylkill County's largest industries as of 2013 are local government, at $222.4 million; real estate, at $195.9 million; mining, at $188.1 million; and warehousing, at $179.7 million.

The average county wage is $35,400.