New York-New Jersey Information Office

News Release Information

13–1601–NEW

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • Martin Kohli (646) 264-3620

County Employment and Wages in Jersey – Fourth Quarter 2012

Wages grew in 13 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey over the year in the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2011 annual average employment.) Bergen County posted the largest increase, with a gain of 6.2 percent, followed by Morris, up 5.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that Atlantic and Passaic Counties were among the 10 large counties nationwide to report over-the-year wage losses.

Eleven of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the $1,000 national average in the fourth quarter of 2012. Average weekly wages in three counties (Morris, Somerset, and Mercer) exceeded $1,300.

Chart 1. Large counties ranked by percent increase in average weekly wages, fourth quarter 2011-12 and Chart 2. Large counties ranked by percent increase in employment, December 2011-12

The largest employment gain among New Jersey’s largest counties was in Burlington, up 2.8 percent. Nationally employment grew by 1.9 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. (See chart 2.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the six counties in New Jersey with employment below 75,000. Two of these counties had average wages above $1,000. Cape May County reported the lowest weekly wages, $737. (See table 2.)

Large County Wage Changes

Of the 13 counties in New Jersey that experienced wage increases, Bergen (6.2 percent) and Morris (5.4 percent) posted gains above the national rate of 4.7 percent, ranking 36th and 55th, respectively, among the 328 largest U.S. counties. Ocean County’s 4.6-percent wage growth was close to the national average and placed 81st. In contrast, two counties in New Jersey posted over-the-year losses. Atlantic County’s 1.4-percent decline ranked 325th and Passaic’s 2.1-percent loss ranked 327th.

Among the 328 largest counties nationwide, 316 recorded growth in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., led the nation with a wage increase of 107.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. Ten large U.S. counties experienced over-the-year wage declines. The largest over-the-year wage decline was a loss of 3.2 percent in Lake, Ohio.

Large County Average Weekly Wages

As noted, 11 of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the national average. New Jersey’s three highest-paying counties—Morris, Somerset, and Mercer—ranked among the nation’s top 20. Atlantic County reported weekly wages of $816, the lowest of all New Jersey’s large counties and ranked in the bottom quartile at 259th.

Nationally, 97 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $3,240. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,107, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,906).

Horry County, S.C., reported the nation’s lowest wage ($576), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($609) and Hidalgo ($612).

Large County Employment

Employment grew in 12 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from December 2011 to December 2012. Burlington (2.8 percent) and Hudson (2.0 percent) were the only large counties in New Jersey to post increases above the national job growth rate of 1.9 percent. Essex County experienced the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 0.3 percent and Atlantic and Camden Counties posted losses of 0.2 percent each.

Nationally, employment grew in 287 of 328 large U.S. counties. Elkhart, Ind., posted the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 7.4 percent over the year. Sangamon, Ill., experienced the largest over-the-year decrease with a loss of 2.5 percent.

In New Jersey, employment was highest in Bergen (435,000), followed by Middlesex (393,400), and Essex (343,500). Altogether, New Jersey’s large counties accounted for 91.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 328 largest counties made up 71.3 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average Weekly Wages in New Jersey's Smaller Counties

Two of New Jersey’s six counties with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages above the national average. Hunterdon reported the highest average weekly wage at $1,112, followed by Salem at $1,048. (See table 2.)

When all 21 counties in New Jersey were considered, 8 had an average weekly wage above $1,150. All of these counties were clustered in northern and central New Jersey. With the exception of Sussex in the north, counties with average weekly wages below $850 were located in southeastern New Jersey. (See chart 3.)

Additional Statistics and Other Information

Quarterly data for states has been included in this release in table 3. For additional information about quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note or visit the QCEW Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/.

An annual bulletin, Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online, features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2011 edition of this bulletin, which was published in October 2012, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2012 version of the news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2011 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn11.htm. The 2012 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages will be available later in 2013.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

County employment and wage data for the first quarter 2013 are scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 26, 2013.

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the United States on October 29, 2012, causing severe damage. Fourth quarter data reflect the impact of Hurricane Sandy, as well as underlying economic trends.

Technical Note

Average weekly wage data by county are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, also known as the ES-202 program. The data are derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) legislation and provided by State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The 9.1 million employer reports cover 130.5 million full- and part-time workers. The average weekly wage values are calculated by dividing quarterly total wages by the average of the three monthly employment levels of those covered by UI programs. The result is then divided by 13, the number of weeks in a quarter. It is to be noted, therefore, that over-the-year wage changes for geographic areas may reflect shifts in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and such other factors as hours of work. Thus, wages may vary among counties, metropolitan areas, or states for reasons other than changes in the average wage level. Data for all states, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), counties, and the nation are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/; however, data in QCEW press releases have been revised and may not match the data contained on the Bureau’s Web site.

QCEW data are not designed as a time series. QCEW data are simply the sums of individual establishment records reflecting the number of establishments that exist in a county or industry at a point in time. Establishments can move in or out of a county or industry for a number of reasons—some reflecting economic events, others reflecting administrative changes.

The preliminary QCEW data presented in this release may differ from data released by the individual states as well as from the data presented on the BLS Web site. These potential differences result from the states’ continuing receipt, review and editing of UI data over time. On the other hand, differences between data in this release and the data found on the BLS Web site are the result of adjustments made to improve over-the-year comparisons. Specifically, these adjustments account for administrative (noneconomic) changes such as a correction to a previously reported location or industry classification. Adjusting for these changes allows users to more accurately assess changes of an economic nature (such as a firm moving from one county to another or changing its primary economic activity) over a 12-month period. Currently, adjusted data are available only from BLS press releases.

Table 1. Covered(1) employment and wages in the United States and the 15 largest counties in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2012(2)
Area Employment Average weekly wage(3)
December 2012

(thousands)

Percent change,

December 2011-12(4)

Average

weekly wage

National ranking

by level(5)

Percent change,

third quarter

2011-12(4)

National ranking by

percent change(5)

United States(6)

133726.8 1.9 $1,000 -- 4.7 --

New Jersey

3846.4 1.1 1,172 6 2.9 35

Atlantic

131.7 -0.2 816 259 -1.4 325

Bergen

435.0 0.3 1,272 23 6.2 36

Burlington

198.1 2.8 1,035 76 1.8 255

Camden

195.2 -0.2 1,002 97 1.4 271

Essex

343.5 -0.3 1,221 32 3.6 139

Gloucester

98.6 0.5 873 201 2.3 219

Hudson

238.6 2.0 1,285 20 1.3 276

Mercer

233.0 1.5 1,312 19 3.6 139

Middlesex

393.4 1.9 1,162 45 1.6 261

Monmouth

243.6 0.2 1,031 80 2.6 202

Morris

276.1 0.9 1,476 11 5.4 55

Ocean

147.3 1.2 835 244 4.6 81

Passaic

175.1 0.3 998 98 -2.1 327

Somerset

174.1 0.9 1,429 14 2.2 227

Union

222.2 0.5 1,228 28 0.2 308

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(5) Ranking does not include the county of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
(6) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Table 2. Covered(1) employment and wages in the United States and all counties in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2012(2)
Area Employment December 2012 (thousands) Average weekly wage(3)

United States(4)

133,726.8 $1,000

New Jersey

3,846.4 1,172

Atlantic

131.7 816

Bergen

435.0 1,272

Burlington

198.1 1,035

Camden

195.2 1,002

Cape May

34.3 737

Cumberland

57.9 835

Essex

343.5 1,221

Gloucester

98.6 873

Hudson

238.6 1,285

Hunterdon

46.6 1,112

Mercer

233.0 1,312

Middlesex

393.4 1,162

Monmouth

243.6 1,031

Morris

276.1 1,476

Ocean

147.3 835

Passaic

175.1 998

Salem

20.9 1,048

Somerset

174.1 1,429

Sussex

38.3 835

Union

222.2 1,228

Warren

35.0 931

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Table 3. Covered(1) employment and wages by state, fourth quarter 2012(2)
Area Employment Average weekly wage(3)
December 2012

(thousands)

Average

weekly wage

National ranking

by level(4)

Percent change,

fourth quarter

2011-12

National ranking

by percent change(4)

United States(5)

133726.8 $1,000 -- 4.7 --

Alabama

1847.3 854 33 2.6 41

Alaska

314.8 1,007 15 2.7 38

Arizona

2509.2 912 22 3.3 33

Arkansas

1160.3 767 47 4.2 19

California

15216.3 1,186 5 7.8 2

Colorado

2311.4 1,032 11 5.8 5

Connecticut

1657.6 1,253 3 5.3 8

Delaware

411.0 1,044 9 6.1 4

District of Columbia

721.5 1,703 1 2.2 47

Florida

7535.5 880 27 3.9 23

Georgia

3889.9 927 21 4.7 13

Hawaii

620.7 868 30 2.7 38

Idaho

618.4 732 50 2.1 48

Illinois

5697.9 1,058 8 4.4 17

Indiana

2850.5 816 40 3.4 32

Iowa

1486.6 821 39 3.7 26

Kansas

1339.2 835 37 4.4 17

Kentucky

1796.0 801 42 1.8 49

Louisiana

1891.9 884 26 4.1 20

Maine

582.2 773 46 2.4 45

Maryland

2544.1 1,086 7 2.5 42

Massachusetts

3279.3 1,248 4 4.8 11

Michigan

3988.9 954 18 2.3 46

Minnesota

2677.2 985 16 5.1 10

Mississippi

1096.5 720 51 3.2 34

Missouri

2641.9 863 31 4.6 14

Montana

434.6 757 48 4.1 20

Nebraska

931.3 797 43 4.6 14

Nevada

1145.8 877 28 2.9 35

New Hampshire

620.8 1,023 13 5.5 6

New Jersey

3846.4 1,172 6 2.9 35

New Mexico

796.8 802 41 0.4 51

New York

8741.9 1,280 2 6.9 3

North Carolina

3963.9 854 33 3.6 29

North Dakota

421.0 944 20 8.4 1

Ohio

5098.0 887 25 3.6 29

Oklahoma

1565.3 847 35 3.9 23

Oregon

1654.1 871 29 2.5 42

Pennsylvania

5629.8 972 17 3.8 25

Rhode Island

456.4 945 19 2.7 38

South Carolina

1832.2 784 45 2.8 37

South Dakota

401.7 749 49 3.5 31

Tennessee

2710.4 903 24 5.2 9

Texas

10956.4 1,027 12 5.5 6

Utah

1246.6 844 36 4.5 16

Vermont

306.1 829 38 2.5 42

Virginia

3663.7 1,042 10 3.7 26

Washington

2902.0 1,017 14 4.0 22

West Virginia

714.3 788 44 1.5 50

Wisconsin

2723.6 855 32 4.8 11

Wyoming

277.6 908 23 3.7 26

Puerto Rico

978.6 550 (5) -0.4 (5)

Virgin Islands

39.8 738 (5) -3.9 (5)

Footnotes:
(1) Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
(2) Data are preliminary.
(3) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(4) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(5) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Chart 3. Average weekly wages by county in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2012

Last Modified Date: August 8, 2013

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