News Release Information

14–1517–NEW

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in Jersey – Fourth Quarter 2013

Wages grew in 7 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey over the year in the fourth quarter of 2013, 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 2012 annual average employment.) Union County posted the largest increase, with a gain of 5.2 percent, followed by Morris County, up 5.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that both the Union and Morris County wage increases ranked in the top 10 nationwide.

Eleven of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the $1,000 national average in the fourth quarter of 2013. Average weekly wages in Morris and Somerset exceeded $1,400.

Chart 1. Large counties ranked by percent increase in average weekly wages, fourth quarter 2012-13 and Chart 2. Large counties ranked by percent increase in employment, December 2012-13

The largest employment gain among New Jersey’s largest counties was in Ocean, up 4.8 percent. Nationally employment grew by 1.8 percent from December 2012 to December 2013. (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 average weekly wage, $732. (See table 2.)

Large County Wage Changes

Of the seven counties in New Jersey that experienced wage increases, Union (5.2 percent) and Morris (5.0 percent) posted gains that ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, among the 334 largest U.S. counties. Four additional counties—Somerset, Gloucester, Middlesex, and Camden—posted gains of at least two percent. Conversely, seven New Jersey counties experienced over-the-year wage losses. Ocean Countyís 1.8-percent loss ranked 299th and Bergenís 2.7-percent decline ranked 317th. Nationally, the average weekly wage was unchanged over the year.

Among the 334 largest counties nationwide, 185 recorded growth in average weekly wages. Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (6.5 percent). In contrast, 140 counties experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. The largest over-the-year wage decline was a loss of 29.7 percent in Douglas, Colo.

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 $813, the lowest of all New Jerseyís large counties, and ranked in the bottom quartile at 270th.

Nationally, 98 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,724. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,041, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,972).

Among the 235 counties with an average weekly wage below the U.S. average since December 2012, Horry County, S.C., reported the nationís lowest wage ($587), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($598) and Hidalgo ($620).

Large County Employment

Employment grew in 10 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from December 2012 to December 2013. Ocean (4.8 percent) and Bergen (3.0 percent) were the only large counties in New Jersey to post increases above the national job growth rate of 1.8 percent. Passaic (-0.8) and Atlantic (-0.9) experienced the largest over-the-year employment losses.

Nationally, employment grew in 292 of 334 large U.S. counties. Weld, Co., posted the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 6.0 percent over the year. St. Claire, Ill., experienced the largest over-the-year decrease with a loss of 3.1 percent.

In New Jersey, employment was highest in Bergen (446,100), followed by Middlesex (397,200), and Essex (338,100). Altogether, New Jersey’s large counties accounted for 91.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.7 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 $1,133, followed by Salem at $1,015. (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. Counties with average weekly wages below $850 were located in southeastern New Jersey. (See chart 3.)

Additional Statistics and Other Information

QCEW 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 2012 edition of this bulletin, which was published in September 2013, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2013 version of the news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages will be available in September 2014.

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

County employment and wage data for the first quarter 2014 are scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

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 9.3 million employer reports cover 136.1 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 employment and wages in the United States and the 15 largest counties in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment Average weekly wage(1)
December 2013 (thousands) Percent change, December 2012-13(2) Average weekly wage National ranking by level(3) Percent change, third quarter 2012-13(2) National ranking by percent change(3)

United States(4)

136,129.4 1.8 $1,000 -- 0.0 --

New Jersey

3,887.5 1.2 1,186 5 1.1 14

Atlantic

130.4 -0.9 813 270 0.0 186

Bergen

446.1 3.0 1,240 27 -2.7 317

Burlington

198.0 -0.2 1,029 80 -0.5 226

Camden

198.0 1.4 1,025 81 2.0 47

Essex

338.1 -0.4 1,237 28 1.4 75

Gloucester

100.4 1.8 901 175 2.6 28

Hudson

239.9 0.3 1,284 23 -0.6 232

Mercer

235.3 1.0 1,290 20 -1.6 289

Middlesex

397.2 0.3 1,186 39 2.4 31

Monmouth

246.9 1.7 1,034 77 -0.4 220

Morris

283.3 1.8 1,553 10 5.0 6

Ocean

154.5 4.8 826 253 -1.8 299

Passaic

171.9 -0.8 990 109 -1.1 257

Somerset

179.3 1.8 1,484 11 2.8 24

Union

223.3 -0.5 1,283 24 5.2 4

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(3) Ranking does not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Note: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment December 2013 (thousands) Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

136,129.4 $1,000

New Jersey

3,887.5 1,186

Atlantic

130.4 813

Bergen

446.1 1,240

Burlington

198.0 1,029

Camden

198.0 1,025

Cape May

34.4 732

Cumberland

58.5 839

Essex

338.1 1,237

Gloucester

100.4 901

Hudson

239.9 1,284

Hunterdon

47.8 1,133

Mercer

235.3 1,290

Middlesex

397.2 1,186

Monmouth

246.9 1,034

Morris

283.3 1,553

Ocean

154.5 826

Passaic

171.9 990

Salem

20.7 1,015

Somerset

179.3 1,484

Sussex

38.5 851

Union

223.3 1,283

Warren

34.0 932

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Note: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment Average weekly wage(1)
December 2013 (thousands) Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2012-13 National ranking by percent change

United States(2)

136,129.4 $1,000 -- 0.0 --

Alabama

1,866.5 851 34 -0.5 39

Alaska

315.1 1,022 14 1.6 7

Arizona

2,571.0 906 23 -0.5 39

Arkansas

1,154.3 771 47 0.4 22

California

15,650.3 1,175 6 -0.9 43

Colorado

2,383.9 1,023 13 -0.9 43

Connecticut

1,661.2 1,238 4 -1.3 49

Delaware

419.6 1,035 9 -0.6 41

District of Columbia

727.3 1,638 1 -3.9 51

Florida

7,739.5 883 29 0.2 27

Georgia

3,986.9 924 21 -0.1 32

Hawaii

632.9 871 30 0.3 25

Idaho

634.5 754 50 3.0 2

Illinois

5,758.9 1,060 8 0.2 27

Indiana

2,896.9 814 40 -0.2 35

Iowa

1,510.9 834 38 1.6 7

Kansas

1,359.5 832 39 -0.4 38

Kentucky

1,818.0 804 42 0.2 27

Louisiana

1,911.6 889 26 0.5 20

Maine

586.8 786 46 1.7 5

Maryland

2,555.1 1,076 7 -0.9 43

Massachusetts

3,332.9 1,258 3 0.8 17

Michigan

4,072.4 952 20 -0.2 35

Minnesota

2,720.6 988 16 0.3 25

Mississippi

1,108.1 729 51 1.3 11

Missouri

2,670.4 861 32 -0.2 35

Montana

440.0 760 48 0.4 22

Nebraska

944.3 796 43 -0.1 32

Nevada

1,180.5 884 28 0.7 18

New Hampshire

629.3 1,017 15 -0.8 42

New Jersey

3,887.5 1,186 5 1.1 14

New Mexico

796.2 814 40 1.4 10

New York

8,888.6 1,266 2 -1.1 48

North Carolina

4,045.5 860 33 0.7 18

North Dakota

435.0 980 17 3.8 1

Ohio

5,175.4 887 27 0.0 30

Oklahoma

1,581.3 851 34 -0.1 32

Oregon

1,699.6 894 25 2.6 3

Pennsylvania

5,650.3 976 18 0.4 22

Rhode Island

462.7 960 19 1.5 9

South Carolina

1,875.8 793 44 1.0 15

South Dakota

407.1 759 49 1.3 11

Tennessee

2,758.3 895 24 -0.9 43

Texas

11,246.3 1,027 12 0.0 30

Utah

1,284.7 836 37 -0.9 43

Vermont

308.5 848 36 2.3 4

Virginia

3,670.0 1,028 11 -1.3 49

Washington

2,976.0 1,034 10 1.7 5

West Virginia

710.1 792 45 0.5 20

Wisconsin

2,751.8 865 31 1.2 13

Wyoming

279.2 917 22 1.0 15

Puerto Rico

958.3 551 (3) 0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 754 (3) 2.4 (3)

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(3) Data not included in the national ranking.

Note: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

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

 

Last Modified Date: August 15, 2014