April 18, 2006
Among the largest counties, Passaic, New Jersey (an area north of Newark), led the nation in growth in average weekly wages in the third quarter of 2005, with an increase of 19.0 percent from the third quarter of 2004.
Fort Bend, Texas (in the Houston metropolitan area), was second with 15.4 percent growth, followed by the county of Boulder, Colorado with a growth rate of 13.8 percent. Average weekly wages in the counties of San Mateo, California (which is in the San Francisco Bay area) and Harrison, Mississippi (which includes the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport) grew 12.7 percent.
The average weekly wage growth rate for Harrison County Mississippi and the 10.7-percent wage gain for Orleans, Louisiana, were boosted as a result of the disproportionate job and pay losses in lower-paid industries following Hurricane Katrina.
Over the year, the national average weekly wage rose by 6.1 percent.
The BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program produced these data, which are preliminary and subject to revision. Data presented here are for all workers covered by State and Federal unemployment insurance programs. The largest counties are those with employment levels of 75,000 or more—there are 322 such counties. Find out more in "County Employment and Wages: Third Quarter 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release 06-638.