August 02, 2006
Among the largest counties, Orleans, Louisiana (part of the New Orleans metropolitan area), had the biggest gain in average weekly wages from the fourth quarter of 2004 to the fourth quarter of 2005, with an increase of 28.7 percent.
Harrison, Mississippi (which includes the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport), was second with 18.9 percent growth, followed by Jefferson, Louisiana (also in the greater New Orleans area) where average weekly wages increased 16.2 percent.
The high average weekly wage growth rates in these areas were related to the disproportionate job and pay losses in lower-paid industries due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina. These three Katrina-affected areas also experienced the largest declines in employment during the same period.
The national average weekly wage rose by 1.5 percent between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2005.
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. Large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or greater. To learn more about employment and wages by county see "County Employment and Wages: Fourth Quarter 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release 06-1275.