April 17, 2006
Among the largest counties, Kent, Rhode Island (part of the Providence metropolitan area) led the nation in over-the-year growth in average weekly wages in the third quarter of 2006, with an increase of 18.4 percent.
Orleans Parish, Louisiana, part of the New Orleans metropolitan area, was second with growth of 16.2 percent. It was followed by Trumbull County, Ohio, in the Youngstown area, (12.3 percent), and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, a New Orleans suburb, and Jefferson County, Texas, in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area (10.5 percent each).
The high average weekly wage growth rate for Orleans Parish was related to the disproportionate job losses in lower-paid industries due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina. That is, the loss of low paid jobs due to the storm boosted average wages in Orleans Parish.
Over the year, the national average weekly wage rose by 0.9 percent.
The percent change in average weekly wages was higher than the national average in 133 of the largest U.S. counties, but was below the national average in 184 counties.
Over-the-year declines in average weekly wages occurred in 112 counties. Passaic, New Jersey (an area north of Newark), had the largest decrease (-10.2 percent).
The BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program produced these data, which are preliminary and subject to revision. Employment 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. Find out more in "County Employment and Wages: Third Quarter 2006" (PDF) (TXT), news release 07-0525.