January 12, 2007
Among the largest counties, Orleans Parish, Louisiana (part of the New Orleans metropolitan area), led the nation in growth in average weekly wages from the second quarter of 2005 to the second quarter of 2006, with an increase of 28.0 percent.
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (also in the greater New Orleans area), was second, followed by the counties of Harrison, Mississippi (which includes the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport), Rock Island, Illinois (which borders Iowa), and Somerset, New Jersey (which is near the center of the state).
The high average weekly wage growth rates for Orleans and Jefferson Parishes and Harrison County were 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 those areas.
The national average weekly wage rose by 4.4 percent between the second quarter of 2005 and the second quarter of 2006.
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: Second Quarter 2006" (PDF) (TXT), news release 07-0021.