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News Release Information

14-1517-NEW
Thursday, August 14, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in New 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.

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 County’s 1.8-percent loss ranked 299th and Bergen’s 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 Jersey’s 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 nation’s 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
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage(1)
December 2013 (thousands)Percent change, December 2012-13(2)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level(3)Percent change, third quarter 2012-13(2)National ranking by percent change(3)

United States(4)

136,129.41.8$1,000--0.0--

New Jersey

3,887.51.21,18651.114

Atlantic

130.4-0.98132700.0186

Bergen

446.13.01,24027-2.7317

Burlington

198.0-0.21,02980-0.5226

Camden

198.01.41,025812.047

Essex

338.1-0.41,237281.475

Gloucester

100.41.89011752.628

Hudson

239.90.31,28423-0.6232

Mercer

235.31.01,29020-1.6289

Middlesex

397.20.31,186392.431

Monmouth

246.91.71,03477-0.4220

Morris

283.31.81,553105.06

Ocean

154.54.8826253-1.8299

Passaic

171.9-0.8990109-1.1257

Somerset

179.31.81,484112.824

Union

223.3-0.51,283245.24

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
AreaEmployment December 2013 (thousands)Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

136,129.4$1,000

New Jersey

3,887.51,186

Atlantic

130.4813

Bergen

446.11,240

Burlington

198.01,029

Camden

198.01,025

Cape May

34.4732

Cumberland

58.5839

Essex

338.11,237

Gloucester

100.4901

Hudson

239.91,284

Hunterdon

47.81,133

Mercer

235.31,290

Middlesex

397.21,186

Monmouth

246.91,034

Morris

283.31,553

Ocean

154.5826

Passaic

171.9990

Salem

20.71,015

Somerset

179.31,484

Sussex

38.5851

Union

223.31,283

Warren

34.0932

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
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage(1)
December 2013 (thousands)Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2012-13National ranking by percent change

United States(2)

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

Alabama

1,866.585134-0.539

Alaska

315.11,022141.67

Arizona

2,571.090623-0.539

Arkansas

1,154.3771470.422

California

15,650.31,1756-0.943

Colorado

2,383.91,02313-0.943

Connecticut

1,661.21,2384-1.349

Delaware

419.61,0359-0.641

District of Columbia

727.31,6381-3.951

Florida

7,739.5883290.227

Georgia

3,986.992421-0.132

Hawaii

632.9871300.325

Idaho

634.5754503.02

Illinois

5,758.91,06080.227

Indiana

2,896.981440-0.235

Iowa

1,510.9834381.67

Kansas

1,359.583239-0.438

Kentucky

1,818.0804420.227

Louisiana

1,911.6889260.520

Maine

586.8786461.75

Maryland

2,555.11,0767-0.943

Massachusetts

3,332.91,25830.817

Michigan

4,072.495220-0.235

Minnesota

2,720.6988160.325

Mississippi

1,108.1729511.311

Missouri

2,670.486132-0.235

Montana

440.0760480.422

Nebraska

944.379643-0.132

Nevada

1,180.5884280.718

New Hampshire

629.31,01715-0.842

New Jersey

3,887.51,18651.114

New Mexico

796.2814401.410

New York

8,888.61,2662-1.148

North Carolina

4,045.5860330.718

North Dakota

435.0980173.81

Ohio

5,175.4887270.030

Oklahoma

1,581.385134-0.132

Oregon

1,699.6894252.63

Pennsylvania

5,650.3976180.422

Rhode Island

462.7960191.59

South Carolina

1,875.8793441.015

South Dakota

407.1759491.311

Tennessee

2,758.389524-0.943

Texas

11,246.31,027120.030

Utah

1,284.783637-0.943

Vermont

308.5848362.34

Virginia

3,670.01,02811-1.349

Washington

2,976.01,034101.75

West Virginia

710.1792450.520

Wisconsin

2,751.8865311.213

Wyoming

279.2917221.015

Puerto Rico

958.3551(3)0.2(3)

Virgin Islands

38.5754(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.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014