Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

18-1126-NEW
Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (646) 264-3620

County Employment and Wages in New Jersey - Fourth Quarter 2017

Wages increased in 14 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, 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 2016 annual average employment.) Morris County had the largest increase, with a gain of 3.9 percent, followed by Hudson and Monmouth Counties, up 3.1 and 2.8 percent, respectively. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that the over-the-year percentage wage gain in Morris County ranked in the top 100 of the 346 largest counties nationwide.

Eight of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the $1,109 national average in the fourth quarter of 2017. Average weekly wages in Morris and Somerset Counties exceeded $1,500.

Gloucester County had the largest rate of employment growth among New Jersey’s largest counties, up 2.7 percent. Nationally, employment grew by 1.5 percent from December 2016 to December 2017. (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. Hunterdon was the only small county to report an average weekly wage above the U.S. average of $1,109. Cape May County reported the lowest average weekly wage, $783. (See table 2.)

Large County Wage Changes

Morris County’s 3.9-percent annual wage increase matched the national average. Hudson County (3.1 percent) was the only other large county with an over-the-year increase above 3.0 percent. Four counties—Monmouth, Atlantic, Camden, and Union—posted over-the-year gains between 2.8 and 2.4 percent. Wage gains ranged from 1.9 to 0.3 percent in eight additional counties. Conversely, Mercer County (-0.4 percent) experienced an over-the-year loss and ranked 314th nationwide.

Among the 346 largest U.S. counties, 339 recorded increases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest percentage wage increases (11.5 percent each). Seven of the largest counties nationwide experienced over-the-year declines in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest over-the-year wage decline (-6.7 percent).

Large County Average Weekly Wages

As noted, eight of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the national average. The state’s five highest-paying counties— Morris, Somerset, Hudson, Union, and Mercer—ranked among the nation’s top 25. Ocean County had an average weekly wage of $883, the lowest of all New Jersey’s large counties, ranking it nationally at 288th.

Nationwide, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,109 in 95 of the 346 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,576, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,439), and San Mateo, Calif. ($2,341). Among the largest U.S. counties, nearly three-fourths (251) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wages were in the Texas counties of Cameron ($652) and Hidalgo ($664), followed by Horry, S.C. ($674).

Large County Employment

Employment grew in all of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from December 2016 to December 2017. Six of the counties had increases equal to or above the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent, led by Gloucester (2.7 percent), Hudson (2.5 percent), and Ocean (2.4 percent).

Nationally, employment grew in 316 of the 346 large U.S. counties. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 11.5 percent over the year. Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-year employment decrease, down 1.8 percent each.

In New Jersey, employment was highest in Bergen (458,400), followed by Middlesex (440,400), and Essex (349,500). Altogether, New Jersey’s large counties accounted for 90.9 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average Weekly Wages in New Jersey's Smaller Counties

Hunterdon ($1,273) was the only small county to report an average weekly wage above the U.S. average of $1,109. (See table 2.)

When all 21 counties in New Jersey were considered, 9 had an average weekly above $1,150. All of these counties were clustered in northern and central New Jersey. The one county with average weekly wages below $850 was located at the southern tip of the state. (See chart 3.)

Additional Statistics and Other Information

QCEW data for states have been included in this release in table 3. For additional information about quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note or visit www.bls.gov/cew.

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2016 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process has accelerated for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data are now published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release and associated data have been accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release, with smaller county data contained in this release, occurs two weeks later.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 145.9 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.

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 administrative 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.

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.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 15 largest counties in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Fourth quarter 2017National ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,921.11.5--$1,109--3.9--

New Jersey

4,106.91.6--1,26261.850

Atlantic, N.J.

123.20.72409142542.6213

Bergen, N.J.

458.40.92151,298391.2312

Burlington, N.J.

209.40.62551,105971.7297

Camden, N.J.

209.41.9961,0961022.6213

Essex, N.J.

349.51.51351,318351.8288

Gloucester, N.J.

112.62.7529262381.1314

Hudson, N.J.

267.92.5621,408203.1163

Mercer, N.J.

253.71.31581,35525-0.4340

Middlesex, N.J.

440.41.9961,259481.9281

Monmouth, N.J.

262.90.62551,0971012.8188

Morris, N.J.

295.61.41441,582123.992

Ocean, N.J.

166.92.4698832881.3308

Passaic, N.J.

170.10.23021,0661201.9281

Somerset, N.J.

190.40.32951,568130.3336

Union, N.J.

224.70.72401,385222.4241

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: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmployment December 2017 (thousands)Average weekly wage (1) fourth quarter 2017

United States (2)

145,921.1$1,109

  New Jersey

4,106.91,262

    Atlantic

123.2914

    Bergen

458.41,298

    Burlington

209.41,105

    Camden

209.41,096

    Cape May

36.3783

    Cumberland

59.7919

    Essex

349.51,318

    Gloucester

112.6926

    Hudson

267.91,408

    Hunterdon

47.61,273

    Mercer

253.71,355

    Middlesex

440.41,259

    Monmouth

262.91,097

    Morris

295.61,582

    Ocean

166.9883

    Passaic

170.11,066

    Salem

21.21,105

    Somerset

190.41,568

    Sussex

40.4915

    Union

224.71,385

    Warren

33.51,020

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: Data are preliminary. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, fourth quarter 2017
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17Fourth quarter 2017National ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2016-17National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

145,921.11.5$1,109--3.9--

Alabama

1,955.31.1928362.932

Alaska

306.7-1.21,052191.551

Arizona

2,834.72.6978253.512

Arkansas

1,217.21.0848482.542

California

17,293.02.11,34645.74

Colorado

2,653.32.51,133104.39

Connecticut

1,689.70.31,31752.246

Delaware

444.90.61,081152.640

District of Columbia

769.00.91,81212.737

Florida

8,712.02.0975263.416

Georgia

4,425.01.81,027203.416

Hawaii

664.50.8984243.126

Idaho

712.43.0857467.11

Illinois

6,001.10.81,15192.640

Indiana

3,057.81.1915383.611

Iowa

1,549.70.4938323.028

Kansas

1,390.30.4894411.949

Kentucky

1,903.80.5892422.147

Louisiana

1,918.80.4933352.147

Maine

610.31.2884433.416

Maryland

2,683.60.51,20783.322

Massachusetts

3,582.21.31,41134.48

Michigan

4,321.80.91,062173.416

Minnesota

2,875.71.31,100143.416

Mississippi

1,140.60.5774512.445

Missouri

2,809.51.0945312.932

Montana

461.41.0843502.737

Nebraska

980.90.9901393.028

Nevada

1,351.93.5955293.225

New Hampshire

661.30.71,132113.710

New Jersey

4,106.91.61,26261.850

New Mexico

816.70.6865452.542

New York

9,465.31.41,42826.42

North Carolina

4,388.61.5964283.322

North Dakota

416.10.41,010223.322

Ohio

5,409.20.8973273.126

Oklahoma

1,607.81.2895403.512

Oregon

1,900.42.01,014214.57

Pennsylvania

5,870.41.21,075163.512

Rhode Island

483.61.11,056182.737

South Carolina

2,058.81.6879442.835

South Dakota

423.80.9856473.416

Tennessee

2,984.81.31,000233.028

Texas

12,207.82.01,109133.512

Utah

1,465.53.6936332.932

Vermont

314.70.5919372.542

Virginia

3,884.21.31,121122.835

Washington

3,305.02.41,21775.83

West Virginia

693.10.1847494.75

Wisconsin

2,872.61.0951303.028

Wyoming

267.50.6935344.66

Puerto Rico

887.0-4.4570(3)2.5(3)

Virgin Islands

34.3-11.1827(3)7.7(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: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 03, 2018