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19-1243-NEW
Friday, July 05, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in New Jersey - Fourth Quarter 2018

Wages increased in 14 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2017 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Mercer County had the largest increase, with a gain of 7.1 percent, followed by Essex with a gain of 4.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that the over-the-year percentage wage gain in Mercer County ranked 13th among the 349 largest counties nationwide.

Nine of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the $1,144 national average in the fourth quarter of 2018. Average weekly wages in Morris and Somerset Counties exceeded $1,600.

Atlantic County had the largest rate of employment growth among New Jersey’s largest counties, up 4.6 percent. Nationally, employment grew by 1.5 percent from December 2017 to December 2018. (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 $1,144. Cape May County reported the lowest average weekly wage, $833. (See table 2.)

Large County Wage Changes

Mercer County’s 7.1-percent annual wage increase came in at more than twice the national rate. Essex County (4.2 percent) was the only other large county with a gain that exceeded the national average. Somerset County’s 3.2-percent increase matched the national rate, and Hudson County followed, at 3.1 percent. Four counties—Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, and Morris—had over-the-year gains ranging from 2.7 to 2.1 percent. Wage gains ranged from 1.9 to 1.2 percent in six additional counties. Conversely, Union County (-0.4 percent) experienced an over-the-year loss and ranked 339th nationwide.

Among the 349 largest U.S. counties, 332 recorded increases in average weekly wages. Tippecanoe, IN, had the largest fourth quarter over-the-year wage gain at 15.1 percent, followed by Williamson, TN, and Olmstead, MN, at 13.1 and 13.0 percent, respectively. Fifteen of the largest counties nationwide experienced over-the-year declines in average weekly wages. Washington, PA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.6 percent.

Large County Average Weekly Wages

As noted, nine of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the national average. The state’s four highest-paying counties—Somerset, Morris, Hudson, and Mercer—ranked among the nation’s top 25. Ocean County had an average weekly wage of $907, the lowest of New Jersey’s large counties, and ranked 289th nationwide.

Nationwide, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,144 in 94 of the 349 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,670, followed by San Francisco, CA, ($2,452), and San Mateo, CA, ($2,410). Among the largest U.S. counties, nearly three-fourths (255) reported average weekly wages below the national average, with the lowest weekly wage in Hidalgo, TX ($680).

Large County Employment

Employment grew in 12 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from December 2017 to December 2018. Three of the counties had increases above the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent—Atlantic (4.6 percent), Hudson (1.7 percent), and Ocean (1.6 percent).

Nationally, employment grew in 296 of the 349 large U.S. counties. Midland, TX, had the largest percentage increase in employment, with a gain of 10.0 percent over the year. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year employment decrease, down 5.6 percent.

In New Jersey, employment was highest in Bergen (457,000), followed by Middlesex (446,000), and Essex (348,500). Altogether, New Jersey’s large counties accounted for 91.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average Weekly Wages in New Jersey's Smaller Counties

Hunterdon ($1,305) was the only small county to report an average weekly wage above the U.S. average of $1,144. (See table 2.)

When all 21 counties in New Jersey were considered, 9 had an average weekly above $1,250. All of these counties were clustered in northern and central New Jersey. Six counties had average weekly wages below $950, five of which were located in the southern half 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 2017 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 2018 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/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2019.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

BLS Local Data App Now Available for Android Devices

The BLS Local Data app, first released for iPhones last fall, is now available for Android devices. Search using your current location, a zip code, or a location name to find employment and wage data for detailed industries and occupations. BLS continues to partner with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Chief Information Officer to expand the features and data in the app. For more information please visit: https://beta.bls.gov/labs/blogs/2019/04/17/bls-local-data-app-now-available-for-android-devices/.


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 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 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands)Percent change, December 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Fourth quarter 2018National ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,061.81.5--$1,144--3.2--

New Jersey

4,125.60.8--1,29862.738

Atlantic, NJ

128.14.639332641.9265

Bergen, NJ

457.00.52421,321441.4296

Burlington, NJ

202.70.02971,148931.2306

Camden, NJ

209.10.22731,1181081.9265

Essex, NJ

348.50.32581,374314.280

Gloucester, NJ

114.01.11679422561.4296

Hudson, NJ

271.51.71141,445223.1164

Mercer, NJ

259.20.81981,439237.113

Middlesex, NJ

446.00.91851,291482.4227

Monmouth, NJ

262.80.22731,1301012.7203

Morris, NJ

295.4-0.23121,620142.1249

Ocean, NJ

168.61.61269072892.6210

Passaic, NJ

169.0-0.53321,0821351.3301

Somerset, NJ

191.50.72151,625133.2155

Union, NJ

230.50.32581,35935-0.4339

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 2018
AreaEmployment December 2018 (thousands)Average weekly wage (1) fourth quarter 2018

United States (2)

148,061.8$1,144

  New Jersey

4,125.61,298

    Atlantic

128.1933

    Bergen

457.01,321

    Burlington

202.71,148

    Camden

209.11,118

    Cape May

35.6833

    Cumberland

59.7939

    Essex

348.51,374

    Gloucester

114.0942

    Hudson

271.51,445

    Hunterdon

48.01,305

    Mercer

259.21,439

    Middlesex

446.01,291

    Monmouth

262.81,130

    Morris

295.41,620

    Ocean

168.6907

    Passaic

169.01,082

    Salem

21.71,123

    Somerset

191.51,625

    Sussex

38.7945

    Union

230.51,359

    Warren

33.31,026

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 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands)Percent change, December 2017-18Fourth quarter 2018National ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,061.81.5$1,144--3.2--

Alabama

1,986.61.6957363.133

Alaska

308.30.41,103164.97

Arizona

2,921.13.01,017244.111

Arkansas

1,227.00.8869502.443

California

17,556.71.71,39243.326

Colorado

2,713.72.21,180104.111

Connecticut

1,697.90.51,33451.349

Delaware

451.21.11,107152.443

District of Columbia

775.10.61,94317.32

Florida

8,902.72.11,006273.133

Georgia

4,499.81.81,053212.443

Hawaii

669.30.61,016253.326

Idaho

734.43.2890473.620

Illinois

6,026.00.31,18993.326

Indiana

3,086.20.9941382.837

Iowa

1,558.40.5966353.035

Kansas

1,402.20.8927413.718

Kentucky

1,914.00.3924423.230

Louisiana

1,934.10.7968343.815

Maine

618.41.3906442.541

Maryland

2,702.50.81,22881.748

Massachusetts

3,620.31.01,45723.326

Michigan

4,366.51.01,077191.349

Minnesota

2,902.30.91,140143.620

Mississippi

1,144.30.2793512.541

Missouri

2,821.30.5980313.620

Montana

468.81.6888485.25

Nebraska

983.00.2930403.230

Nevada

1,397.43.31,006275.34

New Hampshire

666.00.71,158122.346

New Jersey

4,125.60.81,29862.738

New Mexico

830.21.5905454.69

New York

9,613.21.51,44531.051

North Carolina

4,458.91.61,013265.16

North Dakota

422.31.51,057204.78

Ohio

5,442.90.51,006273.424

Oklahoma

1,632.31.5932394.111

Oregon

1,935.81.71,052223.718

Pennsylvania

5,932.51.01,103162.639

Rhode Island

487.20.81,085182.639

South Carolina

2,119.62.8893461.947

South Dakota

428.41.2885493.424

Tennessee

3,039.81.81,030233.035

Texas

12,531.72.51,148133.523

Utah

1,511.53.2972333.815

Vermont

314.2-0.4954373.230

Virginia

3,927.21.11,164113.815

Washington

3,384.22.41,29276.33

West Virginia

704.21.5917438.31

Wisconsin

2,892.30.6989304.014

Wyoming

272.11.8978324.410

Puerto Rico

896.40.8576(3)0.9(3)

Virgin Islands

34.50.5925(3)2.3(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: Friday, July 05, 2019