News Release Information

19-1243-NEW
Friday, July 05, 2019

Contacts

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

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

United States (4)

148,061.8 1.5 -- $1,144 -- 3.2 --

New Jersey

4,125.6 0.8 -- 1,298 6 2.7 38

Atlantic, NJ

128.1 4.6 3 933 264 1.9 265

Bergen, NJ

457.0 0.5 242 1,321 44 1.4 296

Burlington, NJ

202.7 0.0 297 1,148 93 1.2 306

Camden, NJ

209.1 0.2 273 1,118 108 1.9 265

Essex, NJ

348.5 0.3 258 1,374 31 4.2 80

Gloucester, NJ

114.0 1.1 167 942 256 1.4 296

Hudson, NJ

271.5 1.7 114 1,445 22 3.1 164

Mercer, NJ

259.2 0.8 198 1,439 23 7.1 13

Middlesex, NJ

446.0 0.9 185 1,291 48 2.4 227

Monmouth, NJ

262.8 0.2 273 1,130 101 2.7 203

Morris, NJ

295.4 -0.2 312 1,620 14 2.1 249

Ocean, NJ

168.6 1.6 126 907 289 2.6 210

Passaic, NJ

169.0 -0.5 332 1,082 135 1.3 301

Somerset, NJ

191.5 0.7 215 1,625 13 3.2 155

Union, NJ

230.5 0.3 258 1,359 35 -0.4 339

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
Area Employment December 2018 (thousands) Average weekly wage (1) fourth quarter 2018

United States (2)

148,061.8 $1,144

  New Jersey

4,125.6 1,298

    Atlantic

128.1 933

    Bergen

457.0 1,321

    Burlington

202.7 1,148

    Camden

209.1 1,118

    Cape May

35.6 833

    Cumberland

59.7 939

    Essex

348.5 1,374

    Gloucester

114.0 942

    Hudson

271.5 1,445

    Hunterdon

48.0 1,305

    Mercer

259.2 1,439

    Middlesex

446.0 1,291

    Monmouth

262.8 1,130

    Morris

295.4 1,620

    Ocean

168.6 907

    Passaic

169.0 1,082

    Salem

21.7 1,123

    Somerset

191.5 1,625

    Sussex

38.7 945

    Union

230.5 1,359

    Warren

33.3 1,026

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
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands) Percent change, December 2017-18 Fourth quarter 2018 National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,061.8 1.5 $1,144 -- 3.2 --

Alabama

1,986.6 1.6 957 36 3.1 33

Alaska

308.3 0.4 1,103 16 4.9 7

Arizona

2,921.1 3.0 1,017 24 4.1 11

Arkansas

1,227.0 0.8 869 50 2.4 43

California

17,556.7 1.7 1,392 4 3.3 26

Colorado

2,713.7 2.2 1,180 10 4.1 11

Connecticut

1,697.9 0.5 1,334 5 1.3 49

Delaware

451.2 1.1 1,107 15 2.4 43

District of Columbia

775.1 0.6 1,943 1 7.3 2

Florida

8,902.7 2.1 1,006 27 3.1 33

Georgia

4,499.8 1.8 1,053 21 2.4 43

Hawaii

669.3 0.6 1,016 25 3.3 26

Idaho

734.4 3.2 890 47 3.6 20

Illinois

6,026.0 0.3 1,189 9 3.3 26

Indiana

3,086.2 0.9 941 38 2.8 37

Iowa

1,558.4 0.5 966 35 3.0 35

Kansas

1,402.2 0.8 927 41 3.7 18

Kentucky

1,914.0 0.3 924 42 3.2 30

Louisiana

1,934.1 0.7 968 34 3.8 15

Maine

618.4 1.3 906 44 2.5 41

Maryland

2,702.5 0.8 1,228 8 1.7 48

Massachusetts

3,620.3 1.0 1,457 2 3.3 26

Michigan

4,366.5 1.0 1,077 19 1.3 49

Minnesota

2,902.3 0.9 1,140 14 3.6 20

Mississippi

1,144.3 0.2 793 51 2.5 41

Missouri

2,821.3 0.5 980 31 3.6 20

Montana

468.8 1.6 888 48 5.2 5

Nebraska

983.0 0.2 930 40 3.2 30

Nevada

1,397.4 3.3 1,006 27 5.3 4

New Hampshire

666.0 0.7 1,158 12 2.3 46

New Jersey

4,125.6 0.8 1,298 6 2.7 38

New Mexico

830.2 1.5 905 45 4.6 9

New York

9,613.2 1.5 1,445 3 1.0 51

North Carolina

4,458.9 1.6 1,013 26 5.1 6

North Dakota

422.3 1.5 1,057 20 4.7 8

Ohio

5,442.9 0.5 1,006 27 3.4 24

Oklahoma

1,632.3 1.5 932 39 4.1 11

Oregon

1,935.8 1.7 1,052 22 3.7 18

Pennsylvania

5,932.5 1.0 1,103 16 2.6 39

Rhode Island

487.2 0.8 1,085 18 2.6 39

South Carolina

2,119.6 2.8 893 46 1.9 47

South Dakota

428.4 1.2 885 49 3.4 24

Tennessee

3,039.8 1.8 1,030 23 3.0 35

Texas

12,531.7 2.5 1,148 13 3.5 23

Utah

1,511.5 3.2 972 33 3.8 15

Vermont

314.2 -0.4 954 37 3.2 30

Virginia

3,927.2 1.1 1,164 11 3.8 15

Washington

3,384.2 2.4 1,292 7 6.3 3

West Virginia

704.2 1.5 917 43 8.3 1

Wisconsin

2,892.3 0.6 989 30 4.0 14

Wyoming

272.1 1.8 978 32 4.4 10

Puerto Rico

896.4 0.8 576 (3) 0.9 (3)

Virgin Islands

34.5 0.5 925 (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