News Release Information

16-1495-NEW
Monday, July 18, 2016

Contacts

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

County Employment and Wages in New Jersey - Fourth Quarter 2015

Wages grew in 14 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, 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 2014 annual average employment.) Passaic County had the largest increase, with a gain of 9.4 percent, followed by Burlington and Essex Counties, up 5.8 and 5.7 percent, respectively. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that Passaic County’s wage increase ranked fourth among the 342 largest counties nationwide.  

Twelve of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the $1,082 national average in the fourth quarter of 2015. Average weekly wages in Morris and Somerset Counties exceeded $1,500.

 

The largest employment gain among New Jersey’s largest counties was in Mercer, up 3.6 percent. Nationally, employment grew by 1.9 percent from December 2014 to December 2015. (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 weekly wages above the   U.S. average of $1,082. Cape May County reported the lowest average weekly wage, $789. (See table 2.)

Large County Wage Changes

In addition to Passaic County’s 9.4-percent wage gain, five other large counties in the state—Burlington, Essex, Camden, Morris, and Middlesex—had over-the-year wage gains above the 4.4-percent national average. Four additional counties recorded wage gains of at least 3.2 percent. Wage gains in the remaining large counties ranged from 2.5 to 1.0 percent. (Data for Union County were not available.)

Among the 342 largest U.S. counties, 325 recorded gains in average weekly wages. Wyandotte, Kan., had the largest wage increase (10.4 percent). In contrast, 10 counties nationwide experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year wage decline (-11.5 percent).

Large County Average Weekly Wages

As noted, 12 of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the national average. The state’s four highest-paying counties—Morris, Somerset, Hudson, and Union—ranked among the nation’s top 25. Ocean County had an average weekly wage of $890, the lowest of all New Jersey’s large counties, ranking it in the bottom quartile nationally at 264th.

Nationally, 101 large counties registered average weekly wages equal to or above the U.S. average of $1,082 in the fourth quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,335. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,235, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,095).

Among the 241 counties with an average weekly wage below the U.S. average in the fourth quarter 2015, Cameron County, Texas, reported the lowest average weekly wage ($649), followed by Horry, S.C. ($653) and Hidalgo, Texas ($661).

Large County Employment

Employment grew in 13 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from December 2014 to December 2015. Eight of the counties had increases equal to or above the national job growth rate of 1.9 percent, led by Mercer (3.6 percent) and Hudson (3.1 percent). One large county in New Jersey, Passaic (-1.1 percent) had an over-the-year employment loss. (Data for Union County were not available.)

Nationally, employment grew in 308 of the 342 large U.S. counties. Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 6.8 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year employment decrease nationwide, 11.8 percent.

In New Jersey, employment was highest in Bergen (454,100), followed by Middlesex (415,600), and Essex (343,400). Altogether, New Jersey’s large counties accounted for 91.0 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 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 ($1,237) and Salem ($1,142). (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 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/.

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2014 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 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 9.7 million employer reports cover 141.9 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. 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 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 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands) Percent change, December 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.50 1.9 -- $1,082 -- 4.4 --

New Jersey

3,988.40 1.7 -- 1,262 6 4.0 31

Atlantic, N.J.

124.5 0.2 304 896 260 2.4 300

Bergen, N.J.

454.1 0.7 273 1,324 28 2.5 298

Burlington, N.J.

201.2 0.9 254 1,124 77 5.8 94

Camden, N.J.

201.4 2.6 125 1,090 98 5.3 127

Essex, N.J.

343.4 0.3 299 1,295 33 5.7 100

Gloucester, N.J.

105.5 2.2 144 946 208 3.7 254

Hudson, N.J.

250.3 3.1 87 1,375 21 3.9 237

Mercer, N.J.

248.5 3.6 51 1,327 26 1.1 320

Middlesex, N.J.

415.6 1.5 205 1,274 41 5.1 148

Monmouth, N.J.

257.1 2.2 144 1,091 96 3.2 280

Morris, N.J.

291.5 2.3 138 1,601 10 5.2 137

Ocean, N.J.

160.5 2.8 108 890 264 4.3 212

Passaic, N.J.

169 -1.1 329 1,111 83 9.4 4

Somerset, N.J.

186.2 1.9 171 1,576 11 1 321

Union, N.J.

219.3 (5) -- 1,373 22 (5) --

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.
(5) Data do not meet BLS or state agency disclosure standards.
 

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 2015
Area Employment December 2015 (thousands) Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924.5 $1,082

  New Jersey

3,988.4 1,262

    Atlantic

124.5 896

    Bergen

454.1 1,324

    Burlington

201.2 1,124

    Camden

201.4 1,090

    Cape May

35.5 789

    Cumberland

59.0 932

    Essex

343.4 1,295

    Gloucester

105.5 946

    Hudson

250.3 1,375

    Hunterdon

47.0 1,237

    Mercer

248.5 1,327

    Middlesex

415.6 1,274

    Monmouth

257.1 1,091

    Morris

291.5 1,601

    Ocean

160.5 890

    Passaic

169.0 1,111

    Salem

20.5 1,142

    Somerset

186.2 1,576

    Sussex

38.7 920

    Union

219.3 1,373

    Warren

34.1 1,020

Footnotes

 

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.
 

Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, fourth quarter 2015
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2015 (thousands) Percent change, December 2014-15 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, fourth quarter 2014-15 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

141,924.5 1.9 $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Alabama

1,916.2 1.4 912 37 3.4 37

Alaska

315.9 -0.5 1,095 13 2.9 43

Arizona

2,701.8 2.6 967 24 4.4 28

Arkansas

1,201.4 1.7 838 46 3.8 35

California

16,593.8 3.1 1,274 5 5.4 10

Colorado

2,537.5 2.5 1,103 11 3.3 40

Connecticut

1,685.1 0.3 1,334 4 4.3 29

Delaware

441.2 1.8 1,086 15 3.4 37

District of Columbia

754.2 2.2 1,756 1 3.4 37

Florida

8,308.1 3.7 958 26 5.2 16

Georgia

4,249.4 2.9 1,001 21 4.5 27

Hawaii

653.0 2.2 957 27 5.4 10

Idaho

670.1 3.4 803 50 2.6 45

Illinois

5,931.2 1.4 1,146 8 5.1 18

Indiana

2,996.3 1.7 891 40 5.3 14

Iowa

1,539.0 0.7 920 34 5.7 3

Kansas

1,382.1 0.4 898 38 5.0 20

Kentucky

1,881.3 1.6 885 41 5.9 1

Louisiana

1,937.4 -1.0 940 29 1.8 47

Maine

596.9 0.7 873 43 5.7 3

Maryland

2,636.7 1.7 1,175 7 5.6 5

Massachusetts

3,479.1 1.6 1,385 2 5.4 10

Michigan

4,218.9 1.5 1,043 18 5.9 1

Minnesota

2,805.8 1.5 1,073 16 4.8 22

Mississippi

1,133.8 1.3 770 51 3.1 41

Missouri

2,759.6 1.8 933 33 4.6 25

Montana

453.2 2.5 818 49 3.0 42

Nebraska

971.8 1.4 880 42 5.1 18

Nevada

1,272.2 3.5 935 32 4.0 31

New Hampshire

648.6 1.7 1,139 9 5.4 10

New Jersey

3,988.4 1.7 1,262 6 4.0 31

New Mexico

808.9 -0.1 865 44 1.8 47

New York

9,227.6 1.7 1,372 3 3.9 34

North Carolina

4,247.1 2.5 939 30 5.5 8

North Dakota

428.1 -5.9 1,021 20 -2.8 51

Ohio

5,328.8 1.2 964 25 4.6 25

Oklahoma

1,605.0 -0.7 896 39 2.3 46

Oregon

1,814.8 3.3 979 23 5.5 8

Pennsylvania

5,759.7 0.7 1,063 17 4.9 21

Rhode Island

478.1 1.5 1,043 18 4.0 31

South Carolina

1,987.1 2.8 860 45 5.3 14

South Dakota

417.7 1.2 832 47 5.2 16

Tennessee

2,898.1 2.8 980 22 5.6 5

Texas

11,832.1 1.4 1,099 12 2.7 44

Utah

1,375.6 3.8 913 36 4.7 23

Vermont

312.1 0.3 919 35 4.1 30

Virginia

3,806.2 3.0 1,094 14 3.5 36

Washington

3,137.2 2.3 1,132 10 4.7 23

West Virginia

703.7 -1.3 829 48 1.3 49

Wisconsin

2,820.5 1.1 944 28 5.6 5

Wyoming

276.0 -2.9 937 31 -1.7 50

Puerto Rico

929.9 -1.6 565 (3) 1.6 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 -0.3 787 (3) 4.7 (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: Monday, July 18, 2016