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15-1464-NEW
Thursday, July 23, 2015

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County Employment and Wages in New Jersey - Fourth Quarter 2014

Wages grew in 13 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014, 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 2013 annual average employment.) Atlantic County posted the largest increase, with a gain of 7.0 percent, followed by Union County, up 4.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that Atlantic County’s wage increase ranked 11th among the 339 largest counties nationwide.

Ten of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the $1,035 national average in the fourth quarter of 2014. Average weekly wages in Somerset and Morris Counties exceeded $1,500.

 Chart 1. Large counties ranked by percent increases in average weekly wages, fourth quarter 2013-14 and Chart 2. Large counties ranked by percent increase in employment, December 2013-14

The largest employment gain among New Jersey’s largest counties was in Mercer, up 3.7 percent. Nationally, employment grew by 2.2 percent from December 2013 to December 2014. (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 $1,035. Cape May County reported the lowest average weekly wage, $742. (See table 2.)

Large County Wage Changes

In addition to Atlantic County’s 7.0-percent wage gain, four other counties in the state—Union, Bergen, Hudson, and Somerset—posted over-the-year wage gains above the 3.5 percent national average. Wage gains ranged from 2.4 to 0.2 percent in eight additional counties. Conversely, two New Jersey counties experienced over-the-year wage losses. Morris County’s 2.9-percent loss ranked 337th and Camden’s 0.8-percent decline ranked 334th nationwide.

Among the 339 largest U.S. counties, 332 recorded gains in average weekly wages. Benton, Ark., had the largest wage increase (9.9 percent). In contrast, seven counties nationwide experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest over-the-year wage decline (-20.4 percent).

Large County Average Weekly Wages

As noted, 10 of New Jersey’s large counties reported average weekly wages above the national average. The state’s three highest-paying counties—Somerset, Morris, and Union—ranked among the nation’s top 20. Ocean County reported average weekly wages of $845, the lowest of all New Jersey’s large counties, ranking it in the bottom quartile nationally at 278th.

Nationally, 95 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,035 in the fourth quarter of 2014. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,166. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,138, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($2,114).

Among the 244 counties with an average weekly wage below the U.S. average in the fourth quarter 2014, Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest average weekly wage ($610), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($621) and Hidalgo ($641).

Large County Employment

Employment grew in 13 of the 15 largest counties in New Jersey from December 2013 to December 2014. Mercer (3.7 percent), Monmouth (2.5 percent), and Gloucester (2.3 percent) were the only large counties in New Jersey to post increases above the national job growth rate of 2.2 percent. Somerset County’s employment growth matched the national rate. Atlantic (-5.0 percent) and Passaic (-0.5 percent) Counties experienced over-the-year employment losses.

Nationally, employment grew in 319 of the 339 large U.S. counties. Weld, Colo., and Midland, Texas, posted the largest percentage increases in employment with gains of 8.0 percent each over the year. The 5.0-percent decline in Atlantic, N.J., was the largest over-the-year employment decrease nationwide.

In New Jersey, employment was highest in Bergen (448,400), followed by Middlesex (401,600), and Essex (338,700). Altogether, New Jersey’s large counties accounted for 90.9 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 339 largest counties made up 72.1 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 ($1,187) and Salem ($1,140).(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. Counties with average weekly wages below $850 were located in the southeastern part 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 2013 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 2014 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2013 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13.htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2015.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 17, 2015, 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 9.5 million employer reports cover 139.2 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 2014
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2014 (thousands) Percent change, December
2013-14 (2)
National ranking by percent
change (3)
Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, fourth quarter
2013-14 (2)
National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

139,204.8 2.2 -- $1,035 -- 3.5 --

New Jersey

3,933.6 1.3 -- 1,211 5 2.0 49

Atlantic, N.J.

124.1 -5.0 339 872 241 7.0 11

Bergen, N.J.

448.4 0.7 272 1,291 26 4.2 99

Burlington, N.J.

200.8 0.6 284 1,060 83 2.4 258

Camden, N.J.

200.7 1.1 236 1,017 114 -0.8 334

Essex, N.J.

338.7 0.4 297 1,234 36 0.2 331

Gloucester, N.J.

103.1 2.3 130 909 202 1.5 306

Hudson, N.J.

244.1 1.7 183 1,335 22 3.9 125

Mercer, N.J.

243.8 3.7 51 1,306 25 1.1 315

Middlesex, N.J.

401.6 1.0 249 1,217 42 2.4 258

Monmouth, N.J.

252.1 2.5 118 1,053 85 1.7 303

Morris, N.J.

284.6 0.2 311 1,512 11 -2.9 337

Ocean, N.J.

157.6 2.0 158 845 266 2.1 278

Passaic, N.J.

170.6 -0.5 330 1,016 115 2.4 258

Somerset, N.J.

183.4 2.2 140 1,543 10 3.6 157

Union, N.J.

223.5 0.5 291 1,341 19 4.5 73
 

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, 4th quarter 2014
Area Employment
December 2014
(thousands)
Average
weekly
wage(1)

United States (2)

139,204.8 $1,035

  New Jersey

3,933.6 1,211

    Atlantic

124.1 872

    Bergen

448.4 1,291

    Burlington

200.8 1,060

    Camden

200.7 1,017

    Cape May

35.4 742

    Cumberland

58.8 878

    Essex

338.7 1,234

    Gloucester

103.1 909

    Hudson

244.1 1,335

    Hunterdon

47.5 1,187

    Mercer

243.8 1,306

    Middlesex

401.6 1,217

    Monmouth

252.1 1,053

    Morris

284.6 1,512

    Ocean

157.6 845

    Passaic

170.6 1,016

    Salem

20.4 1,140

    Somerset

183.4 1,543

    Sussex

38.3 880

    Union

223.5 1,341

    Warren

34.1 947

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 2014
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December 2014
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2013-14 (2)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2013-14 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

139,204.8 2.2 $1,035 -- 3.5 --

Alabama

1,891.4 1.3 881 35 3.5 31

Alaska

317.6 0.8 1,063 13 4.0 20

Arizona

2,630.8 2.2 926 25 2.3 47

Arkansas

1,180.5 2.2 807 47 4.5 5

California

16,068.5 2.6 1,209 6 2.9 41

Colorado

2,478.0 3.9 1,066 12 4.1 17

Connecticut

1,681.2 1.2 1,278 4 2.7 45

Delaware

433.0 2.9 1,049 16 1.5 51

District of Columbia

736.9 0.9 1,696 1 3.7 28

Florida

8,009.6 3.5 911 28 3.1 40

Georgia

4,131.9 3.7 958 21 3.8 25

Hawaii

638.3 0.7 908 29 4.2 15

Idaho

650.7 2.5 782 50 4.0 20

Illinois

5,844.1 1.4 1,089 8 2.8 42

Indiana

2,946.5 1.7 846 41 3.9 22

Iowa

1,527.6 1.1 870 38 4.3 11

Kansas

1,377.2 1.3 855 39 2.6 46

Kentucky

1,852.2 1.8 836 43 4.1 17

Louisiana

1,954.0 2.1 923 26 3.8 25

Maine

592.7 0.9 826 44 5.1 4

Maryland

2,590.3 1.3 1,113 7 3.5 31

Massachusetts

3,415.6 2.2 1,315 3 4.5 5

Michigan

4,158.9 2.1 984 20 3.3 37

Minnesota

2,762.9 1.4 1,024 17 3.6 30

Mississippi

1,118.6 1.0 747 51 2.3 47

Missouri

2,709.8 1.5 891 32 3.4 34

Montana

442.2 0.5 794 48 4.5 5

Nebraska

958.1 1.4 837 42 5.2 3

Nevada

1,229.6 4.2 899 30 1.6 50

New Hampshire

638.0 1.4 1,081 10 6.3 2

New Jersey

3,933.6 1.3 1,211 5 2.0 49

New Mexico

808.4 1.3 850 40 4.4 10

New York

9,067.6 2.0 1,321 2 4.3 11

North Carolina

4,141.8 2.4 890 33 3.4 34

North Dakota

454.8 4.5 1,050 15 7.1 1

Ohio

5,264.3 1.6 922 27 3.9 22

Oklahoma

1,614.3 2.1 876 36 2.8 42

Oregon

1,755.4 3.2 928 23 3.8 25

Pennsylvania

5,716.5 1.2 1,013 18 3.7 28

Rhode Island

471.5 1.9 1,003 19 4.5 5

South Carolina

1,931.4 2.9 817 46 3.2 39

South Dakota

412.5 1.3 791 49 4.2 15

Tennessee

2,822.1 2.4 927 24 3.5 31

Texas

11,662.7 3.7 1,070 11 4.3 11

Utah

1,324.2 3.0 872 37 4.3 11

Vermont

311.0 0.7 882 34 4.1 17

Virginia

3,691.4 0.6 1,057 14 2.8 42

Washington

3,069.7 3.2 1,082 9 4.5 5

West Virginia

712.0 0.1 818 45 3.3 37

Wisconsin

2,789.3 1.3 894 31 3.4 34

Wyoming

283.6 1.5 952 22 3.9 22

Puerto Rico

944.2 -1.5 556 (3) 0.7 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 -0.3 746 (3) -1.2 (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.
 

 Chart 3. Average weekly wages by county in New Jersey, fourth quarter 2014

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 23, 2015