The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that wages declined in all 15 of New Jersey’s largest counties from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016. The largest drop was in Passaic County, where wages went down by six percent; it was followed by Morris (5 percent) and Burlington (4.2 percent) counties. The national average for a decline in wages was 1.5 percent. (The bureau defines large counties as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2015 average employment.)
Still, average weekly wages were above the $1,067 national average in 11 of New Jersey’s large counties in the fourth quarter of 2016. They exceeded $1,500 a week in Somerset and Morris counties.
Employment grew by 1.2 percent nationally from December 2015 to December 2016. In 14 of the Garden State’s largest counties it also grew, with seven showing increases at or above the national level. The biggest employment gain was in Hudson County (3.3 percent). But in Atlantic County employment declined by 1.7 percent.