Employment increased in about 80% of the largest U.S. counties in the third quarter of 2019 from a year earlier and wages grew in 350 of 355,according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the third quarter of 2019, average weekly wages for the nation rose to $1,093, a 3.6% increase from a year earlier. People working in the information sector in the Seattle area earn almost five times that — King County, Washington, tech workers average $5,367 per week, or about $279,000 a year.
By comparison, financial workers in the New York City area average $3,437 a week, or about $179,000 a year.
Wages in the Boulder, Colorado, area showed the largest third-quarter year-over-year wage gain at 18.4%. Double-digit jumps also were seen in Sangamon, Illinois, with a 12.8% jump and in Williamson, Texas, where wages grew 12.3%.
Colorado’s higher minimum wage could explain some of the rise in weekly earnings. Tech giants Apple and Google, are also on a hiring spree in Boulder County and tend to pay well. Currently, job site LinkedIn is showing that Apple has more than 500 open jobs within 50 miles of Boulder, while Google has in excess of 1,600 jobs advertised.
The largest decline was in Linn County, Iowa, where a $285 drop in average weekly wages in the manufacturing sector from a year earlier — a 14.75% decrease — helped cause a 2.6% fall county-wide.
Wages in the wealthy California counties of Santa Clara and San Mateo are among the few that fell but remain the two with the highest average U.S. wages at $2,447 and $2,366, respectively. Wages in San Francisco County rose 7.6% from a year earlier to $2,273. The percentage increase was the 7th fastest in the country.
All 10 of the largest U.S. counties had annual increases in both employment and average weekly wages. The Phoenix area showed the biggest gain in jobs among the 10 largest counties with a 3.2% boost as population growth drove employment in the education and health services sectors. Employment increased by 14,264 jobs from a year earlier.
Wage data includes non-wage cash payments such as bonuses and deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans and stock options.
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