New data shows decrease in employment, bump in wages in Essex County

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on September 25, 2014

 

Employment in Essex County is down, but wages are up, according to federal data released this month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a county-by-county employment and wages summary report detailing employment figures gathered during the first quarter of this year.

According to the statistics, the employment rate in Essex County decreased by 1.3 percent between March of 2013 and March of 2014. But, average weekly salary rose by 1.1 percent in Essex over the same time period.

The average weekly salary during the first quarter of this year among Essex County employees was $1,343, the statistics said.

"It's something we see fairly frequently, a decline in employment and an increase in wages," BLS Supervising Economist David Hiles said.

"We often attribute that to junior staff getting laid off, and the salaries of the remaining staff are higher."

The numbers in Essex County are behind the statewide averages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rose by 0.6 percent year over year, and average weekly wages rose 2.2 percent. But, the statewide average weekly salary was $1,263, lower than in Essex.

Nationally, average weekly wages increased 3.8 percent over last year, to $1,027, the report found.

"National job growth as 1.7 percent, and in Essex County employment was down," Hiles said.

"That's a bit of a difference."

Of the 15 N.J. counties the Bureau released statistics on, Essex was one of five that experienced a drop in employment rate. The others were Atlantic, Burlington, Passaic, and Union.

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