US Census: Counties in Vermont have lower than average wages

first_imgEmployment in Vermont’s only large county, Chittenden, increased 0.2 percent from December 2011 to December 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2011 annual average employment.) The employment gain in Chittenden ranked 274th among the 328 large counties in the nation, and was below the national increase of 1.9 percent. Vermont overall ranks 38th nationally in average weekly wages.Nationally, employment increased in 287 of the 328 largest counties from December 2011 to December 2012. The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment was recorded in Elkhart, Ind., up 7.4 percent. Sangamon, IL, posted the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the large counties in the US with a loss of 2.5 percent.Employment in Chittenden County was 98,986 in December 2012, accounting for 32.3 percent of employment statewide. Nationwide, the 328 largest counties accounted for 71.3 percent of total U.S. employment. The average weekly wage in Chittenden County rose 4.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012 to $981. (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 4.7 percent over the year to $1,000.Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 13 counties in Vermont with employment below 75,000. All 13 smaller counties in Vermont had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)Large County Wage ChangesChittenden County’s 4.1-percent wage increase from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012 placed 104th nationally. (See table 1.) Nationwide, 316 of the 328 largest counties had over-theyear increases in average weekly wages from the fourth quarter of 2011. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest wage increase among the largest U.S. counties (107.3 percent).Of the 328 largest counties, 10 experienced over-the year decreases in average weekly wages. Lake, Ohio, had the largest average weekly wage decrease with a loss of 3.2 percent. Passaic, N.J., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, followed by Genesee, Mich.; Atlantic, N.J.; and Benton, Wash.Large County Average Weekly WagesThe average weekly wage in Chittenden County placed 109th among the 328 largest U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2012. The county’s $981 average weekly wage was $19 below the national average.Among the highest-paid large U.S. counties, San Mateo, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $3,240. New York, N.Y., was second with an average weekly wage of $2,107, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,906), and Suffolk, Mass. ($1,724).Horry, S.C. ($576) reported the lowest wage nationwide, followed by the counties of Cameron and Hidalgo, Texas ($609 and $612, respectively). Wages in the lowest-ranked county, Horry, were less than one-fifth of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, San Mateo, Calif.Average Weekly Wages in Vermont’s Smaller CountiesThe 13 counties in Vermont with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,000. Among these smaller counties, Washington had the highest wage ($861) followed by Franklin ($820). Essex reported the lowest weekly wage, averaging $638 in the fourth quarter of 2012.When all 14 counties in Vermont are considered, 4 reported average weekly wages under $699, 7 had wages from $700 to $799, and 3 had wages of $800 or more. The lowest paid counties, those with wages below $699, were generally located in the northern part of the state. (See chart 1.)last_img