New Wage Data Shows How Connecticut Regions Compare to Each Other

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The latest wage data for jobs in the nation’s largest counties shows both how badly New London County is lagging the rest of the state, and how the trends of job growth and pay in Fairfield County compare to other counties full of high-skilled, high-wage jobs.

The data, which covers July through September of 2012, was released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fairfield County jobs paid an average of $1,371 a week last summer ($71,292 a year). That average is ninth highest in the country. The average includes part-time workers, but not the self-employed.

New London County had 1.1 percent fewer jobs in the period of July through September last year than it had in that quarter of 2011. That’s one of the worst job losses on a percentage basis in the country.

Across the U.S., jobs grew by 1.6 percent during the period. Jobs in Hartford County grew by 1 percent. The number of jobs in Fairfield and New Haven counties grew by .8 percent during the period, half as fast as the country.

More than 80 percent of the nation’s 329 urban counties had declining wages during the quarter, and all four of Connecticut’s largest counties did, as well.

But nationwide, the drop was 1.1 percent, and Connecticut’s wages fell further.

That doesn’t mean that people had wage cuts in their current jobs, necessarily — the average wage is influenced by the share of part-time work to full-time work and the proportion of high-paid jobs to average and low-paid ones.

Hartford County jobs paid an average of $1,079 a week, or $56,108 a year, down 1.7 percent from the third quarter of 2011.

New Haven County jobs paid an average of $956 a week, or $49,712 a year, down 1.6 percent.

New London County jobs paid an average of $902 a week, or $46,904 a year, down 3.3 percent.

The 4.1 percent decline in Fairfield County’s average wage was the fourth largest in the country in dollar terms — $58 a week — but didn’t make the top 10 on a percentage basis.

Places that pay similar wages to Fairfield County include Manhattan, the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., and its suburbs of Arlington and Fairfax County, Virginia.

Wages fell during the quarter in D.C. and its suburbs, New York, Boston and the one of the two counties in the Silicon Valley, but rose in San Francisco and in San Mateo, Calif., the coastal county in the Silicon Valley.


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11 thoughts on “New Wage Data Shows How Connecticut Regions Compare to Each Other

  1. sue

    Don’t worry New London County DANNY BOY has your back. He has created tens or thousands of new jobs HASN’T HE.

  2. alan

    I would love to see the numbers when government and public education taken out. There are 40000 teachers averaging 60k and 60000 state workers about the same. Because of private sector layoffs govt and ed workers are a larger percent of the total than before so they may be keeping the average up.

  3. Mara Lee Post author

    You have it backwards. Government workers (including public education, though also including the casino employees) are a *smaller* proportion of all workers in the state now than they were before. Just going to the numbers at my fingertips in the files, in September 2010, there were 243,300 government employees in Connecticut, and 1,610,500 workers. In February 2013, there were 237,900 government workers, and 1,640,400 total workers.

    1. Old capitalist

      All the growth in the private sector is in social assistance, all the loss in government is in casinos.

  4. Mara Lee Post author

    It is true, however, that state workers and teachers tend to make more than the average of all workers, because they are more likely to have college degrees, and because they are unionized.

  5. Mara

    Old Capitalist, your assertion is not supported by the statistics. The private sector growth in the last year was:
    5,900 jobs in restaurants and hotels
    4,800 jobs in outsourced administrative support
    3,700 retail jobs
    1,300 private education jobs
    Social assistance, which is lumped in with health care jobs, was actually down in the last 12 months in this preliminary data.

    1. Old capitalist

      Even worse, busboys, maids, retail and outsourced (no benefits) admin support- primarily all low-end unskilled jobs. You did not site statistics for “government” was I correct in my assertion?

  6. Mara Lee Post author

    The state level BLS data does not isolate the casinos.

    I wrote about this trend here:

    However, if you prefer data to storytelling, here you go:

    From U.S. Census data []

    In 2009, state of Connecticut had 57,117 full-time employees, 24,139 part-time

    towns and cities had 115,620 full-time employees, 35,167 part-time

    In 2010, 53,451, and 25,112

    towns/cities: 111,048, and 35,170

    In 2011, 53,305, and 23,519

    towns/cities: 109,835 and 34,216

  7. Old capitalist

    Please, the numbers may not be isolated, but only the most obtuse would deny that casino employment in CT is down thousands from its peak. A fractured fairy tale it isn’t.

  8. Mara Lee Post author

    You said:
    All the growth in the private sector is in social assistance, all the loss in government is in casinos.

    I have shown you now that both assertions are untrue. You are creating a strawman. I never said the casinos haven’t done staff reductions. I just said that the state government, towns and cities employ fewer people now than they did several years ago.

  9. Old capitalist

    ..and you are creating a false impressions that government employment is shrinking. I do not believe that your last sentence would hold if casino employment would be factored out of the totals… and I don’t believe black jack dealers should be included as “government workers.

    …and while we are at it. the December Ct Economic Digest figures show a figure (not seasonably adjusted) net private growth of 1,900 jobs. Social Assistance was up 2,500
    private growth o

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