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.