Fairfield County wage earners in top 10 nationally
Fairfield County wage earners are at the top of the heap nationally. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fairfield County has the highest average weekly wage in Connecticut at $1,674, and ranks seventh-highest among the nation’s 339 large counties. Nationally, the average weekly wage was $1,035 during the year ending in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The top 10 counties nationwide, and their average weekly wages, are:
- San Mateo, Calif. — $2,166
- New York, NY — $2,138
- Santa Clara, Calif. — $2,114
- Suffolk, Mass. — $1,856
- San Francisco, Calif. — $1,850
- Washington, D.C. — $1,696
- Fairfield, Conn. — $1,674
- Arlington, Va. — $1,613
- Fairfax, Va. — $1,584
- Somerset, N.J. — $1,543
Fairfield County was also one of Connecticut’s three “large” counties that reported employment increases from December 2013 to December 2014. Large counties are defined as those with more than 75,000 people employed.
Fairfield County had the largest rate of employment growth, up 1.7%. Hartford and New Haven counties reported employment gains of 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively. Connecticut’s remaining large county, New London, recorded an over-the-year employment decline of 0.5%.
Employment was highest in Hartford County (509,022) followed by Fairfield, which has 428,429 members of the workforce. Along with New Haven and New London, the four counties accounted for 84.7% of total state employment.
Although all four of Connecticut’s large counties recorded weekly wage increases, New Haven and New London recorded the highest at 4.5% and 4.3% respectively. Hartford County experienced a 2.8% wage gain and Fairfield County a 1.1% gain, ranking them 231st and 315th nationally. Across the U.S. the average weekly wage increased 3.5%.
While Fairfield County made the top 10 nationally for average weekly wages, Hartford County ($1,246) ranked 33rd and New Haven ($1,087) ranked 72nd, placing them in the top quarter of the nationwide ranking. The average weekly wage in the state’s remaining large county, New London ($1,013), was below the national average, but still ranked in the top half nationwide at 116th.
Three of the four counties in Connecticut with employment below 75,000 — Litchfield, Tolland, and Windham — had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,035, with Windham reporting the lowest, $824. Middlesex County was the exception, with an average weekly wage of $1,067. (See table 2.)