Durham’s average wage growth 14th fastest in U.S.

Jun. 19, 2014 @ 01:34 PM

Durham County’s average weekly wage grew the fastest of any of the nine largest counties in North Carolina in the fourth quarter of 2013. And among the largest counties across the United States, Durham ranked No. 14 for its rate of wage growth.

The county’s average weekly wage grew 3.6 percent to $1,255, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data released Thursday.
That growth rate outpaced the growth seen in any of the nine largest N.C. counties counted in the bureau’s comparison, and was the 14th highest in the country among the 335 large U.S. counties counted. The analysis included U.S. counties that employ 75,000 people or more.
“The job market is improving and companies are in a mode of cautious hiring, and that is driving employment and wage growth,” said Ted Conner, vice president of economic development and community sustainability for the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, in an email.
Behind Durham, Forsyth County, which is the home of Winston-Salem, had the second-highest rate of year-over-year growth of the counties counted in North Carolina. Forsyth’s average weekly wage grew 2.2 percent in the quarter to $895.
New Hanover County, where Wilmington is located, took the third spot in the state with a 1.1 percent increase in to $799 average weekly wage in the quarter compared to the same period last year. Wake County’s average grew 0.5 percent to $984.
Across the country, the nationwide average weekly wage was unchanged over the year, holding steady at $1,000 in the fourth quarter.
There were 185 large counties in the nation that saw increases in the quarter, with Santa Cruz, California, seeing the largest year-over-year increase with a gain of 6.5 percent to an average weekly wage of $907. Manufacturing made the largest contribution to the increase in that county.
San Mateo, California, had the highest overall average weekly wage in the fourth quarter at $2,724. San Mateo was followed by New York, Santa Clara, California, and San Francisco.