July 3, 2018

NH County draws slight employment, wage growth in 2017

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
Workers on the shop floor at Waterbury's Noujaim Tool Co., which has had success with its apprenticeship program.

Employment and wages grew marginally in three of Connecticut's four largest counties last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

From Dec. 2016 to Dec. 2017, the bureau reported that employment rose by 0.4 percent in Hartford County, which ranked as the lowest gain of Connecticut's largest counties and No. 281 in the nation in growth.

New London and New Haven counties had the largest rate of employment growth of 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. Fairfield recorded an employment decrease of 0.4 percent over the year, officials said.

The largest counties are defined as those with 75,000 or more employed as of 2016.

Employment was the highest in Hartford (514,592), followed by Fairfield (424,402) as the four largest counties accounted for nearly 85 percent of the state's workforce in Dec. 2017.

Weekly wages increased in all four large counties over the year with the biggest increases in New London (2.7 percent) and Hartford (2.6 percent). Workers in each county averaged weekly paychecks of $1,051 and $1,296, respectively.

Despite an employment decrease, wages rose in Fairfield County to $1,688, up 0.7 percent, which ranks as the eighth largest weekly wage among the nation's 346 largest counties.

Nationwide, employment increased 1.5 percent with 316 of the 346 largest counties reporting increases. Midland, Texas had the largest percentage increase of 11.5 percent over the year, and Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the biggest decrease of 1.8 percent.

In June, the bureau reported that private employers in the Northeast paid, on average, $41.98 per hour, including $13.21 per hour in benefits, to workers in New England and others in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

New England employers paid workers $3.65 per hour for insurance, including life, health, short- and long-term disability insurance, and $3.27 per hour for paid leave in March. Retirement and savings tacked on another $1.90 per hour for employers in the month, officials said.

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