The latest wage data for jobs in the nation's largest counties shows how wage growth in Connecticut is lagging the national average, but how even as employment grows slowly or shrinks, the average worker in Connecticut is better paid than the average worker in the United States.
The latest figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the average weekly pay in Fairfield County in the first three months of 2013 was $1,878. That figure is a lot more than other times of the year, because it's bonus season, even if some firms moved bonuses into 2012 to avoid higher tax rates that took effect Jan. 1.
Probably due to that income shifting, Fairfield had a rather large drop in average wages compared with the first quarter of 2012, a decline of 1.9 percent. But it still was enough to rank fourth in the nation, behind New York City; Somerset County, NJ.; and the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Hartford County's average wage was $1,315, a decline of one half of one percent.
Declines don't necessarily mean people had wage cuts in their current jobs. 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.
New Haven's average wage was $1,013, still above the national average, which was $989. Wages in New Haven County rose by 1.4 percent compared with the first quarter of 2012, which put its wage growth in the top third of the country. Nationwide, wages grew 0.6 percent over the year.
New London County is the only urban county in the state with below-average wages, at $975 a week. The average fell by 1.1 percent.