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Average Weekly Wages: Highest in Manhattan…Except for “Information”

Comprehensive data from Q3 2015 were released today that include reports submitted by every employer subject to unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.4 million full- and part-time workers.

While the data exclude the ranks of self-employed workers among others, we can glean relative information from the employee and wage tallies provided by the BLS.

Notably, average weekly wages for employees in the “Information” sector in King County, WA, which includes the City of Seattle, were $4,798 in Q3 2015— almost double the average in Manhattan. How can this be?

 

“Wages” include not only base salary or hourly pay, but also non-wage cash payments such as bonuses, the cash value of meals and lodging (when supplied), tips and other gratuities, and, in some states, employer contributions to certain deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans and stock options. While it is hard to compare wage figures across time — wages for a given sector will be affected by the types of jobs (high-paying vs. low-paying) as well as their part-time vs. full-time status — it is interesting to note that within the 10 largest U.S. counties, average weekly wages in the Information sector were down in just 2 of the 10 counties, with King County (-5.6% YoY) being one of the 10 (and Maricopa—down 0.6%—being the other.) In contrast, Information sector wages rose 7.6% Manhattan. More posts about tech wages to come…

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Heidi Learner

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