Midstate employment increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with 2010, but wages dropped, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Four of the midstate's five counties make the BLS' list of the United State's 322 largest counties covered in today's release. Employment in the fourth quarter dropped by 0.4 percent in Dauphin compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, but rose in Cumberland, Lancaster and York, the BLS said. Total employment in the four counties increased by 0.17 percent, according to calculations based on the BLS data.
Wages in the four counties dropped by between 2.7 percent and 4 percent between December 2010 and December 2011, the BLS said. That paralleled a drop nationwide of 1.7 percent, as reported by the agency.
Since the current system of reporting began in 1978, quarterly wages have dropped only five times, and this is the first time average wages and total wages have declined while employment grew, the BLS said.