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Midstate counties show wage gains, mediocre job creation in new BLS data

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Four midstate counties showed mediocre job creation but healthy wage gains in new Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

BLS data covering Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster and York counties showed all four with job gains between zero and 1 percent from December 2012 and December 2013, compared with national job growth of 1.8 percent.

From December to December, employment increased in 292 of the 334 largest U.S. counties, the BLS reported in a news release. Weld, Colo., had the largest increase, with a gain of 6 percent over the year.

St. Clair, Ill., had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S. with a loss of 3.1 percent. County employment and wage data are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program, which produces detailed information on county employment and wages within six months after the end of each quarter.

The U.S. average weekly wage was unchanged over the year, remaining at $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Among midstate counties, Cumberland led the way, with 2.8 percent growth in wages, good enough to rank 24th among the large counties surveyed. Cumberland weekly wages averaged $890 as of December. In Dauphin, weekly wages averaged $970, a 1.8 percent increase year over year. Lancaster, at $828 (1.7 percent), and York, at $839 (0.2 percent), rounded out the midstate data.

Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 6.5 percent. Within Santa Cruz, an average weekly wage gain of $416, or 32.9 percent, in manufacturing made the largest contribution to the increase in average weekly wages. Douglas, Colo., experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 29.7 percent over the year.

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