King County turned in sizzling wage growth in the latest snapshot of the labor market. Job growth was above average, too.
King County ranked No. 2 nationally in wage growth for the first quarter. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report today covered the 345 largest U.S. counties.
Weekly wages here increased by 5.1 percent to $1,456 through March compared with the first quarter of 2015. Nationally, wages fell 0.5 percent to $1,043.
The ranking is based on percentage change. So No. 1 in average weekly wage growth was Clayton County, Ga., part of the Atlanta metro area and home to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (but a population of about 260,000). Tops in job growth was the Nashville suburb of Williamson County, Tenn., with a 7.9 percent increase.
King County ranked 44th in job growth, up 3.6 percent year over year. Nationally the increase was 2 percent. Professional and business services saw the largest gain. King was also ninth among counties in total employment, with nearly 1.3 million employed.
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I know what some of you are thinking, but this doesn’t really tell us anything about the long-term affects of Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage experiment. Still, the propaganda about massive job losses proved bogus — again.
In Pierce County, average wages rose 0.6 percent to $895 a week. It ranked 123rd. Snohomish County ranked 38th with a 2 percent increase. Jobs increased 3.4 percent in Pierce and 2.8 percent in Snohomish.
Nationally, the technopolis power narrative didn’t hold consistent in this snapshot — and it is only that. For example, Austin’s Travis County ranked 24th in wage growth and 94th in job growth. Boston’s Suffolk County ranked 109th and 233rd respectively. And San Francisco came in at 277th in wage growth but 8th in job growth.
Elsewhere in the Northwest, Portland’s Multnomah County ranked 9th in wage growth and 55th in job growth. You can read the report here.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Robots on the line
Slow learners in Everett
Call union humans