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Delawareans earn 7th-best wages/salaries in U.S.

Delawareans earn 7th-best wages in U.S.

By LULADEY B. TADESSE, The News Journal

Posted Friday, August 25, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Delaware’s workers earned the seventh highest average weekly wage in the nation in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to a report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s weekly wage averaged $937 in the fourth quarter of last year, up 6 percent, from the same period of 2004.
Delaware experienced the second highest growth in average wages between 2004 and 2005 compared with the rest if the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state’s average weekly wages were $112 above that of the nation.
“It’s not unusual for the state of Delaware to record in the upper level of average weekly wages,” said Sheila Watkins, regional commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Philadelphia.
States along the East Coast stretching from New Hampshire to Virginia tend to have the highest wage levels in the country. Nine of the 13 states in that region surpassed the U.S. average wage of $825.

Del. workers earn 7th-highest salary in U.S.

Corporate bonuses may have helped state in study of weekly wages, labor officials say

By LULADEY B. TADESSE, The News Journal

Posted Saturday, August 26, 2006

Delaware’s workers earn the seventh-highest average weekly wage in the nation, according to a report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The state’s weekly wage averaged $937 in the fourth quarter of 2005, up 6 percent from the same period a year earlier.  Delaware experienced the second-highest growth in average wages between 2004 and 2005 compared with the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state’s average weekly wage was 13.6 percent, or $112, above that of the nation’s, which was $825.  In 2004, the state also ranked seventh with a weekly average wage of $883, up 7 percent from a year earlier. The state had the second highest growth in average wages between 2003 and 2004.

“It’s not unusual for the state of Delaware to record in the upper level of average weekly wages,” said Sheila Watkins, regional commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Philadelphia.  Watkins said Delaware, particularly New Castle County, has higher wages because it is the home of many banking and financial services companies and has headquarters for other large corporations.  State labor officials said the wages surveyed in the fourth quarter likely are higher than other times during the year because many large corporations hand out bonuses at the end of the year.

“I would say the bonuses to corporate officers was greater last year,” said Ed Simon, senior director of labor market information at the Delaware Department of Labor. “If you subtract that out it would be more of a typical year.”

The bonuses and stock options also led to the 6 percent rise in wages. The typical Delaware worker did not receive a 6 percent raise, Simon said.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide data from previous years for comparison about hourly wage earners versus those in white collar jobs.  East Coast states from New Hampshire to Virginia tend to have high wage levels. Nine of the 13 states in that region surpassed the U.S. average weekly wage.

AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE

Top three

District of Columbia: $1,354

Connecticut: $1,080

New York: $1,048

In the region

Delaware: $937 (7th)

Maryland: $910 (8th)

New Jersey: $1,011 (5th)

Pennsylvania: $801 (17th)

U.S. average: $825

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