Employees in New Jersey have wages that are almost 16% higher than the national average, but the cost of living is over 22% higher than the national average. The average weekly wage in the Garden State is $1,232.

Does it ever seem as if everybody has a government job? Not even close. According to Stavera, almost 86% of employees work for private companies, about 10% work for local governments, and about 3% work for the state government. If you add in the federal employees, about 14% of the four million New Jerseyans who are working are employed by a government entity. Federal employees have the highest weekly average among those four sectors at over $1,500, followed by state government. Local government employees and private sector workers earn about the same.

Some other interesting employment facts: The largest private sector employment categories are Health Care and Social Assistance, followed by Retail Trade and then Accommodation and Food Services. Unfortunately, though, the food and accommodation workers have the lowest weekly wage at $480. Management has the highest average wage at $3,215 per week with financial and insurance workers second, earning an average $2,445 a week.

One final note: Small businesses make up the lion’s share of private companies. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees make up over 85% of employers and if you just look at companies with 5 or fewer workers, it’s 62%.

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