If your paycheck hasn't moved in a while, this may or may not cheer you up.

The average weekly wage in New Jersey grew by 2.7% from the end of 2017 to the end of 2018, and 14 of New Jersey's largest counties saw wage growth over this period, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report finds the average New Jersey weekly wage in the fourth quarter of last year was $1,298, which ranks sixth nationally.

"The top wage change was 7.1% in Mercer County, and it goes all the way down to a wage decline of 0.4% in Union County," said regional economist Bruce Bergman.

The growth registered in Mercer County ranked 13th nationwide.

At 4.2%, Essex County was the only other large county (75,000 or more employees) to post a wage gain greater than the national average. Somerset County's 3.2% increase matched the national rate, followed by a 3.1% gain posted by Hudson County. Year-over-year gains ranged from 2.1 to 2.7% in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Morris counties.

Somerset County recorded the highest average weekly wage — $1,625.

Nationwide, 332 of the 349 largest counties recorded increases in average weekly wages, BLS noted.

Looking at the job count, BLS found employment grew in 12 of the 15 larger New Jersey counties from December 2017 to December 2018. Atlantic, Hudson and Ocean counties had employment increases above the national job growth rate of 1.5%.

"Atlantic County ... ranked No. 3 among over 300 large U.S. counties in terms of employment growth," Bergman said, noting the leisure and hospitality industry was the main driver.

Employment was highest in Bergen (457,000), followed by Middlesex (446,000). New Jersey's large counties accounted for 91% of total employment statewide.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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