Wages in Whatcom County took a dip in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a new federal report.
The average weekly wage at the end of 2011 was $773, down 0.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among the nine largest Washington counties listed by the BLS, Whatcom ranked eighth highest in terms of wages, ahead of Yakima ($648 average weekly wage) but well behind King County ($1,220).
Whatcom's wage decrease was less than the national trend. The U.S. average weekly wage in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $955, down 1.7 percent compared to a year earlier. The U.S. average wage decrease was one of only five declines in the history of this report, which dates back to 1978. According to the report, smaller bonus payments in the fourth quarter of 2011 contributed to the national decrease.
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