Whatcom County wages rise 3.1 percent in first quarter

Wages in Whatcom County rose in the first quarter, according to a new study.

Whatcom’s average weekly wage was $801 in the first quarter of 2014, up 3.1 percent compared to a year earlier, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That ranks Whatcom County ninth highest out of the 10 largest Washington metro areas. King County tops the list at $1,353, a 4.7 percent increase compared to a year earlier.

Yakima County is at the bottom of the list, at $653 a week, which is a 2 percent increase from a year earlier. Snohomish County wages had the biggest one-year jump among Washington’s metro areas, rising 6.9 percent to $1,161 a week.

Chester, Pa., had the largest annual increase at 13.9 percent, while Benton, Ark. had the largest decrease, down 3.2 percent.