Peoria County Ranks Tops for Wage Increase
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from March 2010 to March 2011, employment increased in 256 of the 322 largest U.S. counties. The U.S. average weekly wage increased over the year by 5.2 percent to $935 in the first quarter of 2011. Among the large counties in the U.S., Peoria, Ill., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages in the first quarter of 2011 with a gain of 18.9 percent.
The Heartland Partnership President & CEO, Jim McConoughey, says “This is not happening just by luck, it is happening because we have identified growth sectors that will provide high tech and high wage jobs to the region and we are deliberately enhancing the business climate so that those sectors can thrive.” The report states within Peoria County, professional and business services had the largest impact on the county’s over-the-year increase in average weekly wages. McConoughey says “The professional and business services industries includes attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, etc. These aren’t necessarily services for residents but for the business community. So as businesses grow in the area we see an increase in need for professional and technical services.” He says we are also seeing high paying and high tech jobs in industries including healthcare and specialized and advanced manufacturing.