The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has just released total compensation information by county for 2009.
Although most of Utah's counties actually saw an increase in average compensation per job during 2009, most counties also experienced a decline in total compensation. The reason for this seeming contradiction? Yes, blame the recession. A decline in employment meant total earnings/compensation declined for most areas in the state.
On the other hand, why did average compensation actually rise for most counties in the midst of job loss? Typically in a downturn it is last hired-first hired. In other words many of the lower paying jobs are lost first--which actually creates an increase in the average wage. Go figure. This isn't anything new--most recessions show a similar pattern.
Note: compenation is the income received by employees as remuneration for their work. Compensation is the sum of wage and salary disbursements and supplements to wages and salaries. Supplements to wages and salaries consist of employer contributions for government social insurance and employer contributions for employee pension and insurance funds. Compensation is reported by place of work. The level of personal income in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) differs from the national total in the state personal income statistics because of differences in coverage and the timing of the availability of source data. See Personal Income in the NIPAs and State Personal Income for more information.
For more information about the recently release compensation data go to: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/comp/comp_newsrelease.htm