The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that Erie County had average weekly wage growth above the national average of 3.8% from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019.
"Very excited to see that we are seeing positive growth and positive trends in the WNY area," said A.J. Baynes, president of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.
While Erie County still has a lower average wage compared to other large metropolitan areas, the region's low cost of living helps wage increases go farther.
"Success breeds success," added Matthew Hubacher, research director for Invest Buffalo Niagara.
Hubacher said local wages, along with the cost of living, are helping attract more people and businesses to Western NY because it costs companies less in startup costs. For employees, the money they make in Erie County has more spending power than in other major cities due to Buffalo/Niagara having a cost of living 5.2% below the national average.
"We continue to see interest from across the U.S. and the globe," said Hubacher.
The wage increases are being driven locally by the medical, hospitality, financial and technology sectors.
M&T Bank, headquartered in Buffalo, is one example as it looks to add to its 7,400 employees by filling 840 positions and hiring 1,000 technologists over the next three (3) to five (5) years for the bank's deployment of new technology
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Erie County had an average weekly wage of $850-$999. Niagara, Chautuaqua and Cattaraugus Counties all had a lower average weekly wage. The U.S. average weekly wage is $1,095.