Ventura County ranked 11th among California counties with the highest average pay per job in 2010, according to new estimates released Wednesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The average annual pay per job in Ventura County was $49,968, up 2.15 percent from 2009.
The modest uptick was no surprise to Mark Schniepp, director of The California Economic Forecast in Santa Barbara. He thinks local layoffs between 2008 and 2010 eliminated lower-paid workers, leaving behind those with higher salaries and pushing the average up.
Statewide, the average pay per job in 2010 was $54,399. Santa Clara County had the highest average pay in California at $90,208.
Ventura County has large agricultural and tourism sectors that tend to pay lower wages, Schniepp said, and they dilute the county's average, dragging it under the state's.
Average earnings per job take into consideration all wages and salaries of those who earn income from jobs in the county, not those who commute to work in other counties.
The bureau considers Ventura County a large county — one with a population of at least 250,000. Large counties represent 8 percent of the 3,113 counties in the U.S. but account for 68 percent of personal income for the nation.
Per capita income, or income from all sources, in large counties during 2010 ranged from a low of $20,946 in Hidalgo, Texas, to a high of $111,386 in New York.
In 2010 in Ventura County, per capita income was $44,653, up from $43,881 in 2009.
Three California counties had the highest per capita personal incomes in the Far West region of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington: Marin, $82,936; San Francisco, $70,190; and San Mateo, $67,964.
Consumer confidence appears to be showing modest signs of improvement as personal income rises. Confidence was virtually unchanged from March to April, according to The Conference Board, a private research group based in New York.
"Consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," said the board's director, Lynn Franco.