Utica, NY (WIBX) - You may not believe it, but Utica's economy is growing. That's the news coming from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Martin Kohli is our regular go-to economist with the bureau. He says although workers in the Utica-Rome area earn substantially less than other state workers, local wages increased by more than 4-percent.

"Wages were up over the year by 4.2 percent in Utica, and this compares well to what was going on a year ago when wages had declined by 4.2 percent over the year, and throughout this time we're basically seeing larger wage increases this year than we saw a year ago," he said. Another positive development is the 2.4 percent increase in employment the area has seen since April. "More people are working and that's giving workers a little bit more bargaining power than they had a year ago," Kohli said. According to the report, the average weekly wage in the state is $933.00. For Utica and Rome that figure is $636.00.

When compared to the study on Consumer Finances released yesterday by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors--showing a nearly 40 percent decline in household wealth and medium income--there is some consistency, however, Kohli says the report does not incorporate 2011-2012 data. The findings come from 2007 to 2010 figures. "They're not picking up basically part of the recovery that's happened in the last year," he said. Kohli says the bottom line is that we're seeing wage and job growth in the Utica-Rome area again, which is encouraging.

Click here to see what New Yorkers earned in 2011.