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Hooray! Widespread Positive Wage Trends in Q2 2012


When we say "Hip, hip" you say "Hooray!" if you'd like to help us celebrate some recent, happy wage trend news. While earnings in certain segments of the economy have been growing in the last few years, Q2 2012 marked the first quarter since the Great Wage Slump (circa 2009) that wages grew in every category tracked in The PayScale Index. Every one. Ready, "Hip, hip!" (Now, you go.)

The PayScale Index follows changes in wages for employed workers. More specifically, it measures the quarterly change in the total cash compensation of full-time private industry U.S. employees nationally, with additional detail on the 20 largest metropolitan areas, 15 industries, 19 job categories, three company sizes, as well as national wage trends for Canada and the six largest metros areas in Canada. Say that 10 times fast.

"Industries like tech and cities like Houston have enjoyed quickly rising wages in the last year while other groups have suffered continued drops. Q2 2012 is the quarter that Detroit, Riverside and the construction industry all made wage gains," says lead analyst at PayScale, Katie Bardaro.

What were some of the other highlights from The PayScale Index Q2 2012?

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Small company wage trends outpaced large company ones, growing 2.7 percent year-over-year, compared to large companies' 1.8 percent. Typically, wages rise fastest at large companies. This could mean that small companies are hiring more often than they were a year ago.

Houston won "Hottest Metro" in PayScale's Q2 2012 ranking, with 3.0 percent annual wage growth, while San Diego, Seattle and Miami tied for a close second at 2.9 percent.

– The mining, oil and gas exploration industry whooped every other industry with 5.6 percent annual wage growth, while earnings in the utilities industry (4.2 percent annually) and the professional, scientific and tech services industry (3.0 percent annually) put in solid performances but remained several percentage points behind the leader.

– In a heart-warming, post-recession comeback tale, wages for workers in transportation jobs grew an impressive 3.8 percent annually, by the end of Q2. People and things must be moving again. Meanwhile, IT jobs (3.4 percent annually) earnings were in second place and marketing and advertising jobs wages were third (2.8 percent annually).

Learn more about the Q2 2012 Index results and see how your city, company size, job category or industry compare.

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(photo credit: flickr/runningclouds)


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