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The PayScale Index Shows Annual Wage Growth of 1.8 Percent for Q1


Are wages growing? It depends on what industry you’re in. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, updated this morning, reflecting 1.8 percent annual growth across all industries for the first quarter. Quarterly growth, however, was 0.2 percent, and some sectors fared better than others. For example, while wages grew 4.6 percent for transportation jobs, they declined 2.2 percent for marketing and advertising jobs.


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“Most measures for Q1 2016 show positive wage growth across many industries and job families,” said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist at PayScale. “However, most of the data from the Q1 Index reports less than 3 percent annual wage growth which means, overall, wage growth for most jobs in the U.S. still remains relatively flat.”

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A few highlights from the Q1 Index include:

  • Wages for IT jobs declined this quarter (-0.1 percent growth). However, wages for some IT jobs like Data Analyst and Data Scientist actually grew, and many tech hubs saw wage growth, like Seattle (3.6 percent), Minneapolis (2.6 percent), and San Francisco (2.4 percent).
  • Transportation jobs saw the highest wage growth (4.6 percent), and the industry saw the second-highest growth, after Utilities.
  • Mining, Oil, and Gas Exploration continued its decline with an annual decrease of 0.7 percent. Even so, the industry still tops the list for overall wage growth since 2006, at 17 percent.

PayScale forecasts year-over-year wage growth of 2 percent for the second quarter of 2016, and a -0.2 percent increase in wages compared to the previous quarter.

The Real Wage Index, which incorporates the Consumer Price Index into the PayScale Index and shows the buying power of earnings for full-time, private-industry workers, shows that real wages have fallen 6.5 percent since 2006 (despite the fact that nominal wages have grown 9.5 percent in the same time-frame.)

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Did your wages increase this year? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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