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The PayScale Index Shows Wage Growth in Tech Centers

Topics: Data & Research

Want to see your wages climb? Live in a tech hub like Seattle or San Francisco, and work with data. Those are some of the big takeaways from the Q2 2016 PayScale Index, which updated this morning.

“Annual wage growth for IT jobs has actually been slightly below the national average in the first half of 2016,” said Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale, in a statement. “However, as more organizations use increasing amounts of data, data-centric jobs are in high demand and appear to be driving wages up in the technology centers such as Seattle and San Francisco.”

seattle payscale index

(Photo Credit: Andrew E. Larsen/Flickr)

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The PayScale Index tracks the change in wages for full-time, private-sector workers in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, and includes a forecast for the upcoming quarter.

The latest update shows:

  • Q2 2016: 2.5 percent year-over-year wage increase
  • Forecast for Q3 2016: 1.6 percent year-over-year wage increase

Annual Trends in Compensation for National (US)

National (US)
National (US) Forecast

Tech Hubs Are Booming

STEM-heavy metro areas like San Francisco and Seattle ranked high on the list of areas experiencing the most annual wage growth. The top five metros were:

Seattle also beat out Houston for the city with the highest wage growth since 2006, with 15.2 percent growth. San Francisco had the highest quarterly growth among the metros at 1.6 percent.

Data-focused jobs like data analyst, data scientist, and business intelligence analyst showed strong wage growth and contributed to climbing wages in metros with a high concentration of these occupations.

Other Highlights From the Update

  • Transportation jobs had the highest annual wage growth, at 4 percent, despite taking a slight dip of 0.2 percent in quarterly wage growth.
  • Annual wages in mining, oil, and gas exploration decreased 2.3 percent in Q2, and have fallen 3.5 percent over the past two quarters. Still, the industry topped the list for wage growth since 2006, at 14.9 percent.
  • The three metro areas with the lowest annual wage growth were: Louis, MO (1.8 percent), Philadelphia, PA (1.5 percent), Baltimore, MD (1.3 percent)

The Real Wage Index, which incorporates the Consumer Price Index into The PayScale Index and reflects the buying power of workers’ wages, shows that today’s earnings are worth 7.4 percent less than they were in 2006.

Tell Us What You Think

Have your wages increased this year? Tell us on Twitter, or leave your comment below.


Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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