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These 5 Cities Had the Highest Median Wage Growth, 2005-2015

Topics: Data & Research

Recently, Headlight Data released a report examining median wage growth in major metro areas over the past decade, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data and adjusted for inflation. In that time, notes Karsten Strauss at Forbes, median wage growth for the country was 1.3 percent — which makes 5+ percent wage growth in the cities at the top of the list all that more impressive. (The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, forecasts 1 percent year-over-year wage growth for Q4 2016.)

median wage growth
Image Credit: szeke/Flickr

These were the cities in which pay grew the most from 2005 to 2015:

  1. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is the second-most populous city in Texas and the seventh most-populous in the U.S., and was the fastest growing large American city from 2000 to 2010.

Median Wage Growth 2005-2015: 9.5 percent

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Common Employers: U.S. Airforce, Rackspace, US Inc., Southwest Research Institute

  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Traditionally a manufacturing center, particularly known for steel, Pittsburgh shifted its focus in the wake of American deindustrialization in the 1980s and is now home to employers in the tech, healthcare, and finance sector, among others.

Median Wage Growth 2005-2015: 7.5 percent

Common Employers: The PNC Financial Services Group, University of Pittsburgh, Highmark, Inc.

  1. San Jose, California

At the center of Silicon Valley, San Jose offers high wages for tech workers, but at a price: a cost-of-living that makes a six-figure salary seem middle-class.

Median Wage Growth 2005-2015: 7.2 percent

Common Employers: Cisco Systems, Inc., eBay, Inc., PayPal, Inc.

  1. Houston, Texas

The largest city in the southeastern U.S., Houston has the second-most Fortune-500 companies of any American city after New York, and has several strong industries, including energy, healthcare, and technology.

Median Wage Growth 2005-2015: 6.4 percent

Common Employers: Schlumberger, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, National Oilwell Varco

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana

The first year of the decade measured by the report was a disastrous one for New Orleans, which suffered huge physical and economic damage in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. By 2010, however, the Census found that many New Orleans neighborhoods had regained or exceeded their pre-Katrina populations. New Orleans is home to one of the world’s busiest ports, as well as oil refineries, Tulane University, and businesses related to healthcare.

Median Wage Growth 2005-2015: 6.3 percent

Common Employers: Tulane University, Ochsner, Entergy Corp

For more information, see Forbes’ roundup of the cities with the highest and lowest median wage growth. To see how your pay stacks up, take PayScale’s Salary Survey today.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you live in one of these cities — and if so, have your wages risen during this time? Tell us about your experience, in the comments, or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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