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The PayScale Index Shows Real Wages on the Rise

Topics: Data & Research
PayScale Index
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This week, PayScale released the Q3 2017 PayScale Index, which tracks the increase in pay for employed workers across the U.S. and Canada.

The Index showed that wages increased for the ninth consecutive quarter, growing 0.7 percent since Q2 2017 and 2.8 percent since Q3 2016. Real wages — the buying power of workers’ earnings, when inflation is taken into account — improved as well. During the previous quarter, real wages were 7.4 percent lower than before the recession. In Q3, that narrowed to 6.9 percent lower.

“It’s encouraging to see that wage growth has been consistently increasing for more than two years now with variability across various regions and industries,” said Katie Bardaro, Vice President of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale, in a statement. “While wages are on the uptick, real wage growth is still about 7 percent lower than pre-recession levels in 2006.”

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Where Wages Are Growing

Wage growth was strongest in these five metro areas:

The cities that experienced the lowest year-over-year wage growth were Washington, DC (2.1 percent), Boston, MA (2.0 percent), Pittsburgh, PA (1.9 percent), Minneapolis, MN (1.2 percent) and Milwaukee, WI (1.0 percent).

In job categories, science and biotech jobs showed the highest year-over-year wage growth at 3.6 percent, followed by sales (3.5 percent) and retail (3.4 percent).

On the industry side, finance and insurance topped the list at 3.6 percent year-over-year wage growth, followed by construction (2.9 percent) and real estate (2.8 percent).

For more information on trends in compensation across industries, job types and metro areas, see The PayScale Index.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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