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Feel Like Your Salary Is Shrinking? The Updated PayScale Index Explains Why

Topics: Data & Research
The PayScale Index
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Earlier this week, PayScale released the Q2 2019 PayScale Index, which tracks wages for employed U.S. workers. The PayScale Index showed that while nominal wages grew 0.3 percent since the first quarter, real wages fell 0.8 percent.

“While there are some encouraging signs with nominal wages growing in select industries and job families, this increase is still not enough to impact real wage growth in a meaningful way,” said Sudarshan Sampath, Director of Research at PayScale, in a statement. “Our most recent Index shows there are some bright spots in the economy, but many industries — those with a high proportion of blue-collar jobs, in particular — are still struggling.”

What Are Real Wages?

Real wages are the value of workers’ paychecks after inflation. The PayScale Real Wage Index measures real wages by incorporating the Consumer Price Index (CPI) into the PayScale Index, which tracks nominal wage growth.

The Index shows that while nominal wages have grown 14.4 percent since 2006, real wages have declined 9.8 percent during the same time period. A typical worker is therefore able to buy less today than in 2006.

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Where Wages Are Growing

Workers with jobs in Marketing & Advertising, Media & Publishing and Retail saw the largest year-over-year wage growth last quarter. Marketing & Advertising jobs grew 3 percent, while Media & Publishing and Retail jobs were tied at 2.8 percent.

Manufacturing & Production jobs and Transportation jobs showed the smallest wage growth, at 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, San Francisco topped the list of cities, with wage growth of 4.5 percent year-over-year, followed by Milwaukee (3.5 percent) and Portland (3.2 percent).

Pittsburgh and Cleveland showed the lowest wage growth at 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent.

Want more information on wage growth in the U.S. and Canada? See the Q2 2019 PayScale Index.

Tell Us What You Think

Have your wages grown this year? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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