Wages in the U.S. grew for the eighth consecutive quarter, according to the newly updated PayScale Index. U.S. wages increased 0.5 percent since Q1 2017 and 2.4 percent since Q2 2016.
However, real wages were flat quarter-over-quarter, meaning that wage growth kept pace with the inflation rate. The typical employees earning power is holding steady and is up slightly from a period of depressed and stagnant real wages from 2013 – 2015.
“Wages continue to experience modest growth with variability across industries, job families and metro areas,” said Katie Bardaro, Vice President of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale. “While the positive wage growth appears to be sustaining, real wages are again 7.5 percent lower than they were in 2006, so the price of goods is growing faster than most employees’ wages.”
Long-term wage growth is strongest in San Francisco, San Diego, Austin and Denver. Meanwhile, four Midwest cities experienced negative wage growth in Q2 including Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Chicago.
Where Wages are Growing Most – and Least
Wages in real estate rebounded with strong growth after several quarters of slow growth including Q1 2017. However, two job groups saw their wages suffer in the past quarter: legal jobs and accounting and finance jobs. However, quarterly growth for legal jobs often fluctuates by quarter and annual growth is on par with the national average.
Wages in sales jobs grew quickly at 1.4 percent for the quarter, though longer-term wage growth is still lagging. Wages in sales jobs were hit hardest by the financial crisis and even last quarter’s growth still leaves these jobs at the bottom of the list in growth since 2006.
Curious how wages differed for your area, industry, or set of jobs? Download the Q2 2017 PayScale Index.
Q2 2017 Wage Growth in Canada
Wage growth in Canada ticked slightly up relative to the past couple of quarters, currently at 13.8 percent growth since 2006. Since 2006, Toronto, ON has experienced the least wage growth while the oil city of Edmonton, AB has experienced the most. For more details on which metro areas are hot in Canada, see the Q2 2017 Canada PayScale Index Canada.
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