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PayScale Predicts Annual Wage Growth of 0.7 Percent for Q1 2014

The PayScale Index for Q4 2013 shows an 18 percent rise in Oil and Gas sector wages since 2006; Small Company wage growth stalls

Seattle, WA – January 7, 2014 – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q4 2013 PayScale Index which tracks quarterly and annual trends in compensation and provides a U.S. national wage forecast for the coming quarter. The PayScale Index also includes a “Real Wage Index” –which reveals shifts in ‘real wages’ by analyzing statistics from the Consumer Price Index and Unemployment figures together with PayScale’s rich compensation data.

In its Q3 2013 release, PayScale forecasted U.S. national wages would grow 0.1 percent between Q3 and Q4 2013. The actual quarterly growth calculated for this Q4 2013 release is 0.2 percent.  For Q1 2014, PayScale predicts quarterly wage growth to be a slight uptick of 0.2 percent, resulting in annual wage growth of 0.7 percent.

“2013 proved to be a disappointing year for wage growth,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale. “Wages grew by less than 0.5 percent for the year compared to almost 3 percent growth in 2012. Our forecast for Q1 2014 predicts the slow wage growth in 2013 will continue into 2014.”

Real Wages Still Behind 2006 Rates

In Q3 2013 PayScale introduced the PayScale Real Wage Index, which tracks the percentage change in real wages since 2006. This measures the buying power of the income for a typical full-time, private industry worker. PayScale calculations for Q4 2013 show that even with continued growth, current wages still have less buying power than they did in 2006.

“We see that nominal wages have not kept pace with inflation,” Bardaro said. “In fact, real wages have dropped slightly more than 7 percent since 2006. This means the increases observed in nominal wages are not enough to outpace the increases experienced in the prices of goods and services. In other words, the income for a typical full-time, private industry worker buys them less than it did in 2006.” 

Key Findings from the Q4 2013 PayScale Index:

Wage growth in the Oil & Gas sector is now fully recovered from the Q2 2013 dip, rising above its previous peak in Q1 2013. Wages in the Oil and Gas industry have now grown 18 percent since 2006 – the largest growth by far of any PayScale Index measure.

After a steep rise to the top, wage growth for small companies fell below both medium and large companies. Wages in Q4 2013 fell by 0.2 percent for small companies, but grew by 0.1 percent for large companies and by 0.5 percent for medium companies.

Food Service experienced both ups and downs this quarter. Wages dropped 0.2 percent this quarter, but were up 0.7 percent year-over-year, putting them in third place for annual growth across included industries. Food service jobs did better with quarterly growth of 0.3 percent and annual growth of 1.9 percent.

For the first time in more than a year, wages fell in the Transportation sector. Wages fell 0.8 percent this quarter for the Transportation industry, but annual growth was 1.2 percent. Wages for Transportation jobs also fell this quarter by 0.9 percent.

Wages for the Tech sector continued to heat up, but remain below previous flame points. After some sluggish growth in early 2013, wages for IT jobs rose 0.2 percent over the quarter and 1.2 percent over the year.

The PayScale Indices for Canada and the United Kingdom show both countries outpacing U.S. growth in wages. Wages in the U.K. are up 8.3 percent since 2006, outpacing the 7.4 percent U.S. wage growth by almost a full percentage point. Meanwhile, 11.2 percent wage growth has Canada outpacing the U.S. by almost 4 percentage points.

To view the entire interactive Q4 2013 PayScale Index which reflects wage trends across various industries, job categories, company sizes and major metros, please visit: http://www.payscale.com/payscale-index.

About The PayScale Index:

The PayScale Index follows changes in total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The PayScale Index also includes:

  • A forecast of the National U.S. PayScale Index for Q1 2014
  • A PayScale Real Wage Index, which tracks changes in wages adjusted for inflation since 2006

For more information on The PayScale Index, please visit the methodology and FAQ pages.

About PayScale:

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world containing 40 million salary profiles, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index™, PayScale’s subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate™, PayScale Insight™, and PayScale Insight Expert™. PayScale's cloud compensation software is used by more than 3,000 customers including Mozilla, Tully’s Coffee, Clemson University, and the United States Postal Service. For more information, please visit:  www.payscale.com or follow PayScale on Twitter: http://twitter.com/payscale.

Press Contacts:
Steven Gottlieb
Email: press@payscale.com
Tel: 206-427-9591

Phyllis McNeice
Email:  phyllis@fireflycmns.com
Tel:  206-954-1481