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Wages Are Rising: Time for Your Paycheck Checkup

After quarter-upon-quarter of sad, recession-era wage news, we have something happy to tell you. According to the results of The PayScale Index for Q3 2012, we are two quarters into economy-wide wage increases for the first time since 2007.

Sure, things aren’t perfect and the country has seen better employment statistics (though the jobs report was somewhat positive last week) but, in all 57 measures tracked by The PayScale Index for the U.S., wages have moved up, not down, for the last six months. That’s big news and raises an important question: Have you checked your pay against the market recently?

It’s Your Time to Shine

Computer geeks often get paid well and probably assume their pay will go up no matter what. And, wages in Houston have been growing steadily since mid-2010, so oil industry folks there are used to expecting more. But now with earnings up in every city, industry, job category and company size, you’d be wise to review your pay levels. You’re now in that, “You’re so lucky because wages are up in your industry/city/company size/job category” crowd.

How High Are These Increases?

Nationwide, wages are up 3 percent compared to a year ago.

 

 

That means that in some cities – like Houston, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle and New York – wages are up even more than 3 percent, while towns like St. Louis, Phoenix and Baltimore are only at 1.6 percent annual wage growth. But, 1.6 percent is better than nothing and much better than the wage depression we saw during and after the recession.

Find Out About You

If you are a private industry employee, you likely fall into some category covered in the Index, even if it is simply “small companies.” (And guess what? Wages at small companies are up and grew even more quickly than those at large and medium companies last quarter.) It’s likely you’re due for an earnings review.

Every day, our team of data scientists crunches the numbers on the millions and millions of surveys in PayScale’s database, adding the most up-to-date information and tossing out the old. You can’t find fresher information anywhere. So here is what you can do:

• If you haven’t yet, take the PayScale salary survey. In a matter of minutes, you’ll know where you stand in the market, meaning what you should be earning versus what you currently are earning.

OR

Update your existing PayScale profile. Tell us what’s new – skills, education, experience, promotion – and we’ll recalculate your pay number according to the latest pay data.

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(photo credit: flickr/penguinpanini)

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