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Current Trends in Total Compensation

Early 2011 Compensation Trends: Differences by Location

By Staff Writer

If you’re looking to describe a single, national trend in US wages, you might run into trouble. These days, trends vary widely from city to city, according to The PayScale Index, with some town's wages growing steadily and others’ continuing to slip downwards. Let’s look at who’s pulling ahead and who is falling behind.

2011 Compensation Trends Report
Are wages rising or falling in your industry, town or company size? Download a free, custom compensation trends report from The PayScale Index for Q1 2011 and get up-to-date on your market.

The results of The PayScale Index for Q1 of 2011 were released this week and shed light of the state of US wages. The PayScale Index follows changes in wages of employed US workers, revealing trends in compensation over time. It specifically measures the quarterly change in the total cash compensation of full-time private industry employees nationally, with additional detail on the 20 largest metropolitan areas, 15 industries, and three company sizes.

Two standout towns, in terms of recovery, are Boston and New York City. Both have seen steady, though small, growth for an entire year. At the end of Q1 2011, Boston’s wages are up nearly one percent over a year earlier. New York is showing a similar pattern of steady growth, staying ahead of national trends over the last year.

 

Quarterly Compensation Trends for National (US)
The PayScale Index uses 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline.
National (US)
Boston Metro Area
Get a Free Salary Report
Compensation Data Provided by PayScale, Inc.

 

Quarterly Compensation Trends for National (US)
The PayScale Index uses 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline.
National (US)
New York Metro Area
Get a Free Salary Report
Compensation Data Provided by PayScale, Inc.

“What we are seeing in parts of the country not as affected by the construction industry, like New York, Baltimore and Boston, is that wages have gone up a bit, 0.3 to one percent over a year’s time,” says Al Lee, PayScale’s director of quantitative analysis and leader of the research done for The PayScale Index. Lee points out that the northeast saw little of the population growth and housing boom that occurred in other parts of the country. And, now, northeast towns are recovering from the recession faster than many other areas of the country.

The reverse is happening in the Inland Empire, Riverside and Los Angeles, Calif., where wages are going down. "It is a local story," says Lee, "The places that have been growing a lot have a back log of houses that no one can afford to buy." He points out that if an area's economy is construction dependent, it's economic health continues suffer. Boston and New York have the tech industry, finance and healthcare to keep them financially strong.

Quarterly Compensation Trends for National (US)
The PayScale Index uses 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline.
National (US)
Los Angeles Metro Area
Get a Free Salary Report
Compensation Data Provided by PayScale, Inc.
Quarterly Compensation Trends for National (US)
The PayScale Index uses 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline.
National (US)
Riverside, Calif. Metro Area
Get a Free Salary Report
Compensation Data Provided by PayScale, Inc.

The Conclusion

“Overall, there is nothing dramatic happening. No one is getting the three percent raises of 2007, nonetheless some places are up slightly.”

Are you curious how your industry, town or company size’s wage trends compare to others’ or the nation’s? Request a report from The PayScale Index that is specific to you.

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