PayScale Index Q4 2016 Highlights

  • Wages climb for the sixth straight quarter
    • Wage growth continued at the national level, with nominal wages growing at 0.6% from Q3 2016 and 1.7% since Q4 2015. The last time wages fell at the national level was Q2 2015.

  • Nearly all regions see growth while tech hubs start to flag.
    • San Diego, Detroit, and St. Louis posted the highest year-over-year growth, while Houston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. had the lowest.
    • Excepting San Francisco (with 1.5% quarter-over-quarter growth), tech hubs experienced either sluggish growth or, in the case of the Seattle, a slight contraction in wages since Q3 2016.

  • Wages in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation get an exceptionally large seasonal boost
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation topped the list of industries in terms of quarterly wage growth, but we have seen strong Q4 performance in these wages that tends to be balanced by relatively low growth in other seasons.
    • Wages in Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing contracted significantly this quarter and have a meager 0.2% annual wage growth.

  • Transportation and Legal jobs end 2016 strong.
    • Wages in transportation jobs saw the largest percentage increase, both quarter-over-quarter (3.0%) and year-over-year (4.5%), greatly outpacing the national averages.
    • Legal jobs also saw strong wage growth in the past quarter. Wages in these jobs have lagged far behind the national average since 2006, but the 2.9% quarterly wage growth to end 2016 has made up nearly half that difference.
    • Jobs in Human Resources, Media & Publishing, and Architecture & Engineering had the lowest growth of any job groupings.

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Methodology for The PayScale Index: Trends in Compensation
The PayScale Index tracks quarterly changes in total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees and education professionals in the United States. In addition to a national index, it includes separate indices for specific industries, metropolitan areas, job categories, and company sizes. The PayScale Index uses 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline.

See full methodology for compensation trend reports.

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