The PayScale Index » Highlights (US)

PayScale Index Q1 2015 Highlights

Q1 2015 saw a slight overall downtick in wages of -0.1 percent. Compared to PayScale’s forecasted stagnation (0.0 percent change), this slight suppression in wage growth doesn’t really surprise us based on current economic conditions.

History (Probably) Repeats Itself

PayScale predicts another slight decrease in overall US wages in Q2 2015. The PayScale Wage Forecast estimates a decrease of 0.1 percent in the upcoming quarter. However, this slight dip will still keep annual wage growth steady at 1.7 percent.

Winners and Losers:

  • STEM focused jobs, including IT jobs, Engineering jobs and Science and Biotech jobs, which are usually amongst the highest performers, experienced a wage slowdown in Q1. However, these jobs still report overall wage increases of around 10 percent since 2006.
  • Metros with a high prevalence of STEM workers also experienced wage slowdowns this quarter: San Diego and Seattle had negative growth over the last quarter (-0.6 percent and -0.4 percent respectively), while Boston had zero growth and San Francisco only had a slight uptick of 0.5 percent.
  • It’s not just oil prices that are down -- wages for Mining, Oil and Gas Exploration dipped down in Q1 by 0.8 percent. However, this industry still ranks top for wage growth since 2006 with an increase of 19 percent.

  • Real estate tied with the wholesale trade industry for the largest annual growth in wages for Q1 (3 percent). This mirrors the housing price growth over the last few years. In the last two years, wages in real estate have grown more than five percent. Similarly, Zillow reports the average U.S. home price has grown by almost 10 percent.

  • Construction is also experiencing a recovery. The Construction industry was fourth for best annual wage growth with 2.7 percent, and annual wage growth for Construction jobs topped the list for all job categories with 2.9 percent. Quarterly wage growth was tied for second with 0.6 percent for this job category.

  • Wage growth for Large companies took a slight dip (-0.3 percent), while wages continued to rise for Medium (0.3 percent) and Small (0.3 percent) companies.

  • Wage growth for Large companies took a slight dip (-0.3 percent), while wages continued to rise for Medium (0.3 percent) and Small (0.3 percent) companies.

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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 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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