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PayScale Index Forecasts Stagnant Wage Growth for Q1

Several talent markets remain highly volatile, even while U.S. national wage growth appears to be stalled

Seattle, WA – January 14, 2014 – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q4 2014 PayScale Index which tracks quarterly and annual trends in compensation and also provides a U.S. national wage forecast for the coming quarter. The Index shows national wages for Q4 increased 0.6 percent and the average 12-month change in U.S. wages across all industries in Q4 was a 1.8 percent. Of note, previous top performing measures in the Index such as the oil and gas industry and IT jobs experienced a decline in Q4. The PayScale Index also forecasts national wage growth in Q1 2015 will stagnate at 0.0 percent. Finally, the Index shows real wage growth is down 7.5 percent since 2006, a measure calculated by analyzing nominal wage growth and the average change in price of a fixed basket of goods and services.


“The last quarter of 2014 was a mixed bag in terms of annual wage growth indicating ongoing volatility in our economy which is expected to continue into early 2015,” said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist at PayScale. “Some measures such as retail, food services and legal jobs experienced significant positive wage growth, while others including the oil and gas sector and IT jobs fell in the last months of 2014.”  


Key findings in the Q4 2014 PayScale Index:

  • Legal Jobs On the Rise:
    • Legal jobs saw the largest annual wage growth (3.8 percent) and annual wage growth for legal jobs is the second highest it’s been since the Index’s inception in 2006.
  • Industry Highlights:
    • Unlike most quarters since 2006, the oil and gas industry had the second lowest annual growth (0.9 percent), likely resulting from the recent drop in gas prices. However, this industry has experienced impressive wage growth of 19.3 percent since 2006, the highest of any industry.
    • Real Estate may be recovering with high quarterly wage growth of 0.7 percent in Q4. The last quarter’s performance brings the industry’s annual wage growth to 3.3 percent, third overall.
    • IT jobs had relatively small wage growth in Q4 at 0.3 percent, resulting in 1.6 percent annual wage growth the job category. However, IT still boasts an impressive wage growth of 11.5 percent since 2006.
  • U.S. Metro Wage Growth:
    • The top five U.S. metro areas experiencing the highest annual wage growth in Q4 are:
      • San Diego, CA (3.7 percent)
      • San Francisco (3.6 percent)
      • Seattle, WA (2.8 percent)
      • Houston, TX (2.6 percent)
      • Dallas, TX (2.5 percent)
    • The bottom two U.S. metros experiencing the lowest annual wage growth are:
      • Washington, DC (0.5 percent)
      • Miami, FL (0.9 percent)
  • Canadian Metro Wage Growth:
    • Edmonton, AB had the best annual wage growth of any Canadian city at 1.3 percent.
    • Vancouver, BC also had an inspiring year with annual wage growth of 1.2 percent.
    • The oil cities of Edmonton and Calgary still dominate the Canadian metropolitan areas for most growth since 2006 at 21.8 and 18.4 percent, respectively.
    • Toronto and Ottawa had the worst annual wage growth in Canada at 0.3 and -0.7 percent, respectively.
  • United Kingdom:
    • In the U.K., Q4 quarterly wage growth increased 0.3 percent. In addition, U.K. wages grew by 8.3 percent since 2006, falling behind Canada (11.5 percent) and the U.S. (8.5 percent).


To view the entire interactive Q4 2014 PayScale Index which reflects wage trends across various industries, job categories, company sizes and major metros, please visit:

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 2015
  • 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 more than 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 Cummins, Warby Parker, Zendesk, Clemson University and Covenant Dove. For more information, please visit:  or follow PayScale on Twitter:

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