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PayScale Index Forecasts Wage Growth in Q1 Under New Trump Administration

Q4 wage growth across the U.S. exceeds forecast, despite uncertainty following election

Seattle, WA – January 10, 2017 – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q4 2016 PayScale Index, which tracks quarterly and annual trends in compensation and provides a U.S. wage forecast for the coming quarter.

The most recent Index shows that wages grew 1.7 percent annually in the last quarter of 2016, outpacing the forecast which predicted year-over-year wages would only grow 1.0 percent nationally. In addition, the Index revealed remarkable wage growth in Q4 for transportation, food service and legal positions, as well as jobs in the San Diego area, despite claims of economic contraction after the recent election. PayScale will closely monitor changes in the mining, healthcare and manufacturing industries which are the most likely to be impacted by new Trump policies.

“Many experts expected to see poor performance across various economic indicators due to uncertainty after the election, as markets and industries lacked confidence about the future climate for our businesses,” said Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale. “However, the most recent Index shows wage growth was not only positive, but outperformed expectations. It appears the incoming administration’s plan to promote business and reduce regulations has resulted in stronger than average wage growth in select industries and jobs which should continue into the first quarter of 2017.”

Here are some of the key findings from the Q4 2016 PayScale Index:

  • Wages in transportation jobs saw the largest percentage increase with a remarkable 4.5 percent annual wage growth, greatly outpacing the national average of 1.7 percent.
  • Food service and restaurant wages grew by 3.6 percent over the past year, also outpacing the national average.
  • Legal jobs also experienced strong annual wage growth of 2.8 percent. These jobs have lagged far behind the national average for the last decade, but surged last quarter.
  • For the third quarter in a row, wages in San Diego experienced growth well above the national average with annual wage growth of 3.7 percent. 
  • However, wages in real estate, rental and leasing jobs contracted significantly this quarter with a meager 0.2 percent annual wage growth.
  • U.K. and Canadian Q4 wage growth:
    • In the U.K., wages grew markedly, resulting in 1.8 percent annual wage growth. Wage growth, as well as other economic indicators, have not contracted following Brexit thus far.
    • National wage growth in Canada grew by 1.0 percent annually last quarter with Vancouver greatly exceeding the national average with annual wage growth of 2.9 percent.

To view the entire interactive Q4 2016 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 2017
  • 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: PayScale powers compensation solutions in the cloud to provide immediate visibility into the right pay for any position. Creator of the world’s largest database of rich salary profiles, PayScale offers modern compensation software and real-time, data driven insights for employees and employers alike. More than 5,000 customers, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, use PayScale Benchmark™, PayScale Insight™ and MarketPay. These companies include Dish Network, Getty Images, Skullcandy, Bloomberg BNA and Time Warner.

For more information, please visit: or follow PayScale on Twitter:

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