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PayScale Index Shows Negative Wage Growth of 0.1 Percent in Q3 2014

Real wages down nearly 9 percent since 2006, PayScale forecasts nominal wage growth of 0.3 percent in Q4

Seattle, WA – October 2, 2014 – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q3 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 wages for Q3 decreased 0.1 percent and the average 12-month change in U.S. wages across all industries in Q3 was a modest 1.2 percent. In addition, the Index shows inconsistent wage growth across various industries, as some, such as real estate and construction, showed stronger year-over-year gains, while wage growth in other industries remained flat or declined. The PayScale Index also forecasts national wage growth in Q4 will experience a slight uptick of 0.3 percent, the same wage growth realized in Q2. The Index shows real wage growth is down almost 9 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.

“While corporate profits continue to increase in 2014, we are seeing that these gains are not reflected in any substantial wage growth for most employees,” said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist at PayScale. “Most wages are barely keeping pace with the rate of inflation which means many employees are actually losing purchasing power.”

Key findings in the Q3 2014 PayScale Index: 

  • It Pays to be Technical:
    • IT surpassed engineering for jobs with the most wage growth since 2006. Wages for IT jobs are 11.5 percent higher in Q3 than they were in 2006. However, annual wage growth for IT workers in the last quarter was a modest 2.1 percent.
  • Industry Highlights:
    • Oil is booming. When we look by industry, rather than job category, mining, oil and gas exploration continues to see consistent wage growth with the highest total wage growth since 2006 every quarter, with an increasing lead on all other industries. This industry has experienced wage growth of 18.5 percent since 2006, despite a 0.6 percent drop in annual wage growth in Q3.
    • Real Estate may be recovering.  It topped the list of annual wage growth by industry in Q3 with a 3.9 percent gain (compared with 2.1 percent in Q2). Despite the recent comeback, the total wage growth for real estate since 2006 is only 7.2 percent, near the bottom of the industry list.
  • Metros
    • The top five U.S. metro areas experiencing the highest annual wage growth in Q3 are:
      • Boston, MA (2.8 percent)
      • Seattle, WA (1.9 percent)
      • New York, NY (1.8 percent)
      • San Francisco, CA (1.8 percent)
      • Phoenix, AZ (1.8 percent)
    • The bottom two U.S. metros experiencing the lowest annual wage growth are:
      • Philadelphia, PA (0.0 percent)
      • Baltimore, MD (-0.2 percent)
  • Canadian Metro Wage Growth:
    • Edmonton, AB (1.7 percent)
    • Ottawa , ON (0.9 percent)
    • Calgary, AB (0.8 percent)
    • Montreal, QC (0.7 percent)
    • Edmonton and Calgary still dominate the Canadian metropolitan areas for best growth since 2006 at 21.9 and 17.9 percent, respectively.
  • United Kingdom:
    • In the U.K., wage growth was flat between Q2 and Q3 2014, after experiencing wage growth of 0.9 percent the previous quarter. As of Q3, wages in the U.K. have grown by 8.2 percent since 2006, falling behind Canada at 10.0 percent, but besting the U.S. at 7.8 percent.

To view the entire interactive Q3 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 Q4 2014
  • 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:

Press Contacts:

Steven Gottlieb
Tel: 206-427-9591

Phyllis McNeice
Tel:  206-954-1481

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