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PayScale Index Shows ‘Real Wages’ Increased in Q3 as U.S. Wages Grew for the 9th Consecutive Quarter

Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis top the list of metros for annual wage growth

Seattle, WA – October 11, 2017 – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q3 2017 PayScale Index, which tracks quarterly and annual trends in compensation and provides a U.S. wage forecast for the coming quarter.

The Q2 Index showed wages experienced growth for and ninth consecutive quarter, as U.S. wages increased 0.7 percent since Q2 2017 and 2.8 percent since Q3 2016. In addition, year over year real wage growth was a robust 1.1%, meaning that nominal wages growth outpaced inflation. While the typical employee’s earning power has increased, it remains below recession levels.

“It’s encouraging to see that wage growth has been consistently increasing for more than two years now with variability across various regions and industries,” said Katie Bardaro, Vice President of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale. “While wages are on the uptick, real wage growth is still about 7 percent lower than pre-recession levels in 2006.”

Here are key findings from the Q3 2017 PayScale Index:

  • Wage growth is strongest in Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis. The metros with the highest year-over-year wage growth in Q2 include:
    • Seattle, WA at 4.1 percent
    • San Francisco, CA at 4.1 percent
    • Louis, MO at 4.1 percent
    • Portland, OR at 4.0 percent
    • Phoenix, AZ at 3.6 percent
  • Meanwhile, the cities which experienced the lowest year over year wage growth in Q3 include Washington, DC (2.1 percent), Boston, MA (2.0 percent), Pittsburgh, PA (1.9 percent), Minneapolis, MN (1.2 percent) and Milwaukee, WI (1.0 percent).
  • After strong wage growth in Q2, real estate wage growth was essentially stagnant in Q3 at 0.1 percent, but are still 2.8 percent higher than last year.
  • Wages in retail and business grew in Q2 and held steady in Q3 (0.2 percent and 0.1 percent for the quarter, respectively). While both industries have seen more than 2 percent annual wage growth (2.5 percent and 2.1 percent), wage growth for both remains below the national level.
  • The finance and energy industries saw lackluster wage growth in Q2, but considerable gains in Q3 (1.4 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively). This strong Q3 growth shows that finance now outpaces other sectors for annual wage growth (3.6 percent, versus a national average of 2.8 percent). Energy still lags with only 2.6 percent annual wage growth.
  • Wages for sales and science/biotech jobs continue to climb steadily, posting annual wage growth of 3.5 and 3.6 percent, respectively, well above the national average.

To view the entire interactive Q3 2017 PayScale Index which reflects wage trends across various industries, job categories, company sizes and major metros, including Canada, please visit: http://www.p

About the PayScale Index:

The PayScale Index follows changes in total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees in the U.S. and Canada. The PayScale Index also includes 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 offers modern compensation software and real-time, data driven insights for employees and employers alike. More than 6,500 customers, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, use PayScale to power pay decisions for more than 16 million employees. 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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