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The PayScale Index Shows Wages Buy Less Today Than in 2006 as Real Wages Are Down Almost 8 Percent

Compensation Data and Services Provider Accurately Predicts Q1 Wage Growth of 0.2 Percent and Annual Growth of 0.7 Percent; Forecasts Similar Growth for Q2

SEATTLE, WA–(Marketwired – Apr 2, 2014) – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q1 2014 PayScale Index which tracks quarterly and annual trends in compensation and provides a U.S. national wage forecast for the coming quarter. The PayScale Real Wage Index reports real wages are down almost 8 percent since 2006 after analyzing statistics from the Consumer Price Index together with PayScale’s rich compensation data. In addition, The PayScale Index predicts a slight uptick of 0.3 percent in quarterly wage growth for Q2 2014, resulting in annual wage growth of only 0.8 percent over Q2 2013. PayScale’s forecast for Q1 2014 accurately matched the exact wage growth experienced by the economy.

“Our results show the economy is on a steady, but very tepid recovery with wage growth rising at a slow rate,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale. “We anticipate the trend of sluggish overall wage growth to continue in 2014 with a few industries such as science, biotech, and healthcare showing periodic gains that are more significant. The Q1 Index also reveals that nominal wage growth is not enough to outpace increases in the costs of goods and services. In fact, real wages have dropped almost 8 percent since 2006 which means most people can buy less than they could eight years ago.”

Key Findings from the Q1 2014 PayScale Index:

  • Healthcare has overtaken Engineering for jobs with the most pay growth since 2006 as wages for Healthcare workers are 10.3 percent higher in Q1 than they were in 2006 compared to 10 percent for Engineering jobs.
  • The Information, Media and Publishing industry continued a bumpy climb with its best quarterly and annual growth of 1.4 percent for both measures. However, wage growth for this industry has been somewhat erratic over the past few quarters.
  • Science and Biotech heated up once again, while IT slightly cooled off. Science and Biotech jobs had the best annual growth with 2.3 percent and IT jobs rounded out the top five with 1.1 percent in annual growth.
  • Construction and Manufacturing jobs suffered a setback in their recovery as Construction wages fell by 0.3 percent annually and Manufacturing wages fell by 0.5 percent annually.
  • After a steep rise to the top, wage growth for small companies tapered off in 2013, but started to rise again in 2014. Wages in Q1 rose by 0.3 percent for small companies, but fell by 0.3 percent for large companies and fell 0.4 percent for medium-sized companies.
  • HR jobs experienced a wage boost, growing 1.3 percent over the last two quarters.
  • Metropolitan areas experiencing the most annual growth were Minneapolis-St. Paul at 1.9 percent; Seattle at 1.6 percent; San Francisco at 1.5 percent; Boston at 1.3 percent; and New York at 1.2 percent.
  • In Canada, the oil cities of Edmonton and Calgary experienced the greatest increase in annual growth at 1.4 percent.
  • In the UK, wages grew a paltry 0.1 percent in Q1 2014. Wages in the UK are 7.7 percent higher in nominal terms compared to 2006, however real wages are down 13.3 percent over the same time period.

To view the entire interactive Q1 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 Q2 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 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™, PayScaleInsight™, 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, visit: or follow PayScale on Twitter:

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