The PayScale Index, which measures compensation trends across the U.S. and Canada, updated today to show the eighth consecutive quarter of wage growth in the U.S. Wages increased 0.5 percent from the first quarter of 2017 and 2.4 percent since Q2 2016. However, real wages were flat since Q1 and down significantly from before the recession.
“Wages continue to experience modest growth with variability across industries, job families and metro areas,” said Katie Bardaro, Vice President of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale, Inc., in a statement. “While the positive wage growth appears to be sustaining, real wages are again 7.5 percent lower than they were in 2006, so the price of goods is growing faster than most employees’ wages.”
Wages Are Growing for Many
Year-over-year wage growth in Q2 was strongest in San Francisco (3.8 percent), San Diego (3.5 percent), Austin (3.5 percent), Denver (3.5 percent) and St. Louis (3.4 percent). Five of 32 cities showed negative growth last quarter. Four were in the Midwest: Detroit (-0.7 percent), Kansas City (-0.3 percent), Minneapolis (-0.1 percent) and Chicago (-0.1 percent).
In terms of industries, the top five sectors for year-over-year wage growth were:
- Retail and Customer Service: 3 percent
- Healthcare and Social Assistance: 2.7 percent
- Construction: 2.6 percent
- Business and Marketing: 2.5 percent
- Nonprofits: 2.4 percent
Real Estate rebounded after several slow quarters, with 1.4 percent growth since Q1 and 2 percent growth year-over-year.
Five job categories saw year-over-year wage growth of at least 3 percent:
- Food Service and Restaurant: 3.6 percent
- Installation, Maintenance and Repair: 3.2 percent
- Manufacturing and Production: 3.1 percent
- Construction: 3 percent
- Social Service: 3 percent
Two job categories suffered wage declines last quarter: Legal jobs (-0.6 percent) and Accounting and Finance jobs (-0.2 percent). Accounting and Finance jobs also had the lowest annual growth among the job categories, at 1.4 percent.
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