The PayScale Index Q1 2014: A Slow, Tepid Recovery

Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

The PayScale Index for the first quarter of 2014 shows that rising wages are not the whole story. 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.

Real Wage Index

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 get a Q1 2014 PayScale Index report which reflects wage trends across various countries, industries, job categories, company sizes and major metros, please visit the Compensation Trends section of our website.