The PayScale Index » Highlights (US)

Q3 2013: A Mixed Bag

The Q3 PayScale Index brings new features and mixed wage growth news. First, we are proud to introduce PayScale Index Wage Forecasting, in which we predict the U.S. national wage growth for the upcoming quarter.

We have also added The PayScale Real Wage Index, which measures the buying power of the income for a typical full-time, private industry worker in the U.S.

Highlights include:

  • We predict that quarterly wage growth in Q4 will see a slight uptick of 0.1 percent, resulting in annual wage growth of 0.8 percent. See the FAQs for more details on how this forecast was calculated.

  • Nominal wages have not kept pace with inflation. In fact, real wages have dropped almost 7 percent since 2006, which means the income for a typical full-time, private industry worker buys less than it did in 2006.

The Q3 PayScale Index also provides news on the wage front. "Unlike last quarter, wage growth did not happen across the board," says Katie Bardaro, PayScale's lead economist and director of analytics. "This quarter was a bit of a mixed bag. Some measures experienced great wage growth, while others had a significant fall quarter-to-quarter.”

  • After a slight cooling, wages are once again heating up for the oil & gas sector, rising 0.7 percent over the quarter, which resulted in a 2.2 percent annual growth.

  • Media and publishing jobs hold the top spot for annual wage growth, with 3.9 percent growth, the highest of any PayScale Index measure. This job category contains public relations jobs, entertainers and performers, as well as media and communication workers.

  • Quarterly wage growth for small companies outpaced both medium and large companies and remains on top for annual wage growth. However, all three were underwhelming in their annual wage growth relative to previous quarters.

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Methodology for The PayScale Index: Trends in Compensation
The PayScale Index tracks quarterly changes in total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees and education professionals in the United States. In addition to a national index, it includes separate indices for specific industries, metropolitan areas, job categories, and company sizes. The PayScale Index uses 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline.

See full methodology for compensation trend reports.

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