National (US) Pay Trends

Updated October 9, 2018

The PayScale Index follows the change in wages of employed U.S. workers, revealing trends in compensation for jobs over time. It specifically measures the quarterly change in the total cash compensation of full-time, private industry employees and education professionals nationally, with additional detail on the 32 largest metropolitan areas, 15 industries, 19 job categories and three company sizes.

Wage Growth for Q3 2018


since last quarter


year over year


since 2006


Highlights Q3, 2018

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Real Wage Index

Since 2006, wages have risen 12.7 percent overall in the US. But when you factor in inflation, "real wages" have actually fallen 9.5 percent. In other words, the income for a typical worker today buys them less than it did in 2006. The PayScale Real Wage Index incorporates the Consumer Price Index (CPI) into The PayScale Index (which tracks nominal wages) and looks at the buying power of wages for full-time private industry workers in the U.S.

Real Wage Growth for Q3 2018


since last quarter (with inflation)


year over year (with inflation)


since 2006 (with inflation)


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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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