Wage Trends by Metro Area


In the last year, where did wages increase the most overall and where did they dip the deepest? PayScale looked at the top metro areas by population and then listed them from best to worst in terms of wage improvement for jobs. See who came out on top and who has a ways to go.

RankMetro AreaQ1 2021 Year-Over-Year
One Year Wage Growth
1 (tie)Los Angeles Metro Area3.6%
1 (tie)San Diego Metro Area3.6%
3Raleigh Metro Area3.3%
4 (tie)Phoenix Metro Area3.2%
4 (tie)Tampa Metro Area3.2%
6St. Louis Metro Area3.1%
7 (tie)New York Metro Area3.0%
7 (tie)Portland Metro Area3.0%
9Austin Metro Area2.9%
10 (tie)Milwaukee Metro Area2.8%
10 (tie)San Jose Metro Area2.8%
10 (tie)Seattle Metro Area2.8%
13 (tie)Baltimore Metro Area2.6%
13 (tie)Miami Metro Area2.6%
15 (tie)Charlotte Metro Area2.5%
15 (tie)Chicago Metro Area2.5%
15 (tie)Cleveland Metro Area2.5%
18 (tie)Atlanta Metro Area2.4%
18 (tie)Cincinnati Metro Area2.4%
18 (tie)Denver Metro Area2.4%
21 (tie)Dallas Metro Area2.3%
21 (tie)Minneapolis Metro Area2.3%
21 (tie)Orlando Metro Area2.3%
21 (tie)San Francisco Metro Area2.3%
25Philadelphia Metro Area2.2%
26 (tie)Boston Metro Area2.1%
26 (tie)Nashville Metro Area2.1%
26 (tie)Washington, DC Metro Area2.1%
29Houston Metro Area2.0%
30 (tie)Detroit Metro Area1.9%
30 (tie)Pittsburgh Metro Area1.9%
32Kansas City Metro Area1.6%

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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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