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.

Rank Metro Area Q1 2018 Year-Over-Year
Wage Growth
1 San Diego 4.3%
2 San Francisco 4.1%
3 Austin 3.8%
4 New York 3.6%
5 Charlotte 3.4%
6 (tie) Atlanta 3.0%
Portland 3.0%
St. Louis 3.0%
9 Los Angeles 2.8%
10 (tie) Boston 2.6%
Seattle 2.6%
12 (tie) Nashville 2.5%
Pittsburgh 2.5%
14 (tie) Houston 2.4%
Philadelphia 2.4%
San Jose 2.4%
17 Milwaukee 2.3%
18 (tie) Dallas 2.2%
Denver 2.2%
20 Phoenix 2.1%
21 Baltimore 2.0%
22 (tie) Chicago 1.9%
Washington, DC 1.9%
24 (tie) Orlando 1.7%
Tampa 1.7%
26 Minneapolis 1.6%
27 Cleveland 1.5%
28 Kansas City 1.4%
29 (tie) Cincinnati 1.3%
Detroit 1.3%
Miami 1.3%
Rank Metro Area Q1 2018 One Year Wage Growth
1 San Diego 4.3%
2 San Francisco 4.1%
3 Austin 3.8%
4 New York 3.6%
5 Charlotte 3.4%
6 (tie) Atlanta 3.0%
Portland 3.0%
St. Louis 3.0%
9 Los Angeles 2.8%
10 (tie) Boston 2.6%
Seattle 2.6%
12 (tie) Nashville 2.5%
Pittsburgh 2.5%
14 (tie) Houston 2.4%
Philadelphia 2.4%
San Jose 2.4%
17 Milwaukee 2.3%
18 (tie) Dallas 2.2%
Denver 2.2%
20 Phoenix 2.1%
21 Baltimore 2.0%
22 (tie) Chicago 1.9%
Washington, DC 1.9%
24 (tie) Orlando 1.7%
Tampa 1.7%
26 Minneapolis 1.6%
27 Cleveland 1.5%
28 Kansas City 1.4%
29 (tie) Cincinnati 1.3%
Detroit 1.3%
Miami 1.3%

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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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