National (US) Pay Trends


National Wage Growth, Q1 2023

since last quarter
year over year
since 2006

Highlights Q1 2023

Tampa takes the highest nominal wage growth in Q1, at 1.7 percent Q/Q and 7.4 percent Y/Y. This metro area features a robust maritime industry with the largest port in Florida, and home to many high demand industries.

Historically a high performer for wage growth, San Francisco and San Jose have fallen in the ranks in previous quarters and now sit last. San Francisco saw 4.0 percent Y/Y growth and 0.6 percent Q/Q growth. San Jose, 3.8 percent Y/Y and 0.6 percent Q/Q. Wage growth in the typically high performing metro tech hubs has likely been dampened by layoffs and instability in the tech sector.

Maintaining the top spot since Q2 2021, the accommodation & food service industry takes the largest nominal wage growth in Q1 2023. Nominal wages for these jobs grew 8.2 percent Y/Y and 1.8 percent Q/Q. Travel, hospitality, and food services sectors are seeing increased demand for jobs in addition to high inflation over the last year.

Dropping to last, the Technology industry saw 0.8 percent Q/Q growth and 4.8 percent Y/Y growth in Q1 2023. The Technology sector has had to weather significant layoffs, along with inflation and downturns in the stock market – dampening wage growth

Highest ranked since Q2 2021, food service jobs remain the largest nominal wage growth in Q1. Nominal wages for these jobs grew 8.5 percent Y/Y and 1.9 percent Q/Q. Facing turnover and hiring woes in 2021, as well as inflation impacting cost of living, this job group is experiencing particularly high upward wage pressure.

Marketing & Advertising jobs see lowest nominal wage growth in Q1, with 4.7 percent Y/Y growth and 0.9 percent Q/Q growth. Given that this is still higher than normal wage growth and this occupational group spans many industries, there is likely less upward wage pressure for this occupational group compared to others facing high labor demand.

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Real Wage Index

Since 2006, wages have risen 30 percent overall in the U.S. But when you factor in inflation, “real wages” have actually fallen 11.6 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, Q1 2023

since last quarter
year over year
since 2006

The Payscale Index: National Real Wage Index (US)

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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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