PayScale Index Shows U.S. Wage Growth for 8th Consecutive Quarter

San Francisco, San Diego and Austin experienced the most wage growth in the country

Seattle, WA – July 6, 2017 – Today, PayScale, Inc., the leader in cloud compensation data and software for businesses and individuals, released the Q2 2017 PayScale Index, which tracks quarterly and annual trends in compensation and provides a U.S. wage forecast for the coming quarter.

The Q2 Index showed wages experienced growth for an eighth consecutive quarter, as U.S. wages increased 0.5 percent since Q1 2017 and 2.4 percent since Q2 2016. However, real wages were flat quarter-over-quarter, meaning the typical employee’s earning power is holding steady from a period of depressed and stagnant real wages from 2013 to 2015.

“Wages continue to experience modest growth with variability across industries, job families and metro areas,” said Katie Bardaro, Vice President of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale. “While the positive wage growth appears to be sustaining, real wages are again 7.5 percent lower than they were in 2006, so the price of goods is growing faster than most employees’ wages.”

Here are key findings from the Q2 2017 PayScale Index:

  • Long-term wage growth is strongest in San Francisco, San Diego, Austin and Denver. The metros with the highest year-over-year wage growth in Q2 include:
    • San Francisco, CA at 3.8 percent
    • San Diego, CA at 3.5 percent
    • Austin, TX at 3.5 percent
    • Denver, CO at 3.5 percent
    • Louis, MO at 3.4 percent
  • Meanwhile, four Midwest cities experienced negative wage growth in Q2 including Detroit, MI (-0.7 percent), Kansas City, MO (-0.3 percent), Minneapolis, MN (-0.1 percent), and Chicago, IL (-0.1 percent). These cities (plus Cleveland, OH) all fall in the bottom 10 in terms of wage growth.
  • Wages in real estate rebounded with strong growth (1.4 percent) after several quarters of slow growth including Q1 2017.
  • Two job groups saw their wages suffer in the past quarter: Legal Jobs (-0.6 percent) and Accounting and Finance Jobs (-0.2 percent). However, quarterly growth for legal jobs often fluctuates by quarter and annual growth is on par with the national average. By contrast, wage growth in Accounting and Finance jobs was low this quarter and annual growth is the lowest of any job group analyzed (1.4 percent).
  • Wages in sales jobs grew quickly at 1.4 percent for the quarter, though longer-term wage growth is still lagging. Wages in sales jobs were hit hardest by the financial crisis and even last quarter’s growth still leaves these jobs at the bottom of the list in growth since 2006 (6.4 percent versus the national average of 12.3 percent).
  • Highlights of Canadian wage growth in Q2:
    • Wage growth in Canada ticked slightly up relative to the past couple of quarters, currently at 13.8 percent growth since 2006.
    • Since 2006, Toronto, ON has experienced the least wage growth (9.7 percent) while the oil city of Edmonton, AB has experienced the most (23.7 percent).

To view the entire interactive Q2 2017 PayScale Index which reflects wage trends across various industries, job categories, company sizes and major metros, including Canada, please visit:

About the PayScale Index:

The PayScale Index follows changes in total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees in the U.S. and Canada. The PayScale Index also includes a PayScale Real Wage Index, which tracks changes in wages adjusted for inflation since 2006. For more information on the PayScale Index, please visit the methodology and FAQ pages.

About PayScale:

As the industry leader in compensation management, Payscale is on a mission to help job seekers, employees and businesses get pay right, and make sustainable fair pay a reality. Empowering more than 53 percent of the Fortune 500 in 198 countries, Payscale provides a combination of data-driven insights, best-in-class services and innovative software to enable organizations such as Angel City Football Club, Perry Ellis International, United Healthcare, Vista and The Washington Post to make fair and appropriate pay decisions. Pay is powerful. To learn more, visit  

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