Benefits and Compensation

Tech Sector Shows Highest Wage Growth Among Record-Low Unemployment

Another piece of research shows that despite a record-low unemployment rate, Q3 wage increases only grew .5% quarter over quarter (2.6% year over year).

Source: Andrey_Popov / shutterstock

The study focused on Q3 wage growth and was conducted by PayScale. You can see the full study here. In this article, we explore some of the more interesting findings.

Tech cities showed the strongest wage growth:

  • The tech center of San Francisco was again the U.S. metro area that experienced the largest increase, with an annual wage growth of 4.3%. In addition, the tech cities of Seattle and Austin also saw wages increase 4% year over year.
  • Annual wages in Pittsburgh jumped up 3.7%—ranking the city’s wage growth the fourth fastest in the country—after three quarters of lackluster growth.
  • Wage growth in the oil city of Houston was the slowest in the nation, falling 0.6% quarter over quarter and posting only a 0.5% annual wage growth. This is likely a reflection of recent fluctuations in energy markets.

Transportation jobs posted strong wage growth:

  • Occupations in transportation grew an impressive 4.9% annually, likely due to the lagging impact of consumer spending in the United States.
  • Information technology jobs continued to post strong growth numbers, with wages up 3.2% year over year.
  • For another quarter, marketing and advertising jobs showed a notable annual wage growth of 2.9%.
  • Art and design and social service jobs were at the bottom of the occupations list, with a decline in annual wage growth of 0.3% and tepid growth of just 1.3%, respectively.

Wages in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry grew considerably:

  • Wage growth in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry topped the list of industries at 3.4% year over year. Like wage growth in transportation jobs, this growth may be due to an increase in discretionary spending.
  • Both the manufacturing and the energy and utilities industries showed a lackluster annual wage growth of 2.3%.

National wages in Canada continued to grow:

  • Nationally, wages in Canada grew by 2.6% year over year—the same as nominal wage growth experienced in the U.S.
  • Ottawa topped the Canadian list of metros with annual wage growth, increasing 3.5%, while the energy city of Calgary saw wages fall 0.2% year over year.