Wages grow faster in August following six-month slow down

MILL VALLEY
August 29, 2017 9:33am
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•  As retailers prepare for holiday hires, pay growth is on the rise for jobs impacted by seasonal hiring

•  “Jobs typically associated with this seasonal swing in hiring … are seeing above-average pay growth”


The annual median base pay in the United States grew 2.0 percent year over year in August to $51,556, according to a report from jobs site Glassdoor.com.

The “Glassdoor Local Pay Reports” show pay growth ticked up slightly from a revised 1.7 percent growth in July, ending a six-month stretch of deceleration. Pay growth peaked in January 2017 at a revised 3.4 percent, according to its figures.

The reports offer salary estimates for nearly 85 job titles and year-over-year pay growth trends in the United States. The reports include details on 10 major metros: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

"After six consecutive months of falling pay growth, workers got some positive news in August with a slight uptick in average wage growth to 2.0 percent. We will be watching eagerly to see if this starts a trend in the opposite direction,” says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor.

While the holiday season is still months away, retailers are already making preparations to fill short-term positions in time for the holiday buying rush, he says.

“Jobs typically associated with this seasonal swing in hiring, including cashiers and warehouse jobs, are seeing above-average pay growth," says Mr. Chamberlain.

Wage growth continues for jobs in retail, as well as positions that directly support retailers. There are more than 614,000 open jobs in the retail industry on Glassdoor’s list. Cashiers (up 3.7 percent to $27,701) and store managers (up 3.2 percent to $48,422) who handle the front end, and truck drivers (up 5.7 percent to $52,079) who haul consumer goods on the back end saw above-average pay growth in August.

Pay growth was also up for warehouse associates (up 2.0 percent to $40,784) who pull orders, handle packages, and sort goods to ship for online retailers.

Truck drivers (up 5.7 percent to $52,079) have consistently been among the jobs with the fastest rise in pay growth in recent months, and in August they top the list.

"We continue to see pay growth rise for truck drivers, in part because of increased demand for the rapid transport of consumer retail goods that have been purchased online,” says Mr. Chamberlain. “While there is some concern that in the future self-driving trucks may negatively impact truck driver jobs, it's not happening today, and there is still a high demand for actual people in the driver's seat.”

Among jobs experiencing the biggest declines in YOY pay growth in August, attorneys topped the list (down 3 percent to $92,241).

"There has been a huge oversupply of law school graduates in recent years compared to how many traditional positions are open, and a lot of new lawyers are not finding jobs with law firms,” Mr. Chamberlain says. “Instead many are heading into more general business management, roles with nonprofits, journalism, government, or public policy."

Loan officers (down 1.0 percent to $44,832) and operations analysts (down 0.1 percent to $53,147) continued to experience a decline in wage growth this month, Glassdoor says. These are jobs for which automation and software is replacing the need for human labor, it notes.

Among the 10 metros tracked, wage growth was fastest in Boston (up 2.4 percent to $58,731), San Francisco (up 2.4 percent to $68,164), and Washington, D.C., (up 2.3 percent to $59,141). In Houston, wage growth was slowest, and in Chicago, and Atlanta, pay growth lagged behind the U.S. average.

Methodology notes

Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports are designed to provide a real-time overview of trends in median base pay for full-time U.S. workers nationally and in metro areas. It applies a proprietary machine-learning statistical model to millions of individual salary reports submitted anonymously to Glassdoor to estimate median base pay by job title, industry and employer size within metro areas across the U.S.

Click on the link below to download a pdf detailing the methodologies used.

Drilldown


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