Wage Growth Remains Sluggish

By  Glassdoor, Special for  USDR

According to job site Glassdoor, the annual median base pay in the United States grew 1.7 percent year over year (YOY) in June 2017 to $51,324. The Glassdoor Local Pay Reports show pay growth remained sluggish, decelerating to 1.7 percent from 2.2 percent revised pay growth recorded last month, marking a five-month slowdown and sharply lower than the 3.1 percent growth pace in January 2017. For the first time in three years, inflation (1.9 percent[1]) outpaced wage growth (1.7 percent YOY) in the U.S. The last time the cost of living was rising faster than wages in the U.S. was July 2014, Glassdoor data  shows.

Twenty-five new job titles were added to the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports this month, providing additional insight into wage growth patterns across jobs in retail, health care, technology, labor, manufacturing, and other industries. The monthly reports provide a unique view into the country’s wage picture with 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: AtlantaBostonChicagoHoustonLos AngelesNew York CityPhiladelphiaSan FranciscoSeattle and Washington,  D.C.[2]

“Overall, pay growth is slowing in the U.S. This remains a puzzle for economists because unemployment is setting new record lows in many cities. Looking at average U.S. wage growth alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Few earn the median U.S. salary, most employees earn a salary relevant to their specific job and city. While we see declining wage growth for jobs where automation is coming, we also see strong pay growth for certain in-demand jobs, as well as sustained high median pay gains for many retail, technology, health care, and professional services jobs,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of  Glassdoor.

Above Average Pay Growth in Online Retail Jobs: Warehouse Associate, Delivery  Driver

Reflecting the country’s shift toward shopping online for everything from books to groceries, warehouse associates (up 4.9 percent to $41,442) and delivery drivers (up 4.3 percent to $38,660) are in demand, and these jobs experienced above average YOY pay growth in  June.

“The growth of the Amazon supply chain, including the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, is no doubt contributing to the increase in demand for warehouse jobs and delivery drivers, leading to the growth in pay for these roles,” said  Chamberlain.

Recruiter pay continues to rise quickly, up 8.4 percent in June to a median base pay of $51,585. “Companies rely more on recruiters to attract coveted talent as the U.S. reaches full employment, and this puts their skills in high demand,” said  Chamberlain.

Barista and Restaurant Cook Wages Growing at Faster  Pace

Typical minimum wage jobs in the food services industry saw some of the most rapid YOY wage gains in June. Baristas(up 7.7 percent to $24,593) and restaurant cooks (up 7.2 percent to $29,025) saw pay gains in all 10 markets tracked by the  reports.

“While baristas and restaurant cooks saw some of the fastest wage gains YOY, they are also among the lowest paid jobs we track. It is likely that recent minimum wage hikes in cities and states across the country have contributed to the growth our reports show for these jobs,” said  Chamberlain.

Jobs with the Fastest Pay Growth


Job Title

% Wage Growth YoY
(June 2016-June 2017)

Median Base Pay










Restaurant Cook




Claims Adjuster




Customer Service Manager




Bank Teller




Warehouse Associate




Maintenance Worker




Pharmacy Technician




Delivery Driver



Automation Reflected in Shrinking Pay Growth for Some  Jobs 

Jobs with the biggest declines in YOY wages included loan officer (down 5.3 percent to $44,306), design engineer (down 3.8 percent to $69,490), operations analyst (down 2.5 percent to $52,412) and financial advisor (down 1.2 percent to  $53,522).

“Automation is certainly playing a role in jobs with declining pay. Companies are utilizing new technology, and many tasks which used to require a skilled person no longer do. Banks can share financial advice and process more loan applications online, and product designs and operations analyses are likewise becoming more automated,” said  Chamberlain.

For a list of jobs with the biggest pay declines, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research  blog.

Pay Growth in Houston Nearly Flat, While San Francisco Wage Growth  Gains

In Houston, wage growth was nearly flat this month, and in AtlantaWashington, D.C., and Philadelphia pay growth lagged far behind the U.S. average. Houston median base pay rose by just 0.5 percent YOY to $54,365. In Atlanta, D.C., and Philadelphia, median base pay rose by 0.9 percent YOY  June.

Among the 10 metros tracked, wage growth was fastest in San Francisco (up 2.6 percent to $68,119), Seattle (up 1.9 percent to $59,812) and New York City (up 1.8 percent to  $60,606).

Wage Growth by U.S. Metro



% Wage Growth YoY
(June 2016-June 2017)

Median Base Pay

United States




San Francisco








New York City












Los Angeles








Washington DC











For more on jobs with the highest and lowest pay, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research  blog.

The full data sets for the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports can be found on the Glassdoor Economic Research site, along with report methodology and Frequently Asked  Questions.

To read more trends and insights from Chamberlain on this month’s report or his predictions regarding the May Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research  blog.

Any individual can also keep tabs on their personal worth in their local job market through Know Your WorthTM by Glassdoor. Visit Glassdoor or download the Glassdoor Job Search apps for iPhone or  Android.

To speak with Dr. Chamberlain regarding the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports or his predictions for this month’s jobs report:  pr@glassdoor.com.

About  Glassdoor

Glassdoor is one of the largest and fastest growing job sites in the world today. Set apart by the tens of millions of reviews and insights provided by employees and candidates, Glassdoor combines all the jobs with this valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that is uniquely right for them. As a result, Glassdoor helps employers hire truly informed candidates at scale through effective recruiting solutions like job advertising and employer branding products. Launched in 2008, Glassdoor now has reviews and insights for approximately 700,000 companies in more than 190 countries. For labor market trends and analysis, visit Glassdoor Economic Research. For company news and career advice and tips, visit the Glassdoor Blog and for employer-related news and insights to help employers hire, visit the Glassdoor for Employers Blog. Visit Glassdoor.com or download our apps on iOS and Android  platforms.

Glassdoor® is a registered trademark of Glassdoor,  Inc.
Know Your Worth™, Salary Explorer™ and the Glassdoor logo are trademarks of Glassdoor,  Inc.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm
[2] For full methodology of the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports and how salary estimates are  compiled, visit: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/studies/glassdoor-local-pay-reports-methodology/.

SOURCE  Glassdoor

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.