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July 07, 2017

Study: Wage growth in Philly isn't keeping up with other U.S. metro areas

Bad news for Philadelphia workers vying for a raise: a new study from Glassdoor Economic Research found the city had one of the worst wage increase rates in the last year among the 10 metro areas observed.

From June 2016 to June 2017, wages in the Greater Philadelphia region rose an average of .9 percent. The national average, according to the report, was 1.7 percent.

Philadelphia tied with Washington, D.C. and Atlanta for this less-than-honorable recognition; it was only outdone by Houston, which saw wage increases average at just .5 percent.

Cities outdoing the national 1.7 percent average included San Francisco, Seattle and New York, at 2.6 percent, 1.9 percent, and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Despite reports Friday that 220,000 jobs were added nationally during June 2017, with unemployment at 4.4 percent, some economists believe the lack of pay growth nationally could reflect larger unemployment trends.

“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,” Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor, told the Philadelphia Business Journal:

“Looking at the 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, healthcare, and professional services jobs.”

Loan officers, design engineers, and operations analysts saw the worst rate of wage growth than any other professions. Recruiters, baristas, and restaurant cooks saw the largest wage increase rates, though none of those professions ranked in the list of the nation’s highest paying jobs, which included pharmacist, solutions architect, and attorney.

See the full Glassdoor report here.