- "Real wages" — wages adjusted for inflation — experienced negative growth of 0.8% during the past year, according to the Q1 2019 PayScale Index.
- While wages are up overall, meaningful growth was seen only in a small group of jobs and cities, Payscale said in announcing the report. Most of the growth occurred in tech hubs like Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose, the organization determined. On the other hand, Charlotte, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Houston were particularly hard hit.
- Growth varied by industry, too. Accounting and finance, along with marketing and advertising, experienced significant growth. The transportation and manufacturing industries, however, saw significant declines.
While pay rates are inching up after a period of stagnation, employers generally appear to be using other incentives to attract and retain workers. The employee-driven labor market has employers focused on, among other things, wellness and development.
Benefits aimed at families have garnered particular interest from workers, too, leading more employers to offer fertility services, paid leave and flexible scheduling, according to a recent survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Nearly one-third of employers with 500 or more employees offer a fertility benefit, while 41% of employers of all sizes offer paid maternity leave and 32% offer paid paternity leave, the group found.
Some, however, are still banking on cash. Bank of America announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage to $20 an hour earlier this month, for example. Retailers, in particular, have adopted this tactic, especially during seasonal hiring, with Target, Amazon and Walmart all making such moves.