- No robust wage growth occurred in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Q2 2019 PayScale Index. A slight uptick of 0.3% in nominal wages from Q1 and 2% from last year wasn't enough to raise workers' purchasing power, Payscale said in a statement. When Payscale factored in inflation, it found real wages fell by 0.8% compared to last quarter and only increased by 0.2% compared to last year. Real wages have decreased by 9.8% since 2006 if inflation is factored in, the index showed.
- In other Q2 results, the marketing and advertising sector showed the fastest annual nominal wage growth at 3%, followed by media and publishing at 2.8%. The manufacturing and production and transportation sectors had the lowest annual nominal wage growth at just 0.9% and 0.4%, respectively. Regionally, San Francisco's tech sector center led the nation in wage growth at 4.5%, Payscale said. Milwaukee had the second highest regional growth at 3.5%, but Pittsburgh and Cleveland experienced the lowest wage growth.
- "While there are some encouraging signs with nominal wages growing in select industries and job families, this increase is still not enough to impact real wage growth in a meaningful way," Sudarshan Sampath, PayScale's director of research, said in a media release. "Our most recent Index shows there are some bright spots in the economy, but many industries — those with a high proportion of blue-collar jobs, in particular — are still struggling."
PayScale's latest findings complement a study it released earlier this year, which said that employers did not intend to offer significant wage increases for workers this year. Workers' wages get them less now than they did in 2006, Payscale noted, but employers continue to hesitate to increase wages.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, which is now in the U.S. Senate. Though the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, workers and advocates who are part of the Fight for $15 movement have been pushing for federal $15-per-hour wage increases for some time, but business leaders in many sectors have argued that higher wages could lead to higher unemployment.
Despite the push and pull from stakeholders, the tight labor market has forced some organizations to offer higher salaries to talented job hoppers, according to a 2018 report from ADP. Other employers, like Salesforce, have committed to correcting gender- and race-based wage disparities and have proactively adjusted salaries to bolster diversity and equity at work.