Den­ver ties for 2nd high­est wage hikes

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Tamara Chuang

Some­thing had to give in Colorado, which has had the na­tion’s low­est un­em­ploy­ment rate for three months and count­ing. And what gave? Wages.

Ac­cord­ing to PayS­cale Inc., which helps clients cal­cu­late em­ployee com­pen­sa­tion, Den­ver saw wages grow 3.5 per­cent in the se­cond quar­ter of 2017 from a year ago, rank­ing the metro area as the se­cond high­est wage growth out of 31 metro ar­eas. Den­ver tied with San Diego and Austin for the se­cond place.

Den­ver’s wage growth is up 0.2 per­cent since first quar­ter 2017, and up 12.8 per­cent since 2006, ac­cord­ing to PayS­cale.

This also sup­ports a re­cent an­nual com­pen­sa­tion sur­vey by the Moun­tain States Em­ploy­ers Council, which noted that Metro Den­ver em­ploy­ers plan to award an av­er­age pay raise of 3.1 per­cent next year, the big­gest hike since 2008.

Na­tion­wide, PayS­cale said that wages grew for the eighth con­sec­u­tive quar­ter and were up 2.4 per­cent from the same pe­riod last year and up 0.5 per­cent from first quar­ter 2017.

Of the 31 metro ar­eas, San Fran­cisco had the na­tion’s top wage growth at 3.8 per­cent. But four Mid­west cities saw wage de­clines, in­clud­ing Detroit, at -0.7 per­cent; Kansas City, MO, -0.3 per­cent; Min­neapo­lis, -0.1 per­cent; and Chicago, -0.1 per­cent.

PayS­cale’s data also shows that food­ser­vice and restau­rant work­ers saw the big­gest jump in wages, up 3.6 per­cent from last year, while ac­count­ing and fi­nance jobs had the low­est, at 1.4 per­cent.

But PayS­cale pointed out that real wages were flat be­cause wages have not kept up with the rate of in­fla­tion.

“While the pos­i­tive wage growth ap­pears to be sus­tain­ing, real wages are again 7.5 per­cent lower than they were in 2006, so the price of goods is grow­ing faster than most em­ploy­ees’ wages,” said Katie Bar­daro, vice pres­i­dent of data an­a­lyt­ics and lead econ­o­mist at PayS­cale, in a state­ment.

PayS­cale tracks com­pen­sa­tion changes for full-time em­ploy­ees at pri­vate com­pa­nies.

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