Local Pay Reports: July Wages Hit Fastest Pace in 14 Months

July 31, 2018

Good news for American workers in July: Wages are rising with no sign of slowing. The latest edition of the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports shows median base pay grew at the fastest pace in over a year last month, rising 2.2 percent from a year ago to $52,267 per year. That’s up from the 1.7 percent revised pace recorded last month — more evidence that today’s hot labor market is finally translating into base pay gains for U.S. workers.

The chart below shows U.S. growth in base pay for full-time workers over the past two years according to salaries reported by job seekers on Glassdoor. The green line shows the steady upward growth in median base pay since January 2016. The blue line tracks the annual year-over-year percentage pay growth during the same period.

The recent uptick in wage growth comes after a year of slow pay gains. Between January 2017 and January 2018, the annual pace of pay growth fell from 3.2 percent to 0.7 percent according to Glassdoor data. Wage gains have picked up throughout 2018, rising 2.2 percent to $52,267 per year in July.


Source: Glassdoor.com/research.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened in July with U.S. salaries on Glassdoor.

Pay Gains by Metro

Among metros, the fastest year-over-pay growth in July was in Philadelphia for the second month in a row, where pay rose 2.8 percent to $55,723 per year. Glassdoor data show a pick up in hiring for senior-level roles at healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in the area are behind this recent uptick in average pay. Roles included chief technology officer, medical affairs director, medical manager, among others.

Other metros with strong pay gains in July include San Francisco (up 2.7 percent to $69,404 per year), New York City (up 2.6 percent to $61,836 per year) and Los Angeles (up 2.6 percent to $60,781 per year). By contrast, the metros with the slowest annual pay gains in July were Washington, DC (up 1.7 percent to $59,654 per year), Atlanta (up 1.9 percent to $53,871 per year) and Boston (up 2.0 percent to $59,698 per year).

Here’s a list of median base pay for all ten metros in our July 2018 Local Pay Reports:

Area Median Base Pay YoY %
U.S. National $52,267 2.2%
Philadelphia $55,723 2.8%
San Francisco $69,404 2.7%
New York City $61,836 2.6%
Los Angeles $60,781 2.6%
Chicago $56,636 2.6%
Seattle $61,415 2.1%
Houston $55,474 2.0%
Boston $59,698 2.0%
Atlanta $53,871 1.9%
Washington DC $59,654 1.7%

Jobs with the Fastest Pay Growth

Among the 84 job titles we track each month, here are the ten jobs with the fastest growth in median base pay for full-time workers from one year ago in July:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Bank Teller $30,997 8.2%
Truck Driver $54,205 6.3%
Bartender $34,128 6.1%
Property Manager $51,948 6.0%
Cashier $28,145 5.4%
Retail Key Holder $29,794 4.9%
Financial Advisor $54,259 4.9%
Warehouse Associate $43,287 4.8%
Tax Manager $97,615 4.7%
Design Engineer $72,619 4.7%

There are several themes that stood out among the jobs with the fastest pay growth in July:

  • Property managers may be riding a nationwide boom in housing toward higher pay, as rental markets across the nation are on the rise. Pay for these roles was up 6 percent from a year ago in July, to $51,948 per year.
  • Several retail jobs experienced solid pay gains in July, despite weak retail hiring in recent months. Pay was up by 5.4 percent for retail cashiers, to $28,145 per year. This may reflect shifting skills in today’s retail world, as companies needs shift towards workers with more specialized skills in areas like customer service and technology.
  • E-commerce continues to drive how and where people shop, as evidenced by this month’s Amazon Prime Day. Roles within the industry saw continued strong pay growth and opportunities in July, a similar theme we’ve seen over the past year. Pay for warehouse associate was up 4.8 percent to $43,287 per year in July.
  • Several financial jobs are seeing strong pay raises in today’s bull market, including financial advisor (up 4.9 percent to $54,259 per year), tax manager (up 4.7 percent to $97,615 per year) and bank teller (up 8.2 percent to $30,997 per year).

Lowest Pay-Growth Jobs

Here are the ten jobs with the lowest wage growth in July, compared to one year ago:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Network Engineer $66,280 -4.5%
Physical Therapist $72,182 -1.9%
Web Designer $50,581 -1.1%
Insurance Agent $41,352 -0.8%
Loan Officer $44,675 -0.5%
Project Manager $72,689 -0.2%
Producer $52,044 -0.1%
Professor $87,649 0.0%
Operations Manager $66,853 0.2%
Communications Manager $68,250 0.3%
  • Average pay for network engineer ticked down in July, following roughly a year of strong pay gains. As noted last month, this is due to a shift in the type of workers hired — a surge in hiring for IP network engineers, a telecom role paying between $15 and $30 per hour, and fewer tech network engineers which typically earn $90,000 to $140,000 per year. That trend has pulled down median base pay for network engineers this summer.   
  • Loan officer experienced average pay declines in July, a trend we’ve observed throughout the past year. These roles are increasingly impacted by automation and self-serve web platforms, causing weak average pay gains.
  • Despite today’s overall boom in health care jobs, the market for physical therapist again remained weak in July, with average pay down -1.9 percent to $72,182 per year. This role remains one of the few health care jobs we track that is experiencing below-average wage growth today.

While all pay growth is the result of both supply and demand for workers, these jobs offer useful clues about where any remaining pockets of weakness are in today’s otherwise strong labor market.

Highest Paying Jobs

Jobs with the highest pay growth aren’t always the ones with the highest earning potential. Here are the jobs with the highest U.S. median base pay from our July Local Pay Reports:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Pharmacist $126,809 3.3%
Solutions Architect $104,943 3.7%
Attorney $100,179 3.9%
Tax Manager $97,615 4.7%
Data Scientist $96,855 0.8%
Product Manager $94,369 3.0%
Professor $87,649 0.0%
Software Engineer $86,865 2.4%
Systems Engineer $79,568 2.2%
Process Engineer $78,863 1.8%

Once again, three fields dominated the highest paying jobs in July: Health care, tech, and professional services. Pharmacist, solutions architect, attorney, tax manager, and data scientist topped our list as the jobs with the highest U.S. median base pay in the July Local Pay Reports.

Lowest Paying Jobs

Finally, here is a list of the ten lowest paying jobs in the July Local Pay Reports:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Barista $24,516 4.3%
Cashier $28,145 5.4%
Restaurant Cook $29,108 3.0%
Certified Nursing Assistant $29,351 4.3%
Retail Key Holder $29,794 4.9%
Bank Teller $30,997 8.2%
Research Assistant $31,030 1.4%
Pharmacy Technician $31,260 3.6%
Server $33,861 3.5%
Bartender $34,128 6.1%

You can view the full list of highest and lowest paying jobs as of July 2018 here.

How Does it Work?

Like the Know Your Worth tool by Glassdoor, Local Pay Reports incorporate millions of salaries directly collected from U.S. workers by Glassdoor and apply a proprietary machine-learning algorithm to estimate near-real-time trends in local pay for ten U.S. metros and the nation as a whole.

The Local Pay Reports estimate year-over-year growth in median base salaries by job title for 84 jobs across more than 15 job categories including health care, technology, retail and more. The reports also estimate median base pay by industry and employer size, and provide a monthly trend of metro-level median base pay for each local market over the past four years.

Our Local Pay Reports fill an important gap in our knowledge about wage growth at the local level for specific jobs. Official BLS “Occupational Employment Statistics” are updated only once per year, and use broad occupational groupings that can be confusing for job seekers. Local Pay Reports are released monthly—using the latest data from Glassdoor—and show pay for actual job titles that are easy for non-economists to understand.

Read more in our full methodology and FAQs.

Monthly Jobs Report Expectations

The latest jobs report from the federal government is due out on Friday. This month, we expect to see 188,000 new jobs created and an unemployment rate down slightly to 3.9 percent in July. See our full analysis for more commentary and predictions here.

To learn more or subscribe to the monthly email alerts, visit: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/. The Glassdoor Local Pay Reports can be found here: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/local-pay-reports/.

Press inquiries: To speak with Dr. Andrew Chamberlain about this month’s report, email pr@glassdoor.com. Follow him on Twitter: @adchamberlain.