U.S. Salaries Up 3 Percent in March: Glassdoor Local Pay Reports

Dr. Andrew Chamberlain

April 4, 2017

The new March edition of the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports shows U.S. median base pay grew 3.0 percent year over year in March to $51,336 per year, according to salaries reported on Glassdoor. That’s up slightly from the 2.8 percent revised pay growth recorded last month, and is tied with January with the fastest pace of pay growth we’ve recorded in the three years of data available in the Local Pay Reports—a sign of today’s red-hot U.S. labor market. Pay Gains by Metro Among metros, Los Angeles had the fastest year-over-year growth in median base pay of 4.4 percent in March. That’s the fourth straight month that pay growth has accelerated in Los Angeles, bringing the metro’s median annual pay for full-time workers to $59,772 per year. They are followed by Chicago, where median base pay rose by 3.8 percent year-over-year in March to $56,107, a slight acceleration from their revised 3.7 percent pay growth last month. Houston had the nation’s slowest pay growth among the five metros we examined, with median base pay rising just 1.3 percent year-over-year in March, to $54,435. With U.S. inflation averaging about 2.7 percent, workers in that city are losing ground economically in real terms, and Houston’s pace of pay growth has fallen steadily each month so far in 2017. Two metros had pay growth similar to the U.S. average: New York and San Francisco. In New York, base pay was up 2.9 percent year-over-year in March to $60,822, an acceleration from the revised 2.6 percent pay growth posted last month. Similarly, San Francisco’s median base pay was up 2.7 percent in March to $67,032, an acceleration from 2.5 percent growth in February. You can view the full data for our March 2017 Glassdoor Local Pay Reports here. Jobs with the Biggest Pay Raises Jobs that are highest paying aren’t always where we see biggest growth. Here are the five jobs in the U.S. with the biggest percentage growth in base pay from one year ago:
Job Title Median Base Pay YoY
Professor $91,110 8.3%
Store Manager $49,363 7.9%
Customer Service Manager $54,273 7.4%
Recruiter $51,915 7.4%
Warehouse Associate $40,390 6.3%
Consistent with previous months, we continue to see strong pay gains among warehouse associates, who are key employees in today’s fast-growing online retail giants. Similarly, we continue to see strong pay growth in retail roles like store manager -- thanks in part to the large number of open retail jobs today. Finally, we continue to see rapid pay gains for recruiters, who are in high-demand thanks to today’s challenging hiring environment. Pay growth was also unusually high in March for customer service managers and academic professors. The jobs with the slowest pay growth (or declines) year over year in March are:
Job Title Median Base Pay YoY
Construction Laborer $40,497 0.8%
Sales Manager $61,244 0.2%
Paralegal $47,424 0.0%
Java Developer $74,520 0.0%
Web Developer $61,767 -0.9%
While most tech jobs remain in high demand, our Local Pay Reports revealed some evidence of a slowdown for some tech roles in recent months. Pay declined slightly for web developers in March, and was essentially flat for java developers. We’re also seeing a slowdown in March for pay growth among construction laborers, paralegals and sales manager roles. Highest and Lowest Paying Jobs One advantage of Glassdoor salary data compared to most government sources is that we’re able to show pay growth for real-world job titles that workers can easily relate to – rather than the hard-to-understand and often outdated occupational groups used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This helps job seekers understand what job titles are paying best today, helping them search for jobs smarter. In March, the nation’s highest median base pay was found among five key job titles in Glassdoor salary data:
Job Title Median Base Pay YoY
Physician $242,235 3.0%
Attorney $99,758 5.3%
Data Scientist $95,400 1.2%
Tax Manager $93,418 1.0%
Professor $91,110 8.3%
Similarly, the list of the five lowest U.S. median base pay job titles in March was:
Job Title Median Base Pay YoY
Cashier $27,860 5.7%
Bank Teller $28,409 5.4%
Restaurant Cook $28,792 5.0%
Retail Key Holder $29,846 5.6%
Pharmacy Technician $30,322 3.1%
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. The Local Pay Reports estimate year-over-year growth in median base salaries by job title for more than 60 jobs across more than 15 job categories including healthcare, 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 new 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 195,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate steady at 4.7 percent in March. 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.  

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