MILL VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- According to job site Glassdoor, the annual median base pay in the United States grew 1.1 percent year over year (YOY) in December 2017 to $51,210. The Glassdoor Local Pay Reports show pay growth ticked up slightly from a revised 1.0 percent growth last month. Pay growth peaked in January 2017 at a revised 3.5 percent.
"U.S. wage growth remains weak as we close out the year, having experienced a sharp decline from a peak of 3.5 percent in January 2017 to this month's 1.1 percent. This stagnation is part of the continued recovery after the large dip in pay growth in May, June and July of 2017, likely due to the changing composition of the U.S. workforce. As the economy improved, many sidelined workers rejoined the labor market at below-average wages to get their foot in the door with employers. This impacted overall U.S. pay and is likely the reason for the dip and slower recovery," said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor.
Health Care Remains Strong Amidst Overall Slow Pay Growth While many industries are seeing slow growth or declines in wages, health care remains strong with many positions seeing pay increases. Medical technologist saw the biggest median base pay increase overall, up 6.2 percent to $55,670, while emergency medical technician also saw big gains (up 3.8 percent to $35,259). Other health care positions, including certified nursing assistant (up 2.1 percent to $28,719); licensed practical nurse (up 2.0 percent to $41,676); pharmacist (up 2.0 percent to $128,215); and pharmacy technician (up 2.0 percent to $30,329), all bucked the U.S. trend with pay growth at 2.0 percent or above.
"While many positions are seeing stark declines in wages, health care jobs continue to record positive pay growth. These highly specialized roles remain in demand as our population ages, which means workers in a variety of health care fields will have the upper hand in wage discussions. Given the ongoing health care debate in Washington, we anticipate this trend to continue well into the new year," continued Chamberlain.
E-Commerce and Brick-and-Mortar Pay on the Rise MasterCard SpendingPulse noted a 4.9 percent increase in sales2 this holiday season, setting a new record for dollars spent, and this positive shopping season helped fuel salary increases among retail roles. E-commerce positions saw gains at three times the national average, including warehouse associates (up 4.1 percent to $42,361), truck drivers (up 3.4 percent to $53,043), and delivery driver (up 3.3 percent to $38,142). Brick-and-mortar positions also saw positive gains throughout December, including cashiers (up 3.6 percent to $27,692) and buyers (up 2.2 percent to $56,774).
"Although the brick-and-mortar retail sector struggled overall in 2017, the industry is shifting its focus towards more pleasant in-store experiences, with sales associates who can help customers navigate a complex product space. That means the in-store jobs that survive this retail shake-up may be higher skilled — and higher paid — in the future," said Chamberlain.
Tech Sector Wages Mixed; AI and Automation Impacting Traditional Jobs Technology industry wages are slowing and YOY pay growth is 0.5 percent, down from 3.0 percent in December 2016. Some positions are seeing gains, like technical support (up 3.5 percent to $45,526) and web developer (up 2.4 percent to $64,050), but others like java developer (down 2.5 percent to $73,029) are seeing steep declines. The demand for data scientist roles is also leveling off: Median base pay for data scientists($95,713) and data analysts($58,855) were up 1.1 percent in December, on par with the overall U.S. average.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to impact traditional roles and wages are starting to decline among positions that are being replaced by these new technologies, including loan officer (down 6.1 percent to $42,983), machine operator (down 1.9 percent to $38,460) and office manager (down 1.1 percent to $44,958).
"Apps, automated processes and new software are beginning to replace many of the responsibilities traditionally done by people — like AI meeting schedulers and automated credit approval processes, and this is starting to impact wages for these roles," continued Chamberlain. "On the flip side, the interest in data science has led to an influx of new workers in this field, dampening the rapid pay gains for data roles we have seen in recent years."
Other jobs experiencing the biggest declines in YOY pay growth in December, bartender (down 6.6 percent to $30,604), civil engineer (down 1.5 percent to $66,008) and maintenance worker (down 1.4 percent to $39,451) topped the list.
For a list of jobs with the biggest pay declines, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research blog.
Fastest Pay Growth in San Francisco and Boston; Houston Sees Negative Wage Gains Among the 10 metros tracked, wage growth was fastest in San Francisco (up 2.0 percent to $68,078), and Boston (up 1.8 percent to $58,544). Houston experienced the weakest pay growth again in December, and fell YOY (down 0.3 percent to $54,292).
To read more trends and insights from Chamberlain on this month's report or his predictions regarding the December Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research blog.
Any individual can also keep tabs on their personal worth in their local job market through Know Your Worth™ by Glassdoor. Visit Glassdoor or download the Glassdoor Job Search apps for iPhone or Android.
To speak with Dr. Chamberlain regarding the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports or his predictions for this month's jobs report: [email protected].
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