increasing and decreasing green and red graph linesThe recently released PayScale Index for Q1 2013 shows that the economy has experienced its first wage decreases in three years. But decreases were minor and wages remain up over the year in every industry. The industry with the highest quarterly growth was food services and accommodation, a first for the Index. Wages here grew at a rate of 1.4 percent over the quarter.

Highlights from the Q1 2013 PayScale Index include:

• The mining, oil, gas, and exploration industry experienced a 0.4 percent decrease in wages.

• Cities with the strongest technology industries experienced general decreases in tech wages. For example, wages in Boston fell 0.7 percent, in Minneapolis they fell 0.4 percent, and fell 0.2 percent in Seattle. Wages were hit particularly hard in biotech, falling 1 percent in Q1.

• The expansion of the manufacturing sector slowed in March as both wages and job creation decreased.

• Small businesses saw a 0.3 percent increase in wages while medium and large companies suffered wage decreases of 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Commenting on small business growth compared to other businesses, PayScale Lead Economist Katie Bardaro said, “Although the growth for small companies was muted this quarter, they have experienced strong wage growth over the last few quarters and are still tops for annual growth with 5.5 percent (compared to less than 3 percent for medium and large companies). This wage growth for small companies is largely driven by two factors: 1) their competition with larger firms for top talent and 2) their ability to react and respond to labor market trends in a more fluid and immediate way.”


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