Five Cities Where Salaries Are on the Rise


rising salariesJust as the recession hit certain cities earlier than others, now the recovery is showing up first in some very fortunate locations. According to a wage study by online salary database, salaries in several geographic areas are starting to bounce back, particularly in places where the dominant industry is growing.

"When one industry dominates a region, they'll start to set standards for wages for all jobs," adds James Hatch, partner-in-charge of the Human Capital Practice at EisnerAmper, an accounting firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Cayman Islands. "Companies competing for talent in those areas have to pay a bit more to keep up with the dominant industry."

Below are the five metro areas for wage growth and their percent of average wage increase between Q1 2010 and Q1 2011, according to The PayScale Index, a study of changes in wages for full-time, private employees. Also included is a job position in the town's dominant industry and the current salary for that job.

1. New York

Avg. Salary Increase: 1%

The New York City metro area has seen steady salary increases each quarter since Q2 2010. "The industries that really were affected by government intervention -- first being the financial services industry, which is largely in New York City -- are seeing wages picking up," explains Hatch.

Senior financial analyst: $87,400 per year

2. Boston

Avg. Salary Increase: .9%

Boston workers' wages have benefited from growth in health care and finance. "Boston has a tremendous tie to financial services, with Fidelity and State Street," says Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale. "Boston is also a very big health care town."

Associate clinical research director: $102,300 per year

3. Washington, D.C.

Avg. Salary Increase: .6%

Three out of the past four quarters have seen pay increases of at least a half percent in the Washington area. Lee attributes this outcome to nearby defense contracts and government agencies. Lower unemployment may also be contributing to slightly higher wages in the district, because of the competition for talent. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from March 2011, the D.C. area had an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, while the national average was 9.2 percent.

Information security analyst: $79,400 per year

4. Baltimore

Avg. Salary Increase: .5%

Since the first quarter of last year, wages in the Baltimore, Md. area have risen slightly each quarter. In fact, the third and fourth quarters of 2009 were the only periods during the recession when Baltimore's wages fell, an anomaly compared to most cities. Lee says government funding for defense and medical projects have helped prevent falling wages in Baltimore. However, Lee warns that government cutbacks could impact Baltimore's pay rates in the future.

Medical lab technician: $40,900 per year

5. Houston

Avg. Salary Increase: .3%

Wages in Houston, Texas, fluctuated quite a bit during the recession, but an increased focus on energy issues is among the factors aiding the area's recovery. Says Lee, "Houston is bouncing back. It's an energy town. It didn't dip as much as the rest of the country [during the recession], but that could be because energy is a big component of the economy there."

Energy analyst: $64,200 per year

Source: All salary data is provided by Salaries listed are for full-time, private employees with 5 to 8 years experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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1% pay raise?! omg! Now I could buy that cup of coffee Ive been saving up for! Gee thanks Susan Johnston. I love your smile, you and Mr Ed must have the same dentist.

May 28 2011 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Dude, go back to school Please

May 28 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy is so hot

wow washington d.c, n.y.c., balitmore, houston? didn't even have to do any homework to write this did ya? why don;t you tell us something we don't know!

May 28 2011 at 12:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Hey then why can't we pay cops, firemen, or teachers?

May 28 2011 at 12:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mom2alex2008's comment

Firemen already receive a spectacular compensation package. I'm not worried about their pay or benefits one bit. Schoolteachers, on the other hand, are a different story.

May 29 2011 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You call those raises?

May 28 2011 at 8:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to red's comment

You know what red, even though they are not much of a rasie, at least they are getting some sort of raise. I got a 4% raise last fall, and I still make less last I checked than $8/hr. Now, that it has been six months since my last raise, I am going to check what I make later today when I work. I work in retail and I thought I would make at least $8/hr a couple years ago, but that did not happen. I will admit I did not start out too well, I made a lot of mistakes in my first few months at my current job. I learned from my mistakes and took it all in stride. I started out at $6.50/hr and last I checked six months ago I made $7.96/hr.

May 28 2011 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sdowns1470's comment

nope I agree with red. I get 1% raises each year and at minimum wage that only averages out to around 8 cents an hour increase. Big whoop. I'm making a whole $125 a YEAR more than I did last year IF I don't take any sick time, vacation, or personal days. It's really kind of a pathetic raise.

May 28 2011 at 11:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

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