10 Cities With Fastest-Growing Wages In 2012



By Abby Rogers and Callie Bost


Unemployment is still a major problem in the United States.

But it looks like we're finally making our way out of the recession, at least in terms of pay wages. PayScale recently released an index of how many times private-sector wages have changed since 2006. The results for Q1 of 2012 look promising.

In this quarter, U.S. wages finally rose above the level where they peaked in Q4 of 2008.

The index considers how much pay has changed for particular jobs, but does not account for differences in compensation based on experience or other outlying factors, said PayScale Analytics Manager Katie Bardaro.


10. Baltimore, Md.
  • Quarterly change: 1.3 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 109.0
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 107.6

-- Find a job in Baltimore


9. San Diego, Calif.
  • Quarterly change: 0.4% increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 105.3
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 104.9

-- Find a job in San Diego


8. Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Quarterly change: 0.4 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 106.6
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 106.2

-- Find a job in Philadelphia


7. Boston, Mass.
  • Quarterly change: 0.4% increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 105.3
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 104.9

-- Find a job in Boston


6. New York, N.Y.
  • Quarterly change: 0.8 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 105.6
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 104.8

-- Find a job in New York


5. Dallas, Texas
  • Quarterly change: 0.8 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 106.0
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 105.2

-- Find a job in Dallas


4. Tampa, Fla.
  • Quarterly change: 0.9 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 104.9
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 104.0

-- Find a job in Tampa


3. Riverside, Calif.
  • Quarterly change: 1.0 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 101.5
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 100.5

-- Find a job in Riverside


2. Seattle, Wash.
  • Quarterly change: 1.3 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 109.0
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 107.6

-- Find a job in Seattle


1. Houston, Texas
  • Quarterly change: 1.4 % increase
  • 2012 Q1 PayScale Index: 109.8
  • 2011 Q4 PayScale Index: 108.3

-- Find a job in Houston


Source: PayScale tracks the level of wage changes jobs have experienced since 2006. The index is a percent that has been multiplied by 100, which is the baseline figure used for 2006.


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16 Comments

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meaiii

have not nor have my coworkers had a raise in 5 years , am thinking that it may be better if they fired me and i collect unemployment untill i find another job . scarey to say but as someone who has always had a job my whole life and dont like changeing jobs i may have no choice soon .....everyone took a pay cut 4 years ago ( to save the company ) well the union workers we have got rasies every year while we get nothing .... i would never do it but could see how people go postal ... thanks for the change obama ,,, i thought it might get betetr but i see your just like the rest

July 04 2012 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RichLDNRD

If you really want to make a huge increase in pay then move to a border town in Texas. There isn't any colleges here and there isn't a large pool of college educated professionals. So jobs are in demand and you can make a good deal while paying a low cost of living. The only problem is dealing with stupidity day in and day out!

July 04 2012 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gregginsarasota

Last night I watched a report on Fox News about how there are plentiful jobs in Allentown, Pennsylvania and how good the pay is! These are jobs that are open to high school graduates who want to do physical jobs like construction, plumbing, etc. Jobs that the boys took in "shop" years ago. There are so many people who have spent a fortune on tuition for college that will find no jobs when they finally graduate. Funny, Allentown was not even mentioned in this AOL report. (Probably because the AOL report was probably written months ago.)

July 04 2012 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marilyn

Interesting..Texas is a right to work state & run by Republicans for years . The cost of living in Houston or Dallas , may be higher than Amarillo or Austin , but is definitely lower than most cities in the US . The Democrats continue to try & convince their sheep that to vote Republican is to for the devil ! With that kind of thinking , we'll always be in debt . True , there have been some high- debt years , under Republicans , usually as a result of paying for a war , but Democrats have been far worse , running up the debt to keep its cronies in a state of complacency & voter friendly . I wised up a few years ago. Save America....vote for Romney .

July 04 2012 at 1:07 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Marilyn's comment
Klem Kadiddlehopper

I hate to burst your bubble, but Houston is far from Republican run. It is a Democratic bastion led by a two term Democrat and lesbian. Texas may be a red state, but the biggest cities there are blue.

July 04 2012 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RONALD ARIF

Amarillo is where I am headed in next few weeks fron Cleveland, Ohio. I got hired by the VA Medical Center in Amarillo to oversee the construction of new Rehab wards and other facilities for incoming soldiers from wars. The city is excellent place to live with just over 200,000 pop. and with demographics of 90% white middle class, 6% Latino & 4% Blacks. The crime rate is quite low with only 9 homicides reported in 2011 and a low 10 cases projected for 2012. Cleveland had 110+ homicides in 2011 for a city of 450,000. Cleveland had high corruption, high crime, high unemployement and rotting infrastructure. I am very excietd to be be moving out.

July 04 2012 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JC

This rating doesn't work unless one considers cost of living.

July 04 2012 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JC's comment
pamed9333

JC? You're so right! I moved here from Pa 4 yrs ago. I lived in a terrible area there. Drugs, shootings in my front yard and behind my yard. In Houston, I live in a lovely gated community, own a brick home w a swimming pool and spa, earn twice as much (literally!) and I did in Pa and my house and taxes here are lower than they were there. So yes, it IS relative.. and I couldn't be happier.

July 04 2012 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
larysa

And who would want to live in these cities where it will cost you an arm and a leg for your so called better wages.
I lived in DC, NYC and you cant get ahead. I'll opt for those smaller less expensive cities to get a Better quality of life!

July 04 2012 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hitmanblues

Knew it would not include Nashville as they are a right to work state and it keeps wages down here

July 04 2012 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Hitmanblues's comment
Klem Kadiddlehopper

Texas is a right to work state too. Doesn't seem to keep Houston & Dallas off the list.

July 04 2012 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
noknrc

It has nothing to do with unions or non union. It all boils down to supply and demand just like any thing else. If you are hiring electricians and run an add for 10 and only 6 show up the pay scale rises to grab those 6 if they meet the qualifications. and to have other quit their present position and come work for you. Now if 50 show up the staring price goes down because someone that is qualified will under bid you to get their foot on the door. He is the smart one. He knows when the company has to hire again and the pickings are slim he will get an automatic raise to keep him from moving to another company who is now offering more.
The problem with people today is they do not want to learn the new skills for today's job markets. and unskilled labor is a dime a dozen and that is why the wage stays low.

July 04 2012 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chrisk529

Al the cities listed do have high costs of living, except Dallas and Houston - although the Houston area has one of the highest rates for electricity in the nation, vitally necessary for our air conditioning.

July 04 2012 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
visitus

What this article fails to say is that the cost of living in those cities is insanely higher than other cities where you may earn less but spend much less to live. This article makes no sense. How about a cost of living ratio comparison to wages? And why on earth do you people make everything political? Vote the way you want and shut up! Post political statements to political articles. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. If you make 50k USD in New York City vs.Napoleon, Ohio - there is a monumental difference in the standard of living you will be able to afford. The pay scale index has nothing to do with cost of living or the quality of living.

July 04 2012 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lyric Ravenshire

This is misleading - wages in these cities are going up, but what's the cost of living in these cities? A lot of them have a higher costo of living.

July 04 2012 at 10:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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