Seattle Sees Fastest Wage Growth in the U.S. in October

Tied with San Francisco for best in the nation, Seattle's wages grew 2.1 percent from October 2016 to October 2017 to a median salary north of $60,000.
 
 

Wages are up for almost every occupation in the Seattle region, which ties San Francisco as the metro with the fastest growing median base pay in the United States, according to new data from Glassdoor.

Median pay is up yet again in the Seattle metro, growing 2.1 percent year-over-year. That’s ahead of the national rate up 1.6 percent, putting the city’s median pay at $60,333, well ahead of the U.S. median of $51,220.

And while the number seems high, Glassdoor reports there were 105,047 job openings in the Seattle metro area as of October 2017.

Only one of more than 80 occupational categories saw wages decrease for the month of October. That job category is “maintenance worker,” the single lowest wage growth job nationally, which is down 0.1 percent to $48,843 in Seattle and down 0.6 percent to $40,501 nationally.

The fastest growing job title categories in Seattle are:

  • Barista (up 5.8% to a median salary of $29,172)

  • Insurance agent (up 5.8 percent to $41,890)

  • Recruiter (up 5.8 percent to $62,614)

  • Restaurant cook (up 5.3 percent to $34,089)

Jobs with wages growing more than 4 percent on the year include bank teller, financial advisor, construction laborer, truck driver, warehouse associate, business development manager, cashier, store manager, sales representative, and web designer, many of which are among the national job category leaders, as well.

In raw numbers, the highest median base pay jobs in Seattle are:

  • Pharmacist: median base pay of $127,154

  • Data Scientist: $125,825

  • Solutions architect: $115,397

  • Software engineer: $110,670

  • Attorney: $109,784

  • Product manager: $109,548

  • Tax manager: $103,348

  • Professor: $99,393

Among themes identified by Dr. Andrew Chamberlain of Glassdoor in this month's report are increases in jobs for warehouse associates and truck drivers as companies like Amazon and Walmart expand their online retail presence, growth for insurance agents due to Baby Boomer-driven demand, and rising state and local minimum wages, such as is the case in Seattle and San Francisco, this month’s overall growth leaders.

See the full press release from Glassdoor below:

US WAGE GROWTH STEADILY RISES AFTER SUMMER SLOWDOWN; PAY IN OCTOBER UP 1.6 PERCENT YEAR OVER YEAR 

U.S. Wage Growth Up in October From 1.4% Last Month 

Retail Positions See Salary Growth Ahead of Holiday Season: Warehouse Associate Wages Up 4.3%, Store Manager Wages Up 4.0%

Among Top Metros, Fastest Wage Growth is in San Francisco and Seattle, Both Up 2.1%

MILL VALLEY, CALIF. (October 31, 2017) – According to job site Glassdoor, the annual median base pay in the United States grew 1.6 percent year over year (YOY) in October 2017 to $51,220. The Glassdoor Local Pay Reports show pay growth ticked up slightly from a revised 1.4 percent growth last month. Pay growth peaked in January 2017 at a revised 3.5 percent.

The Glassdoor Local Pay Reports provide a unique monthly view into the country’s wage picture with salary estimates for nearly 85 job titles and year-over-year pay growth trends in the United States. The reports include details on 10 major metros: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

“U.S. wage growth is steady but slow. We’ve seen incremental increases over the past few months after a slight decline of U.S. median pay over the summer months. While we are still well below the 3.5 percent pay growth rate of January, I am encouraged by the slight salary increases recorded since August and anticipate growth to continue to accelerate through the end of the year,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor 

Holiday Season and Online Retailer Growth Fuel Retail Salary Increase

Pay growth continues for jobs in retail, as well as positions that directly support retailers. There are more than 698,000 open jobs in the retail industry on Glassdoor. Traditional retail roles like  store managers (up 4.0 percent to $48,616) and cashiers (up 3.7 percent to $27,549) are on the rise in advance of the holiday season. Online retailers are also fueling above average wage growth for roles that handle back-end operations including warehouse associates (up 4.3 percent to $42,893) and truck drivers (up 4.1 percent to $52,629).

“We are seeing increased demand for roles that serve as the logistical foundation for back-end operations for online retail. We anticipate this will continue to grow over the coming months, fueled by the upcoming holiday season and as Amazon and Walmart expand their online retail presence,” said Chamberlain. 

Insurance Agent Salaries Up; Healthcare Industry Continues to Grow

As the healthcare sector continues to grow, several jobs within the field are seeing rapid wage growth including insurance agents (up 5.3 percent to $42,729) and licensed practical nurse (up 3.4 percent to $42,091). Insurance agents are in high demand given their understanding of both health and life insurance, especially tailored to the country’s population of aging Baby Boomers. Similar to September’s Local Pay Reports, nursing roles continue to see salary growth as their roles as the frontline of healthcare are increasing in demand. There are more than 908,000 open jobs in the healthcare industry on Glassdoor. 

“Our nation’s aging population has given rise to growing opportunities for highly-specialized insurance professionals that understand sophisticated long-term health, life and other insurance products. These individuals help make sense of what can be a confusing process for consumers, and rising demand for these health-related products is fueling a strong labor market and wage increase for these roles,” continued Chamberlain.

Business Development Wages Rise as Other Tech Salaries Fall

Pay growth for business development managers is on the rise (up 3.8 percent to $69,756). As tech companies look for ways to expand and monetize their offering, business development managers are the front line for increasing a company’s bottom line. However, some technology jobs are seeing weak gains in salary, including java developer (up 0.3 percent to $74,387) and programmer analyst (up 0.2 percent to $65,682). 

Among jobs experiencing the biggest declines in YOY pay growth in October, maintenance worker (down 0.6 percent to $40,501) and attorneys (down 0.2 percent to $93,364) topped the list.

Jobs with the Fastest Pay Growth

Rank

Job Title

% Wage Growth YoY

(Oct 2016-Oct 2017)

Median Base Pay

1

Barista

5.3%

$24,500

2

Insurance Agent

5.3%

$42,729

3

Recruiter

5.3%

$51,075

4

Restaurant Cook

4.8%

$28,398

5

Bank Teller

4.4%

$28,837

6

Warehouse Associate

4.3%

$42,893

7

Truck Driver

4.1%

$52,629

8

Construction Laborer

4.0%

$39,678

9

Store Manager

4.0%

$48,616

10

Sales Manager

3.9%

$46,531

 For a list of jobs with the biggest pay declines, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research blog.  

Fastest Pay Growth in San Francisco and Seattle; Houston Falls Far Behind

Among the 10 metros tracked, wage growth was fastest in San Francisco (up 2.1 percent to $68,023), Seattle (up 2.1 percent to $60,033), and Los Angeles (up 2.0 percent to $59,478). Houston pay growth was flat this month (0.0 percent to $53,126) and lagged well behind the U.S. average.

Wage Growth by U.S. Metro

Rank

Area

% Wage Growth YoY

(Oct 2016-Oct 2017)

Median Base Pay

 

United States

1.6%

$51,491

1

San Francisco

2.1%

$68,023

2

Seattle

2.1%

$60,333

3

Los Angeles

2.0%

$59,478

4

Boston

1.7%

$58,504

5

Chicago

1.7%

$55,659

6

New York City

1.4%

$60,294

7

Atlanta

1.3%

$52,710

8

Washington DC

1.1%

$58,676

9

Philadelphia

0.4%

$54,142

10

Houston

0.0%

$54,136

For more on jobs with the highest and lowest pay, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research blog.   

The full data sets for the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports can be found on the Glassdoor Economic Research site, along with report methodology and Frequently Asked Questions.

To read more trends and insights from Chamberlain on this month’s report or his predictions regarding the October Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report, visit the Glassdoor Economic Research blog.

Related Content

A PayScale study analyzed the mid-career pay of those with bachelor’s degrees

A PayScale study analyzed the mid-career pay of those with bachelor’s degrees

Renderings of condo plan in Olympia, WA by The Rants Group

Olympia developer kills project over ‘social climate’

A prolonged trade war would devastate Washington's economy

A prolonged trade war would devastate Washington's economy