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What Job Field Saw the Biggest Wage Growth?

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What does your paycheck look like these days?

Andrew Pons |

As always, the answer might depend on your field or the city you live in, according to the most recent PayScale Index report.

What’s surprising, however, are some of the jobs that are doing well and those that aren’t. For instance, IT positions actually decreased in pay while transportation-related jobs saw an increase.

Overall, there was an average 2 percent growth for the quarter and 1.8 percent annual growth across all industries.

Related: What Your Salary Says About You

The report’s data is updated each quarter based on wage trends by city, industry, company size and job category.

These were some of the more surprising highlights from the report:

1. IT jobs actually took a small dip this quarter.

Though you'd think otherwise, the field saw a .1 percent decrease. PayScale analysts partly attribute this to the rise of data-related jobs, which saw increasing wages. For example, there are more opportunities for data analysts or scientists with higher pay rates. "Their increase has bumped up overall wages in the sector even though other IT jobs' wages have stalled," according to PayScale.

2. Transportation jobs topped the list for highest annual wage growth.

The field actually saw the largest wage growth with a rate of 4.6 percent. The field itself saw the second-highest increase overall, after utility-related employment.

3. Pay in tech cluster cities is on the upswing.

Though IT jobs aren’t experiencing an increase in pay rates, the cities that harbor the most tech companies are experiencing huge growth overall. For example, Seattle had a 3.6 percent increase, its largest growth since before the Great Recession. Minneapolis isn’t too far behind with a 2.6 percent increase, as well as San Francisco with a 2.4 percent increase.

4. Wages for mining, oil and gas exploration jobs are sinking.

At the lowest of any other sector, these fields actually saw an annual decrease of .7 percent. But oddly enough, the report says since 2006 no other area has rivaled the industry in overall wage growth, which is still the highest in the industry -- up by 17 percent.

Related: Should You Raise Your Employees' Pay?

5. Pay for healthcare jobs is going strong.

Though the healthcare industry had a bit of a rough patch a few years ago, jobs are again going steady and are up by 5.8 percent. This quarter alone, wages in the field increased .6 percent. With an increase of 2.5 percent, healthcare jobs are now third highest on the list in terms of annual wage growth. Just behind architecture and engineering, healthcare jobs have been on the mend and doing well since 2006 and have continued to grow overall by 13.3 percent. The study also predicts that the sector’s upswing won’t end anytime soon thanks to an aging population.

6. Marketing and advertising wages have suffered greatly.

Bad news for marketers and advertisers: wages have not recovered since a huge dip last year. According to PayScale, wages in these fields fell 2.9 percent in the first half of 2015, what the index says is "the worst numbers across any job in any quarter ever measured." Marketing and advertising wages "still remain more than 2 percent below their levels a year ago."
Lindsay Friedman

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Lindsay Friedman is a staff writer at