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Where Wages Have Grown the Most (and Least) Since the Recovery
Richard Florida / The Atlantic Cities / September 2, 2013
Just in time for Labor Day, a recent Gallup poll has given some promising employment news. More than half of American workers say that their income has grown over the last five years, telling Gallup that they are making either a lot (28 percent) or a little (30 percent) more money since the onslaught of the economic crisis.
However, workers’ wage growth has been uneven across the country’s metros. To chart where wages have grown the most during America’s recovery, my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Charlotta Mellander ran the numbers on average change in wages and salaries for all 350-plus U.S. metros between 2009 and 2012 (the latest year available) based on data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average wages have increased in most metros over the course of the recovery, as the map above shows. Workers in more than half of all metros saw their wages rise by more than $2,000. And in 16 percent of them, workers saw their average wages rise by more than $3,000 between 2009 and 2012. Conversely, workers in only 15 metro areas saw their average wages decline over this period, and just 63 metros saw average wages grow less than $1,000. Across the nation, workers saw their average wages increase by $2,330, as mean wages rose from $43,460 in 2009 to $45,790 in 2012.