The Top 5 US Cities for Wage Growth – And They May Not Be the Ones You Expect

The issue of wage level disparities across the country is always a hot one and of obvious importance to many. According to a recent Glassdoor study the median annual base pay figure for the whole of the United States now stands at $51,556, up 2% over this time last year.

However, there are some areas that are enjoying a better than average wage growth trend right now, at least among the large metro areas that the Glassdoor study covers. To create these reports, which they do on a quarterly basis, the recruiting and company review site survey ten major US metro areas. And the ones currently enjoying the best wage growth may not quite be those you expect. Here’s a look at the top five as of August 2017.

San Francisco

On a year over year basis the Fog City has enjoyed at 2.4% wage increase, with the average local salary now being $68,164.


Boston came in a close second to San Francisco, also enjoying a 2.4% average wage increase, but with a lower average median base pay figure of $58, 731.

Washington, D.C

Things are pretty crazy in the US capitol right now in many ways but at least its native workers appear to be thriving on the compensation front. On average workers there are enjoying slightly higher wages than their New England near neighbors, with an average median base pay of $59,141, an increase of 2.3% year over year.


The jewel of the North West continues to thrive, with a year on year wage increase of 2.1% for an average median base pay annually of $60,487.

Los Angeles

Rounding out the top five for August 2017 was glittery LA,where, according to Glassdoor, there has been a 2.1% increase in wage growth and the city can now boast an average median base pay of $59, 972

What you may have noticed from this list is that very few of the cities that one might expect to see on such a top five list actually make the cut. Where’s New York? Why hasn’t a professional employment organization been reporting much in the way of wage increases in Atlanta?

Well actually those cities are doing OK, they ranked sixth and ninth respectively on the top list. The Big Apple saw a 1.9% increase to $60,755 and Atlanta a little less in the way of a percentage increase – 1.6% – but still not a bad median base pay at $53,209.

The most troubling figures may relate to the city at number ten though. The figures used in this report were gathered primarily before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey on the city at number ten, Houston. It had only seen a 0.5% increase year over year in terms of wage growth and its median base pay is lagging behind at $54,538.

These are not good economical indicators for people in a city that now, in so many ways faces a rebuild from the ground up. Just another reason why the hurricane was so devastating and why the people of Houston will continue to need all the help and support they can get in the months to come.