Survey reveals industries with the greatest wage growth post-recession

Information sector has increased by 20 percent since 2005

Posted November 12, 2015

Wage growth continues to be an issue plaguing the U.S. market, but are some industries faring better than others?

Findings from a study done by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) reveal which industries have experienced some of the biggest increases and biggest declines in post-recession wage growth.

Wages in broad sectors

From 2010 to 2015, wages declined in eight of the 20 broad industry sectors with the biggest dip in health care and social assistance (-4.4 percent) — largely driven by a 20 percent decrease in wages in individual and family services.

The Government sector experienced the next largest decline in wages at 3.1 percent as more downsizing and budget cuts came into play.

Several of the broad industry sectors that experienced declines or only very small increases in earnings post-recession are lower-paying on average:

  • Retail (-1.7 percent),
  • Accommodations and food services (-1.4 percent), and
  • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (-2.3 percent).

Conversely, several of the broad industry sectors that saw significant increases since 2010 are high-paying, such as:

  • Information (13.9 percent),
  • Finance and insurance (4.2 percent, and
  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (3.1 percent).

The information sector not only had the most wage growth post-recession, but also since 2005 (20 percent). Among reasons for this surge in earnings is a big jump in internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portal jobs, which on average earn upwards of $220,000 in 2015.

Wage growth in detailed industries

Below are industries with at least 250,000 jobs and average earnings of at least $75,000 that have experienced the highest wage growth since 2010. Many of the jobs are concentrated in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Industry % Change in Earnings
(2010-2015)
2015 Average
Earnings
% Change in Jobs
(2010-2015)
2015 Jobs
Scheduled air transportation 16.7 $75,284 1 409,901
Scientific research and development 9.6 $117,196 5 652,877
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 7.8 $119,522 2 283,263
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 6.6 $96,606 0 369,730
Data processing, hosting and related services 6.0 $91,852 20 290,524
Support activities for mining 5.3 $87,878 52 441,269
Management of companies and enterprises 4.6 $111,951 18 2,183,267
Insurance carriers 3.4 $84,879 4 1,296,480
Software publishers 2.9 $139,291 23 318,580
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing 2.8 $94,124 2 483,880

 

While higher-paying industries are producing the most wage growth, industries with average earnings of less than $50,000 are also seeing larger paychecks. Examples include:

Industry % Change in Earnings
(2010-2015)
2015 Average
Earnings
% Change in Jobs
(2010-2015)
2015 Jobs
Consumer goods rental 12.9 $36,138 -20 154,811
Specialized freight trucking 5.4 $46,584 19 451,081
Residential building construction 3.1 $48,441 20 721,575
Lessors of real estate 7.0 $45,762 1 590,582
Crop production 5.6 $28,888 5 556,898
Social advocacy organizations 4.4 $43,391 11 212,058
Educational support services 2.8 $46,945 33 139,523

 

Declines in wages in detailed industries

But where, specifically, are wages declining the most? Below are industries with at least 250,000 jobs that have experienced the largest dips in wages since 2010.

Industry % Change in Earnings
(2010-2015)
2015 Average
Earnings
% Change in Jobs
(2010-2015)
2015 Jobs
Individual and family services -20.1 $21,156 64 2,156,204
Department stores -8.8 $20,145 -10 1,345,204
Federal government, military -8.7 $47,359 -3 2,029,595
Office supplies, stationary and gift stores -6.6 $23,906 -7 290,262
Grocery stores -6.6 $22,589 8 2,657,897
Building material and supplies dealers -5.6 $31,335 8 1,097,644
Home health care services -5.5 $28,116 20 1,298,526
Sporting goods, hobby and musical instrument stores -5.3 $19,408 13 520,618
Gasoline stations -5.0 $19,431 9 893,894
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing -4.7 $55,879 34 557,313
Vocational rehabilitation services -4.7 $25,474 -2 347,699
Offices of dentists -4.5 $47,481 10 910,783

Will wages start to climb?

A nationwide study by CareerBuilder found 68 percent of employers plan to increase compensation levels for current employees, and 46 percent plan to increase starting salaries for new employees. In addition, 64 percent said they support a hike a minimum wage in their state.


Wage and Hour Compliance with FLSA Manual J. J. Keller's Wage and Hour Compliance with FLSA Manual provides critical info to help you comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws.

 

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