Since 2009 saw the end of the Great Recession, a nearly decade-long economic expansion in America is now on the verge of becoming the longest in history, and unemployment is at an ultra-low 3.8%.
The labor market is also turning out to be one of the best hiring seasons in recent years. Data shows that the rate of hiring college graduates in 2019 is up 11% from last year. And after several years of economic growth, wages are finally starting to rise too.
Even though job growth saw slower expansion earlier this year, wages are continuing to rise as employers are on the hunt for top talent in today’s job market. Currently, the median base pay for full-time workers in the U.S. is $52,807 per year, according to Glassdoor’s Job Market Report. That’s up 1.4% from April 2018.
In 2018, wages increased nearly $1 per hour across all industries, according to research, which analyzed payroll data from nearly 1 in 6 U.S. workers. Job switchers saw an average wage increase of 5.8%, or $1.90, while job stayers saw a 4.7% or $1.34.
All this data paints a picture of a ripe job market with employers who are hiring and willing to pay well for qualified workers. That’s very good news for graduates with large college loans to pay off.
A survey of job markets and incomes in 5 major U.S. cities was performed by Glassdoor recently and the results showed some impressive growth in paychecks. It’s not surprising that San Francisco came in at number one, with the tech boom still alive and well in Silicon Valley. San Francisco has the fastest year-over-year pay growth of 2.6% and a median base pay of $72,030 per year. However, the site also saw a 2.9% decrease in job openings in the city.
Cities like Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. also saw pay increases and job opening decreases over the past year.
Coming in at 5th place, New York City saw a year-over-year growth of 1.9% and a median base pay of $63,507 per year. Compare that to the cost of living, and you start to get a sense of income versus expenditure.
In San Francisco and New York, the median rent is $4,500 and $2,817, respectively, according to real estate site Zillow. That’s compared to the median national rent price of $1,675 per month.  It’s certainly an interesting data point to help recent graduates evaluate where they should relocate to for opportunities on the rise, depending on their career choices.
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