U.S. Wage Growth in June Was 2018's Strongest So Far

Median base pay for workers in the United States climbed by 1.6% in June to $52,052, according to the latest edition of Glassdoor's Local Pay Report. That was the strongest growth in the wage statistic so far in 2018.

"With unemployment hovering around historic lows, employers' need to fill roles climbs," said Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain in a press release. "What results is that more workers, especially in high demand industries like healthcare, finance, and e-commerce, are in the driver's seat to negotiate for better pay in order to fill these roles."

The Glassdoor data showed that traditional blue-collar jobs -- such as truck driver, warehouse associate, and materials handler -- posted large wage gains. The increases were tied to the increasing demand for manpower in those areas created by growth in e-commerce, and Chamberlain expects that wages for these positions will continue to climb throughout 2018.

Which jobs saw the biggest increases?

As you can see on the chart below, a number of traditionally lower-paying jobs saw increases well above the average. That appears to be a simple case of supply and demand. As the pool of available workers shrinks, companies have to pay more to fill even low-level positions.

Glassdoor tracks 84 different job titles for the study. Below are the 10 with the fastest growth in median base pay for full-time workers, compared to the June 2017.

Job Title

Median Base Pay

YoY %

Bank Teller



Truck Driver



Warehouse Associate



Design Engineer



Material Handler



Tax Manager



Java Developer






Retail Key Holder



Security Officer



Not all wages are rising

While the tight job market and the growth of e-commerce have boosted workers' pay in some areas, in others, employers have been cutting wages. In some cases, that may be due to high-paying job categories attracting a growing number of applicants for open positions, and thus given those who are offered them less leverage to negotiate salary. In other cases, automation is at least partly to blame.

Job Title

Median Base Pay

YoY %

Network Engineer



Loan Officer



Physical Therapist






Web Designer



Communications Manager



Project Manager



Data Scientist



UX Designer






What does it mean?

Someone who is pursuing a doctorate in their field with an eye toward becoming a college professor is unlikely to give up on their dream because the salary for such jobs has slipped a bit. For workers without advanced degrees -- and those without degrees at all -- this data indicates where demand is greatest.

It may make sense for someone working in retail today to pursue the training needed to become a warehouse associate or truck driver. While the positions topping the wage growth lists may change, the broader need for more workers in areas that support the growing e-commerce segment is unlikely to fade any time soon.

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