The average weekly wage in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area was $1,042 in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Local wages rose 4 percent from the second quarter of 2017.
Among the benchmark regions, only Seattle and St. Louis had a higher rate of wage growth for that period.
Local energy industry jobs are helping fuel the trend.
“We have seen a rebound in the energy industry in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It’s a big driver of jobs, but it’s also a big driver of wages,” said Gus Faucher, senior vice president and chief economist of PNC Financial Services. “With the increase in energy production that we’ve been seeing, that’s really been a big boost to wage growth and that’s likely to persist through the rest of 2018.”
Wages in the region are following a national growth trend. But the average weekly wage in the Pittsburgh MSA remains lower than the Pittsburgh Today benchmark average of $1,110 for the second quarter. The highest average wage among those regions is found in Seattle, where workers are paid $1,441 a week, on average. Indianapolis reports the lowest at $961 a week.
Pittsburgh has historically had lower than average wages, which, Faucher said, is not all bad for the regional economy. “Below average wages are good news for attracting businesses. That is a factor that will support business relocations. From a worker standpoint, they want higher wages and that would be a boost for the consumer industries. But generally, the labor cost advantages are a positive for the area.”