A new report shows Grand Rapids had a 5.2% wage growth rate over five years — the 17th-fastest rate among large U.S. metropolitan areas.
Hire a Helper used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile the report, the Cities with the Fastest Growing Wages, published last week, and Grand Rapids-Wyoming was ranked 17th out of 53 of the nation’s largest metro areas.
To determine the metros with the fastest-growing wages, researchers at Hire a Helper analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2019 and 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics data. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the inflation-adjusted five-year change in average wages across all workers. Researchers also calculated the occupation with the largest inflation-adjusted wage increase from 2014 to 2019 in each location.
Accounting for inflation, the 2014 average annual wage in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area was $44,698. By 2019, that figure had increased to $47,010, representing a 5.2% increase over five years. The occupation with the largest wage increase during that period was bartenders (47%).
Overall in the U.S., accounting for inflation, the 2014 average annual wage was $51,054, increasing to $53,490 by 2019, a growth rate of 4.8%. The job category with the largest wage increase during that time was farmworker and laborers, crop, nursery and greenhouse employees (23.4%).
Top 10 large metros with the fastest-growing wages
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
- Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, New York
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island-Massachusetts
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
- Austin-Round Rock, Texas
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
- Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina-South Carolina
- Tucson, Arizona
- Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky-Indiana
- New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana
- Memphis, Tennessee