“Wage growth continued its slightly upward trend in September,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of the California-based online job site. “However, at this snail’s pace of wage growth, it will take roughly 40 years for U.S. median annual pay to double.”
And rent for apartments – increasingly a choice for young professionals in metro Atlanta – is up an average of 2.6 percent from a year ago, according to Apartment List, a national web site for rental listings.
Alpharetta’s rents, the most expensive in the area, have outpaced wage gains in the region the most, rising 3.4 percent during the past year, said Andrew Woo, a data scientist with the company.
But job growth has continued. While wages may not be keeping up with costs, demand is at least nudging wages in the right direction.
The aging of the area’s population has added to the need for health-care workers, including pharmacy technicians, nurses and nurses’ assistants, Chamberlain said.
On average, their pay is up in Atlanta, he said. That is “a trend which is likely being fueled by rising demand for care from aging baby boomers.”
The needs for certain technology jobs are also outpacing supply, he said. “Sophisticated technology jobs like solutions architects and web designers are increasingly in demand.”
Unfortunately the supply-demand equation also works in reverse, he said. “As the need for single-skilled developers like java developers and web developers has waned, so has wage growth for those positions.”
Michael E. Kanell, the AJC's economics writer, has been reporting on jobs, housing and the economy at the AJC for nearly two decades. He has appeared on television and radio to analyze and report on business and economic developments.