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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Seattle’s full-time employees keeping ahead of inflation

In PayScale’s latest report, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area turned in a 3.1 percent increase in the third quarter vs. the same period a year ago in nominal total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees. That puts us sixth among the 20 metro areas surveyed by Seattle-based PayScale.

The rise here was the best since the recession really hit Seattle. In the first quarter of 2008, the year-over-year change was 4.6 percent, then hit a trough of minus 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Houston led the pack at 3.9 percent, not surprisingly because mining, oil and gas exploration jobs saw the best growth over the year, 4.9 percent. At the bottom were St. Louis, Phoenix and Baltimore, rising 1.6 percent, not even keeping up with inflation. The Consumer Price Index is running about 1.7 percent over the past year (in Seattle, as of August, it was running at 2.74 percent). Information, media and telecommunications rose 4.1 percent, while professional, scientific and tech services also rose 4.1 percent. Business operation and support service jobs only rose 2 percent.

In another report: The conservative Tax Foundation ranks Washington sixth nationally in its State Business Tax Climate Index. Wyoming ranked No. 1; New York ranked 50th. (Why isn’t Wall Street in Cheyenne?). Oregon came in at 13th and Idaho 20th. Apparently the Tax Foundation’s filter doesn’t pick up Washington’s B&O tax.

And Don’t Miss: The 10 most corrupt tax loopholes || The Village Voice

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Apple harvest time

But now the bulls aren’t picking

iPhone sales fell short

Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment

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