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Cashiers, bank tellers see fastest wage growth

(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

The jobs that have seen the fastest pay growth lately may surprise you. They’re not software developers or health care workers – bank tellers and cashiers are seeing the strongest pay growth, according to a new Glassdoor report.

Bank tellers’ median base pay rose 9.2% to $31,455 in December compared with the year-ago period, while pay for cashiers increased 5.7% to $28,328. Truck drivers rounded out the top three with their pay up 5.3% to $54,445.

The reason for tellers’ and cashiers’ big wage gains: pressure on minimum wages in 2018. While the federal minimum wage remains $7.25, workers in 20 states will see their minimum wage increase in 2019.

Affected workers who work year-round will see their annual pay go up between $90 and $1,300, on average, depending on the size of the change in their state, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In New York City, for example, the minimum wage increased to $15 for all businesses with more than 10 employees. And employers like Walmart and Amazon have also raised minimum wages for their workers.

“Despite concerns about rising labor costs and automation, employment and wage trends for these low-wage jobs remain positive,” writes Glassdoor’s Daniel Zhao.

Another sector that’s seeing strong wage growth is trucking; Glassdoor’s report shows that wages for truck drivers jumped 5.3% year over year, as companies face a driver shortage.

With the national unemployment rate at 3.7%, American workers are cashing in on the tight labor market. According to Glassdoor, median base pay for full-time workers rose to $52,863 in December 2018, a 2.3% increase compared to a year ago.

The cities with the biggest pay gains were tech hub San Francisco, New York City, and Boston. San Francisco led for the fifth consecutive month with median base pay increasing 4% to $71,482 per year. New York City workers saw their pay climb 3.5% to $63,368. Atlanta rounded out the top three with median base pay rising 3.4% to $55,324.

While workers’ median pay rose 2.3% from December a year ago, it still represents a decline from November’s annual pay growth of 2.6%, according to Glassdoor. This is the first time that median annual pay is down month-over-month since July 2017.

“As trade war tensions remain, the S&P 500 ends 2018 down and the Fed reconsiders its rate hike schedule, businesses may hesitate to raise wages despite a still-tight labor market,” Zhao says.

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