These cities have the highest job and wage growth in America

The U.S. job market is still strong, but some cities appear to have more pep than others.

The top three cities for job growth are Boston (up 8.4% year over year in September with 152,683 open jobs), Philadelphia (up 6.4% over the same period with 112,692 open jobs) and Atlanta (up 5.5% with 192,889 open jobs), according to Glassdoor’s latest job market report. That compares favorably to an overall growth of 3.5% in jobs annually, with total open jobs nearing 6 million. Pay, however, continues to rise at a rate of approximately 2.1% annually.

The top cities for pay growth are San Francisco (up 3% on the year with a $73,861 median base pay), Atlanta (also up 3% on the year with a $56,059 median base pay) and Los Angeles (up 2.8% with a $63,526 median base pay). Warehouse associates saw the fastest pay growth in September (up 6.3% on the year with a $42,864 median base pay). Glassdoor’s analysis is based on millions of online jobs and salaries in major metro areas across the U.S.

The latest government snapshot of the labor market will be released Friday. The economy likely added 140,000 new jobs in September, up from 130,000 in the prior month, which should keep the U.S. unemployment rate at or near 3.7%.

“Today’s growth is a far cry from the blockbuster job market in 2018,” said Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao. “Growth in job openings slowed to 3.5% in September, continuing a long-running trend of modest growth in 2019.” That compares to more than 10% this time last year. “Job openings on Glassdoor remain just shy of the 6 million mark, indicating a tight labor market with employers still looking for increasingly scarce workers to fill their open roles,” Zhao said.

“Despite a rocky August with recession chatter near fever pitch, the labor market continues to sustain the economic expansion,” the report said. “Crucially, the Federal Reserve’s decision in September to cut interest rates was in spite of, and not because of, the labor market. Additionally, while the trade war has negatively impacted sectors like manufacturing, consumer spending has been resilient.”

“The risk, however, is that the latest and forthcoming rounds of tariffs on consumer goods could extend the trade war’s impacts to the broader economy,” it added. “For the time being, Glassdoor data suggests that the labor market is shrugging off trade uncertainty and continuing to plow forward and sustain the economic expansion.”

Software developers, physical therapists and physician assistants crop up frequently among the highest-paid and fastest-growing jobs in every U.S. state, according to a separate analysis by CareerBuilder, a jobs and careers site. The site analyzed government data to project the careers most likely to be lucrative and in demand. Most of these jobs require some level of college education.

Software developers had a median pay of $105,590 per year or $50.77 per hour last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; it says there’s a higher-than-average outlook for job growth (up 24% nationwide between 2016 and 2026). Physical therapists had a median pay of $87,930 per year or $42.27 per hour last year, the BLS said, and also have a higher-than-average outlook for job growth (a projected 28% increase nationwide between 2016 and 2026).

Home-health and personal-care aides were among the lowest paid and fastest growing jobs in every U.S. state and Washington, D.C., and require a high-school diploma or equivalent. The median pay for these jobs was $24,060 per year or $11.57 per hour, according to the BLS. But the demand for these jobs is projected to increase by 41% between 2016 and 2026.

A separate report by the U.S. News & World Report on the best jobs of the year lists software developers as No. 1. The position offers flexible hours and remote work opportunities, while investing in individuals’ personal and professional development. Like data scientists, software developers have a median annual salary of more than $100,000. They’re employed in computer systems design, manufacturing and finance. Physician assistants came in at No. 2, followed by dentists at No. 3.

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