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Phoenix and Arizona, top city, state lists for hourly earnings growth

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PHOENIX — Workers in Arizona rank first in annual hourly earnings growth in 2017 while workers in Phoenix rank first among metropolitan areas, a report said.

The report from a financial website paychex.com said Arizona workers enjoyed an average raise of $1.23 from 2016-2017. The 5.26 percent increase in wages outpaced the growth of California, which came in second at 3.77 percent.

Phoenix, individually, saw a nearly identical 5.25 percent spike. That was ahead of major California cities such as San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles.

Those four cities together were a major reason why the west region out performed the other three regions — Midwest, South, and Northeast — listed in the report.

The $25.24 per hour average wage rate in Phoenix was well behind other cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Washington. However, Phoenix has begun to narrow the gap, building off similar numbers that were released in September. 

Despite the progress the West region has made in increasing wages, small business job growth has experienced regression. The region dropped .96 percent in the index performance rating, which takes job growth into account, falling to 99.34 percent. The percentage change and overall percentage both rank worst among the four regions.

Nationwide, small business job growth declined by .16 percent in the month of December. The national index has only dropped .12 percent in the previous four months combined.

Job index numbers in the leisure and hospitality sector have experienced a 2.73 percent drop since March. Leisure and hospitality workers average much lower wages ($16.41 per hour) than the national average ($26.14 per hour), helping to explain the increase in wages but decrease in job growth.

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