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Phoenix area hourly wage 3% below national average, report says

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX– According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the Phoenix metro area earned an average hourly rate that was about 3% below the national average.

“As of May 2018, the average hourly rate for workers in the Phoenix area was $24.29 an hour,” Matthew Insco, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Across the state, Arizona produced similar data to its metropolitan cities. Places like Yuma and Lake Havasu averaged 21% and 22% less, respectively, to the national average.

Insco added that multiple factors could have an effect on the results, such as the fact that the Phoenix metropolitan area has a higher concentration of occupations that tend to have lower hourly rates or Phoenix’s lower cost of living.

“For example, if there was a minimum wage increase, that might affect some of the lower paying occupations,” Insco said.

Under Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, the state minimum wage increased at the start of 2019 from $10.50 to $11 per hour. The state minimum wage is almost $4 higher than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.

On the low end of the wage scale, the report found that those with hotel, motel, and resort desk clerk positions averaged $12.23 per hour.

The bureau also found that management occupations, which only account for 6.2% in the Phoenix area, grossed the highest hourly wage at $52.42 per hour.

Office and administrative support positions accounted for 17.2% of jobs in the area. On average, those positions paid $18.70 per hour.

Despite the average hourly wage in the Phoenix area being lower than the national average, there were some occupations that averaged higher than the national wages.

“Healthcare technical and healthcare support occupations both paid a higher average hourly rate than that occupational group nationwide,” Insco said.

Insco also added that food preparation and serving workers in the area also averaged higher than the nation at 8%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an occupational outlook handbook that allows employers and job seekers to view what the national hourly wage average is for over 800 occupations.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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