New report shows Phoenix-area workers saw highest wage increase in the US

File photo of money in a wallet.
File photo of money in a wallet.(Pexels via MGN)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 9:19 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A new report shows Phoenix private workers saw the largest wage increase in the nation compared to a year ago. According to new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages for workers went up 6.4% in the Phoenix metro area in 2022 compared to 2021. Despite the increase, the effects of inflation are putting a dent in many Arizonans’ pockets when it comes to groceries and housing.

The report says Phoenix workers saw a more significant increase than the nationwide average wage increase of 5%. Among some of the nation’s largest cities, Phoenix was No. 1 for the highest percentage change for total wages and salaries in one year in large metro areas. Phoenix beat out several notable cities, including Los Angeles and New York. Atlanta came in at the bottom of the list with only a 3.4% increase. Boston was the closest to Phoenix, recording just over a 6% raise.

However, inflation in Arizona is rising as the cost of groceries and gas prices go up. Inflation in metro Phoenix is at 10.9%, primarily because of spiking housing costs. The latest numbers released by Zumper show, on average, rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Phoenix is $1,610.

The cost of groceries increased nearly 10% year-over-year, driven by a rise in prices of meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report was the highest documented inflation in more than four decades.

Phoenix took the top spot for over-the-year percent changes in wages and salaries.
Phoenix took the top spot for over-the-year percent changes in wages and salaries.(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

However, total compensation costs in the Phoenix area saw a 5.5% raise, while the national average was just under 5%. When it comes to compensation costs, Phoenix was third among large metro areas, with Boston and Seattle ahead. Seattle saw nearly an 8% increase.

Compensation costs measure wages, salaries and employer costs for employee benefits. Wages and salaries are considered wages before deductions for workers not paid hourly. Since 2018, employer costs for employee compensation in Phoenix have risen nearly 4% each year. For the full report, visit