Phoenix Area Workers Have Lower Hourly Rates

A report created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Phoenix workers earned 3% below the national average for their hourly wage.

“As of May 2018, the average hourly rate for workers in the Phoenix area was $24.29 an hour,” said Matthew Insco, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly pay throughout the rest of Arizona was similar to Phoenix, but cities like Yuma and Lake Havasu averaged 21% and 22% less than the national average.

According to Insco, multiple factors could be responsible for the disparity between hourly wages. It could be credited to Phoenix having more occupations with lower hourly rates or Phoenix’s cost of living.

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

The state minimum wage was increased by the Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act in the beginning of 2019. It was $10.50 per hour and now it’s $11 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The report found that those who worked as a hotel, motel, and resort desk clerk made the lowest at $12.23 per hour.

Management occupations made $52.42 per hour. Office and administrative support positions made $18.70 per hour. Despite much of Phoenix’s average hourly wage being lower than the national average, a few occupations averaged more.

“Healthcare technical and healthcare support occupations both paid a higher average hourly rate than that occupational group nationwide,” Insco said. Food preparation and serving employees also averaged higher at 8%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has an occupational outlook handbook that gives employers and potential employees the ability to view the average national hourly wage for hundreds of occupations.