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Several areas see rising wages nationwide


Several areas see rising wages nationwide

Across the country, the subject of rising wages has been heavily discussed for some time now, and that's a trend that doesn't seem likely to slow down any time soon. The good news for workers in a number of industries is that many regions have opted to raise the minimum wage, while in other places competition is heating up so much that wages are on the rise without artificially shifting higher in this way.

One region that falls into the latter category is the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of Pennsylvania, which in recent years has become a hub of manufacturing and logistics job creation, according to a report from the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice. The most recent government data shows that over the course of 2015, wages in that area rose at a faster rate than both the state and national averages, jumping 4.2 percent in comparison with the 3.7 percent shared by both the Keystone State and the U.S. as a whole.

More good news
Indeed, while average pay in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area is still lagging in some respects, the rate of growth has exceeded state and national numbers for the past few years, the report said. The latest growth rate put the region squarely in the top third of major metro areas nationwide.

"The region has always trailed state and national averages on a number of indicators including wages, per capita, average and household income," Teri Ooms, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development in Wilkes-Barre, told the newspaper. "While all have been increasing, the region has had several years in the decade where our regional increases were at a faster rate than others."

Bay Area getting higher minimum wage
Across the country from Pennsylvania, the city of Oakland, California, recently decided to raise its minimum wage beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, according to a report from the East Bay Times. On that day, the minimum wage will be bumped to $12.86 per hour, up from the previous $12.55. That number significantly exceeds California and federal minimum wages of $10 and $7.25 per hour, respectively, and helps to pull Oakland closer to being in line with nearby San Francisco and Emeryville's $13 per hour.

This trend is good news for workers across the U.S., as rising wages help to keep a number of industries as competitive as possible. This may be particularly true when it comes to warehouse employment, because the sector is ramping up operations in many parts of the country and competition for the best-trained workers is on the rise as a result.