From 2006 to 2008, wages grew 5.4 percent throughout the United States. As the recession worsened at the end of 2008, wages dropped dramatically, reaching their lowest point during third quarter 2009, according to a report today from

Since then, national average wages have remained relatively flat, though the cost of goods has increased, causing an overall depression in consumer buying power, the report said.

While Denver was not among the nation’s top 20 markets reviewed, regionally both Phoenix and Dallas saw wages rise slightly above the Index’s national average. In cities like Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, however, average employee wage compensation fell below the national norm.

The PayScale Index follows the change in wages of employed U.S. workers, revealing trends in compensation over time.

It measured the quarterly change in the total cash compensation of full-time private industry employees nationally. For additional detail on the 20 largest metropolitan areas, 15 industries, and three company sizes, visit Metro Area.

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