The Square Payroll Index measures the wages for service workers in the retail and food and beverage sectors in over 20 metro areas. The data below is updated monthly with the latest information. Explore data on worker pay and average hourly earnings across the U.S using the wage tools below and follow the Square quarterly analysis of these charts. You can read more on the full methodology here.
Worker pay can vary by industry. The Square Payroll data above reflects hourly worker pay in retail and food services. In the chart above, base wage accounts for the base amount of money those retail and restaurant workers earn while average hourly earnings take into account regular wages, overtime pay, and tips over the hours worked in that given pay period. Average hourly earnings is the sum of these earnings divided by the sum of hours an employee worked in a given pay period.
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Tracking growth through the Square Payroll Index does not mean that growth will be linear. As wages grow overall there may be periods where this growth goes up and down based on a range of variables, like labor supply and demand and more.
Square Payroll Index Terms
Here are a few terms to consider as you explore the data within the Square Payroll Index tools.
- Average hourly earnings: Average hourly earnings is the sum of regular wages, overtime wages, and tips divided by the sum of hours an employee worked in a given pay period.
- Base wage: A base wage is the amount of income an employee receives before any other additions or modifications such as taxes, tips, bonuses, and more.
- Overtime Overtime or double-time wages occur when a pay rate is double the employee’s regular hourly wage. This might happen when an employee works hours per day or week beyond their regular shift hours. Depending on the company’s policy, this may mean they can access pay beyond base pay. This pay rate is also dependent on state-by-state laws, which can define double or overtime pay differently. In some states, double time pay refers to two times the regular hourly rate, where overtime is 1.5 times that rate.
- Inflation: Inflation describes the rate of how expensive goods and services are over a period of time. This is a broad measurement that is used to measure the cost of living or the price of raw materials. Square Payroll Index uses the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (All Items in U.S. City Average) to measure inflation.