Reuters

Over the last year, wages increased in all but three of the largest 20 metros.

Need another sign that the recovery in the United States is for real? In the first quarter of 2012, national wages saw their largest increase since the end of 2008. Since last year, wages have increased 1.4 percent, and for cities the outlook is even brighter. 

The good news comes from PayScale, a company that focuses on compensation data and has the world's largest database of individual employee compensation files. Their updated PayScale Index shows that wages in the largest metros are on the rise.

Over the last year, the metros with the largest wage growth were Seattle (3.2 percent), Houston (2.7 percent), Philadelphia (1.8 percent), St. Louis (1.7 percent), and Dallas and Washington, D.C. (1.5 percent). Wages increased in all but three of the largest 20 metros. Only Riverside, California (-0.3 percent), Phoenix (-0.5 percent), and Baltimore (-0.7 percent) saw year over year wage decreases.

If we look at wage increases since 2006, the story looks even better. This infographic below, from Payscale, shows the highest and lowest metro wage growth since 2006:

Click here to see wage trends for the largest U.S. metros.

Top image: Richard Clement/Reuters

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