Pay raises go mainly to those in select industries

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    NEW YORK - If you hope to get a raise that finally feels like one, it helps to work in the right industry.

    Pay for all kinds of workers should be rising by this point in the economy's recovery. But five years after the Great Recession officially ended, raises remain sharply uneven across industries and, as a whole, have barely kept up with prices. Overall pay has been rising about 2 percent a year, roughly equal to inflation.

    The best raises have gone to workers with specialized skills in a few booming industries -- energy, transportation, health care, technology. Those in retail or government have been less fortunate.

    "If you're in an in-demand field, with the right skill set, the chance of getting a raise is much higher," says Katie Bardaro, an economist at PayScale, a pay-tracking firm.

    Typically in a recovery, raises in a few industries lead to raises in others as workers become confident enough to quit one job for another for more pay.

    This time, the subpar recovery has slowed pay gains. Technology has played a role, too. It's lifted pay for people who work, for example, with programs that sift data from your mobile devices so companies can pitch products matched to your interests. Yet workers in industries upended by the Internet, such as retailers left behind by e-commerce, have been hurt.

    See which industries are standouts -- and laggards -- on pay.

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