July 27, 2009
In 2008, average pay for civilian workers in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, California, metropolitan area was 19 percent above the national average. Average pay in the New York-Newark-Bridgeport, New York-New Jersey-Connecticut-Pennsylvania metropolitan area was 14 percent above the national average.
The Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, metropolitan area had a pay relative of 77, meaning workers earned an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide. In the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area workers earned an average of 85 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide.
Using data from the National Compensation Survey, pay relatives—a means of assessing pay differences—are available for each of the nine major occupational groups within surveyed metropolitan areas, as well as averaged across all occupations for each area. They are available at www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs/payrel.htm.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas in 2008 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/jul/wk4/art01.htm (visited November 26, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.