May 27, 2011
Average pay for civilian workers in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, California, metropolitan area (one of 77 metropolitan areas studied by the National Compensation Survey (NCS)) was 20 percent above the national average in 2010.
The Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, metropolitan area had a pay relative of 80, meaning workers earned an average of 80 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide.
The chart shows the four highest and three lowest paying metropolitan areas among those studied by the NCS. The fourth lowest paying were Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and Tallahassee, Florida, tied at 88.
Using data from the NCS, 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, and can be found at www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs/payrel.htm. The average pay relative nationally for all occupations and for each occupational group equals 100.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Pay comparisons between metropolitan areas in 2010 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110527.htm (visited November 27, 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.