Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas
December 29, 2005
The pay relative averaged across all occupations for workers in the San Francisco, California, metropolitan area was 117 in 2004, meaning that pay on average was 17 percent higher in that area than in the nation as a whole.
By contrast, pay averaged across all occupations in the Brownsville, Texas, metropolitan area was 19 percent below the national average.
A pay relative is a calculation of pay—wages, salaries, commissions, and production bonuses—for a given metropolitan area relative to the nation as a whole. The calculation controls for differences among areas in occupational composition, establishment and occupational characteristics, and the fact that data are collected for areas at different times during the year.
Pay relatives have been prepared for each of 9 major occupational groups within 78 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and have been averaged across all occupations for each area. Pay relatives averaged for workers in all occupations in San Francisco and Brownsville were, respectively, the highest and lowest among the 78 areas.
These data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey program. Note that the San Francisco metropolitan area also includes Oakland and San Jose; the Brownsville area also includes Harlingen and San Benito. Learn more in "Occupational Pay Relatives, 2004," news release USDL 05-2382.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/dec/wk4/art03.htm (visited July 03, 2015).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
New estimates of personal taxes in Consumer Expenditure Survey
In 2013, the Consumer Expenditure Survey improved its personal tax data.
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.