Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas, 2005
September 29, 2006
The pay relative averaged across all occupations for workers in the San Francisco, California, metropolitan area was 117 in 2005, 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.
To give an example for a major occupational group, the pay relative in 2005 for workers in construction and extraction occupations in San Francisco was 123. By contrast, the pay relative for workers in construction and extraction occupations in Brownsville was 72.
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, 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 06-1680.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas, 2005 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/sept/wk4/art05.htm (visited December 09, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.