Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas in 2009

July 27, 2010

Average pay for civilian workers in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, California metropolitan area was 20 percent above the national average in 2009, one of 77 metropolitan areas studied by the National Compensation Survey (NCS).

Occupational pay relatives, selected metropolitan areas, 2009
[Chart data]

The Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas metropolitan area had the lowest pay relative of 79, meaning workers earned an average of 79 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, at 88, was a tie among the following three metropolitan areas: Tallahassee, Florida; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Derived from NCS data, pay relatives—a means of assessing pay differences—are available for each of the nine major occupational groups within surveyed metropolitan areas and as an average of all occupations for each area. They are available at

These data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey program. Learn more in "Occupational pay comparisons among metropolitan areas, 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-0994.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas in 2009 on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


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