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Economic News Release
QCEW QCEW Program Links

Average Annual Pay in Metropolitan Areas, 2001

Technical information: ( 202) 691-6567     USDL 02-625
                                           For release:  10:00 A.M. EST
Media contact:                691-5902     Friday, November 8, 2002


   Average annual pay of employees in the nation's 318 metropolitan areas
increased by 2.4 percent from 2000 to 2001, according to preliminary data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.  The
over-the-year gain was smaller than last year's gain of 6.1 percent and was
the lowest increase since 1994.  Annual pay in metropolitan areas averaged 
$37,897 in 2001, up from $37,017 in 2000.
   Average annual pay for the entire nation, metropolitan and nonmetropo-
litan areas combined, was $36,214 in 2001, a 2.5 percent increase from 2000.  
(Average Annual Pay by State and Industry, 2001, was issued on September 24, 
2002, in USDL 02-540.)
   Average annual pay data are compiled from reports submitted by employers
subject to state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) laws covering
129.7 million full- and part-time jobs.  Average annual pay is computed by
dividing the total annual payrolls of employees covered by UI programs by
the average monthly number of these employees.  (See Technical Note.)  Pay
differences between areas reflect the varying composition of employment by
occupation, industry, and hours of work, as well as other factors.  Similarly, 
over-the-year pay changes may reflect shifts in these characteristics, as 
well as changes in the level of average pay.  Table 1 of this release contains 
pay data for Metropolitan and Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas within 
the United States and Puerto Rico; table 2 includes averages and rankings for 
the areas designated as Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas.  (See 
Technical Note for definitions.)  The data for the six metropolitan areas with-
in Puerto Rico are not included in the averages for all metropolitan areas.
Metropolitan and Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas
   San Jose, Calif., retained its position as the metropolitan area with
the highest average annual pay ($65,926), a position it has held since
1997.  This area held this position despite experiencing the largest
decline (-13.5 percent) in average annual pay among the 10 metropolitan
areas with decreases in 2001.  (See table 1.)  Large declines in the
information and manufacturing sectors contributed to this year's sharp
decrease in San Jose.  San Francisco, Calif., had the second highest
average annual pay level ($59,761), followed by New York, N.Y. ($58,963),
New Haven-Bridgeport-Stamford-Waterbury-Danbury, Conn. ($52,177), and
Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, N.J. ($49,830).  Average pay levels in these
five metropolitan areas ranged from 31 to 74 percent above the average for
all metropolitan areas in the nation.  Of the 318 metropolitan areas in the
nation, 34 reported average annual pay levels above the national metropol-
itan pay average of $37,897.
   Jacksonville, N.C., had the lowest average annual pay among metropolitan
areas in 2001 ($21,393).  The second lowest pay occurred in Brownsville-
Harlingen-San Benito, Texas ($22,146), followed by McAllen-Edinburg-
Mission, Texas ($22,317), Yuma, Ariz. ($22,482), and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
($24,012).  While the order of rankings has differed in prior years, these
five metropolitan areas have had the lowest average annual pay since 1996.
(Comparisons exclude areas within Puerto Rico.)
                                  - 2 -
   The largest percentage increase in average annual pay from 2000 to 2001
occurred in Lafayette, La. (8.1 percent).  The next largest increase occur-
red in Dutchess County, N.Y. (7.4 percent).  Four metropolitan areas reported 
6.8 percent increases in average annual pay:  Enid, Okla., Fresno, Calif., 
Odessa-Midland, Texas, and Pensacola, Fla.
   In 2001, 90 metropolitan areas experienced less than average growth in
average annual pay.  Of these, 6 metropolitan areas had growth of approxi-
mately 1 percent and 13 metropolitan areas experienced growth of less than 
1 percent; 1 metropolitan area reported no change in average annual pay.  Two 
metropolitan areas reported declines of less than 1 percent in average annual 
pay, seven metropolitan areas reported declines of more than 1 percent but 
less than 10 percent, and one metropolitan area reported a decline of more 
than 10 percent.
Comparison of Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas
   Average annual pay within the nation's nonmetropolitan areas rose by 
3.3 percent in 2001, compared with 2.4 percent in metropolitan areas.  
This is the first time since 1994 that growth in total nonmetropolitan 
average annual pay outpaced that of metropolitan area average annual pay.  
(See Technical Note).  Average annual pay in nonmetropolitan areas in 2001 
was $28,190, up from $27,303 in 2000.  In 2001, nonmetropolitan average 
annual pay was 26 percent less than metropolitan average annual pay, a 
difference of $9,707.  This was approximately the same difference as in 

Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas
   Average annual pay for the nation's 18 Consolidated Metropolitan Sta-
tistical Areas (CMSAs) rose by 1.8 percent from 2000 to 2001, from $42,641 
to $43,424.  (See table 2.)  This was lower than the previous year's growth 
rate of 7.3 percent.
   The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif., consolidated metropolitan
area again had the highest pay level, $54,182.  This CMSA has led the
country in average annual pay among CMSAs since 1998.  The second highest
pay level was found in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-
Conn.-Pa. ($51,121), followed by Boston-Worcester-Lawrence-Lowell-Brockton,
Mass.-N.H. ($45,768), Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va. ($44,242),
and Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash. ($42,251).
   Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had the lowest average annual pay level
($34,304) of the consolidated metropolitan areas in the nation for the
eighth consecutive year.  Cleveland-Akron, Ohio, had the second lowest
($34,945), followed by Milwaukee-Racine, Wis. ($35,470), Cincinnati-
Hamilton, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. ($35,561), and Portland-Salem, Ore.-Wash.
   Among the consolidated metropolitan areas, the highest percentage increase 
in average annual pay from 2000 to 2001 was in Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-
Md.-Va.-W.Va., at 5.0 percent.  The next largest increases were in Houston-
Galveston-Brazoria, Texas (4.4 percent), and Sacramento-Yolo, Calif. (4.1 per-
cent).  Three consolidated metropolitan areas reported increases in average 
annual pay of 3.0 percent: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Milwaukee-Racine, Wis., 
and Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.
                                  - 3 -
   San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif., was the only consolidated metropo-
litan area that reported a decline in average annual pay in 2001, falling by 
4.2 percent.  This was attributed to the decline in average annual pay for 
the San Jose, Calif., MSA.  The smallest percentage increases occurred in 
Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Mich. (0.5 percent), Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash. 
(0.6 percent), Portland-Salem, Ore.-Wash. (0.7 percent), Denver-Boulder-
Greeley, Colo. (1.6 percent), and Boston-Worcester-Lawrence-Lowell-Brockton, 
Mass.-N.H. (1.7 percent).
Change in Industry Classification Systems
   Beginning with the release of data for 2001, publications presenting
data from the Covered Employment and Wages program use the 2002 version of
the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for
the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry.  NAICS is the
product of a cooperative effort on the part of the statistical agencies of
the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Due to differences in NAICS and SIC
structures, industry data for 2001 are not comparable to the SIC-based data
for earlier years.
   NAICS uses a production-oriented approach to categorize economic units.
Units with similar production processes are classified in the same
industry.  NAICS focuses on how products and services are created, as
opposed to the SIC focus on what is produced.  This approach yields
significantly different industry groupings than those produced by the SIC
   Data users will be able to work with new NAICS industrial groupings 
that better reflect the workings of the U.S. economy.  For example, a new
industry sector called Information brings together units which turn
information into a commodity with units which distribute that commodity.
Information's major components are publishing, broadcasting, telecommuni-
cations, information services, and data processing.  Under the SIC system, 
these units were spread across the manufacturing, communications, business 
services, and amusement services groups.  Another new sector of interest is 
Professional and technical services.  This sector is comprised of establish-
ments engaged in activities where human capital is the major input.
   Users interested in more information about NAICS can access the Bureau
of Labor Statistics Web page at and the
U.S. Census Bureau Web site at
The NAICS 2002 manual is available from the National Technical Information
Service (NTIS) Web page at
   |    Average annual pay for 2001 and other data from the Covered |
   | Employment and Wages (CEW) program is available on the BLS Web |
   | site at http//:                              |


Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: November 08, 2002