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Economic News Release
OCS OCS Program Links

Occupational Pay Comparisons Among Metropolitan Areas news release text

For release 10:00 A.M. (EDT)                                                              USDL-11-0761
            WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2011

Technical information:
     (202) 691-6199
Media contact:
     (202) 691-5902


     Average pay for civilian workers in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA metropolitan area
was 20 percent above the national average in 2010, one of 77 metropolitan areas studied by the
National Compensation Survey (NCS), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  The
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX metropolitan area had a pay relative of 80, meaning workers earned an
average of 80 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide.  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.  The average pay relative nationally for all occupations and for each occupational
group equals 100. (See table 1.)

     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.
Simple pay comparisons calculating the ratio of the average pay for an area to the entire United
States in percentage terms would not control for interarea differences in occupational composition
and other factors, which may impact pay relatives.

     Chart 1 above lists selected metropolitan area pay relatives compared to average pay nationally
among those studied in the NCS.  Table A provides selected metropolitan area pay relatives for each
of five major occupational groups.  In addition, area-to-area comparisons have been calculated for
all 77 metropolitan areas and are available on the BLS website at

Table A. Selected metropolitan area-to-national pay relatives and major occupational groups, July 2010
(of 77 metropolitan areas surveyed)

          Major Occupational Group                        Metropolitan Area                Pay Relative
Management, business, and financial            New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA           120
                                               Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA              108
                                               Reno-Sparks, NV                                   108
                                               Salinas, CA                                       108
                                               San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA                108

Office and administrative support              San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA                120
                                               New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA           115
                                               Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH                114
                                               Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT            114
                                               Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia,           112

Service                                        San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA                126
                                               Salinas, CA                                       123
                                               Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA                        123
                                               Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT            119
                                               Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI             115
                                               San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA                 115

Production                                     Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI                          117
                                               Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Truckee, CA-NV            117
                                               Bloomington-Normal, IL                            116
                                               Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA                        115
                                               Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA          113

Transportation and material moving             Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA                        117
                                               Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI             114
                                               Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH                111
                                               Kansas City, MO-KS                                110
                                               Salinas, CA                                       109
                                               San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA                109

     The pay relative for production occupations in the Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI and
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Truckee, CA-NV areas was 117, meaning the pay in these two metropolitan
areas averaged 17 percent more than the national average pay for that occupational group.  By
contrast, the pay relative for production workers in the Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas area was 80,
meaning pay for workers in those occupations averaged 20 percent less than the national average.
(See table 1.)

Statistical significance measures are not available for news release and area-to-area comparison tables.


                                     NOTICE OF FINAL NEWS RELEASE

     This is the final Occupational Pay Comparisons Among Metropolitan Areas news release.  Funding
for the Locality Pay Survey program is ending.  However, the other programs of the National
Compensation Survey, such as the Employment Cost Index, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, and
benefit publications will continue to be produced.


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Last Modified Date: May 25, 2011