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Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas, 2006

September 27, 2007

Average pay in the San Francisco metropolitan area was 19 percent above the national average in 2006, the highest among the 78 metropolitan areas studied by the National Compensation Survey (NCS).

Occupational pay relatives, selected metropolitan areas, 2006
[Chart data—TXT]

In contrast, pay was lowest in the Brownsville, Texas metropolitan area with a pay relative of 78, meaning Brownsville workers earned an average of 78 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide.

The chart shows the five highest and five lowest paying metropolitan areas among those studied in the NCS.

Using data from the NCS, pay relatives—a means of assessing pay differences—are available for each of the 9 major occupational groups within 78 metropolitan areas, as well as averaged across all occupations for each area. Area-to-area comparisons have been calculated for all 78 areas and are available at

These data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey program. Learn more in "Occupational Pay Comparisons Among Metropolitan Areas, 2006," (PDF) (TXT) news release USDL 07-1455. Note that some of the metropolitan area names have been shortened for the chart; the full names are in the news release.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Comparisons of pay between metropolitan areas, 2006 at (visited June 22, 2024).

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