PSA: Comparing Pay Across the US

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its latest study on average pay comparisons across the US. From the press release:

(The comparison 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.

Though there are exceptions, folks on the coasts seem to be doing relatively better than their heartland counterparts. Let's just say that if any of our readers are in job search mode, they could do a lot worse than to start with the San Francisco Bay Area and New York Metro versions of Craigslist. Whether there are jobs available in those high-paying areas is another matter, but perhaps we can leave that for another day. The BLS press release can be found here while analysis and an interactive map provided by the Wall St. Journal can be found here.

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