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September 27, 2007
5 Highest and Lowest Paying Metro Areas

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 Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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By contrast, pay was lowest in the Brownsville, Texas, metropolitan area, where workers earned an average of 78 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide.

For the report, the bureau calculated the 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.

The 5 metro areas with the highest and lowest pay follow.

5 Highest
Rank Metropolitan Area Pay Relative to National Average
1 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA 119
2 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA 114
3 Salinas, CA 113
4 Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, MA-NH-ME-CT 112
4 Hartford, CT 112
5 Lowest
Rank Metropolitan Area Pay Relative to National Average
78 Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX 78
74 Corpus Christi, TX 87
74 Great Falls, MT 87
74 Johnstown, PA 87
74 Springfield, MO 87
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