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Friday, July 23, 2010

San Francisco-Area Workers Highest Paid in Nation

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 7:15 AM

click to enlarge Hello, San Francisco! You're in the money! - BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Hello, San Francisco! You're in the money!
Having problems, San Franciscans? Well, don't worry -- the government has a message for you: You're rich!

Actually, compared to other Americans, you may well be. According to a just-released study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland area earned 120 percent of the national average last year -- that's $1.20 for every dollar earned by a typical American worker, and tops in the country. 

The San Francisco area was top of the heap among the 77 metropolitan regions surveyed, followed by New York-Newark-Bridgeport (114 percent), and Salinas (114 percent).

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
Salinas? Say what? The Central Valley town best known as the birthplace of John Steinbeck now has a new claim to fame -- third-highest wages in the nation. When asked how Salinas found its way onto this list, if there's a big employer that skewed the survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics press officer Gary Steinberg said he didn't know. "We don't look at why" the numbers come out the way they do, he said. George Long, a BLS economist, noted that the "results are what they are ... at this moment in time, I have no explanation."

Long noted that, in last year's survey, New York and Salinas' wages were on par, too

Incidentally, the lowest-compensated workers in the nation in this year's survey hail from the Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas area. They take home only 79 cents for every dollar earned by the average American worker.

Update, 11:55 a.m.: The Bureau of Labor Statistics cleared up the whole Salinas situation. While the metropolitan area is listed as "Salinas, CA" a more accurate description would be "Monterey County." In addition to the poor, rural, gang-plagued, crumbling city of Salinas, the area in question includes Carmel, Pebble Beach, and the eponymous Monterey.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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