Workers in Bay Area highest paid in country, study shows

Survey reports pay here 20% higher than national average in 2009

Workers in the Bay Area were the highest paid on average in the nation last year, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data showed workers in the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland metropolitan area earned 20 percent more than the national average in 2009, the agency said.

The survey included the nine-county Bay Area, plus Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, in that category, according to bureau economist Todd


The data showed above-average wages in all of the employment categories surveyed, but particularly among construction jobs, service jobs, sales, office and administrative jobs, and professionals.

Workers in the Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas metropolitan area on the U.S.-Mexico border were paid the least, earning 79 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide, the agency said.

Bay Area workers also were the highest paid in 2008, earning 17 percent more than the national average, according to Johnson.

--Jeb Bing

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Posted by harry fisher
a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm

How much higher is the cost of living in this part of California. I watch House Hunters almost every night and see large, beautiful homes in other parts of the country for $300,000.00. You won't find anything close for two to three times more expensive here. So the dollar is not the same. We pay more for almost everything.

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Posted by Out kids suffer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I've never understood why Say Area votes for Dems in Congress...highere incomes mean we're UP on the CHARTS. College loans were just taken away from banks, so our kids have to go thru Obama for loans. Rich will or course still go to college no sweat....and the loans are for lower income....Bay Area MIDDLE-class kids are out of luck. Just like for income taxes, NATIONAL CHARTS/tables will be used for college LOANS or assistance. The incomes & HOUSE prices are much different in Memphis, Toledo, Boise & Tulsa. So the genius government employee sits at a desk denying ANYTHING for middle-class whites from that RICH BAY AREA !! Just LOOK at our incomes, there's no reason there's nothing left for rising tuition. Cal pres & chancellor opening say diversity is their goal....they recruit & give free rides to minorities , so to pick up that DEFICIT they create, they want to CHARGE LOCAL middle-class HIGHER tuition. Except DC loans are not for Bay Area...,the chart SAYS they're rich ! There'a gong to be lots of gaps in this next generation of young adults...only the rich and poor and minorities will have college educations. Middle -class whites won't get any help to attend. So many University seats are filled with those that will never end up in a professional field...lesser colleges would work for those with lower GPAs. But government has to rearrange society. average middle-class use to tap equity, but my relative in the north bay can't do that....value has fallen below good fixed loan at Wells ! Meanwhile the kids are pushished & miss college ! THe kids from families with less are really lucky, they can get assistance to get their education. I thought prop 209 was so our public UNIVERSITIES in Cal would treat all EQUALLY. A whoper of a suit should take care of that.

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Posted by Huerta
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

You should do what I did to fight the high cost of living in the Bay Area. I went to Nevada and put my RV in a park there instead of here in town and then was able to get a Nevada drivers license and establish residency in Nevada. This way I am able to avoid all state income tax because we have none in Nevada and still have my home in Pleasanton. Heck my car insurance, license fees, and vehicle registration is 30% less than it was in California.

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Posted by Sara
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I finger the two main groups that have mainly robbed us and are causing these higher costs...

- democrats
- unions (btw: former Gov. Jerry Brown enabled the unions to have the tremendous power they've got. I will leave this State if he is re-elected. He is the definition of 'failure' in my mind.)

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Posted by Pay to Play
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Organized labor has controlled Bay Area politicians & thus wages for decades. The Bay Area's "over-the-top" environmental regulations, including the urban growth limit & housing caps, have also driven up housing costs. Unfortunately, unless we "throw the rascals out" we may have to pay even higher housing costs to enjoy living in the Bay Area.

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Posted by Response
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 27, 2010 at 10:33 am


Unfortunately what you did was illegal in CA, avoiding taxes, and DMV fees in CA. The State has teams of people looking for people with dual residency. If you work or spend time here you are supposed to pay taxes here. Cops also get bonus points for turning in out of state licence plates for inland counties.

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Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Bay Area workers may be the highest paid in country but the cost of living is also one of the highest in the country. Leaving that out of the story doesn't give the complete picture.

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Posted by G in PTown
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 31, 2010 at 12:28 am

Don't forget where we live. In the free market society, this is not surprising. If anything, 20% premium is on the low side. Where would you rather live? Taiwan, Gulf of Oily Mexico, Detroit?

On so many levels, the Bay Area deserves the premium, but no argument here, don't get comfortable. Competition for our lifestyles will not abate.

Those in the know, already have that figured out...

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