National study rates San Francisco
metropolitan area wages highest in U.S.
By Bren Begin, Bay City News Service
September 28, 2006
Workers in the three largest cities in the San Francisco Bay
Area are the highest paid in the country, according to a report
released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The study, which included data on nine different occupations
in 123 metropolitan areas, placed pay in San Francisco, Oakland
and San Jose far above other cities like Boston and New York.
Combined salaries in the three Bay Area cities are 17 percent
above the national average, according to the report. San Francisco
excelled especially in the service and construction industries
where workers earn 23 percent more than average wages across the
But while the report encompasses several different fields and
pay structures, it fails to incorporate the cost of living, which
according to the Public Policy Institute of California is a key
factor in determining poverty.
According to "Poverty in California," a study released
in May, San Francisco has one of the state's highest costs of
living, and despite a minimum wage expected to go up to $9.14
in January, workers still struggle to live. The average rent,
for example, in San Francisco in 2004 was $1,175 per month for
a two-bedroom apartment.
When the cost of living is taken into account, according to the
institute's study, San Francisco's poverty level more than doubles.
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