Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

Where is the best place for you to live, based on salaries and costs of living? Is it a leading tech hub like the Bay Area or Boston, a superstar city like New York, or a less-established “rise of the rest” city like Pittsburgh? A new analysis by Jed Kolko, chief economist at the labor market and jobs site Indeed, breaks down the data, identifying the cities and metro areas where salaries stretch the furthest and workers and families have the most money left over.

To do so, he compares salary data from Indeed’s job postings to cost of living data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (as we know, differences in living costs are basically all about housing). This is what he found after analyzing all 185 United States metros with 250,000 people or more.

First off, there’s no doubt salaries are highest in big, expensive metros and leading tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area. On the flip side, these places also suffer from extremely expensive housing costs and mounting problems of housing unaffordability and inequality.

So, what happens when you adjust for housing and living costs? Kolko found workers thrive best in smaller metros, with the general trend being that paychecks stretch the further in smaller cities for most workers. In fact, the top 10 metros to live in all had a population below 1 million.

Want to see where your city ranks in terms of salaries and cost of living? Look no further.

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