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Cities With the Highest Wages for New Hires


Cities With the Highest Wages for New Hires

As the U.S. economy enters a new phase in its recovery from COVID-19, businesses are adding new positions faster than they can fill them. A combination of rapidly expanding job openings, a smaller labor force, and more generous unemployment benefits is pushing wages higher, especially in fields like leisure and hospitality that historically have some of the lowest wages for new workers. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau on new hires, average monthly earnings was $3,266 in 2020—a figure that varies widely by industry, job, and location.

New hires in the information sector—which includes many of the country’s computer programming and technology jobs—were paid the most, at $7,060 per month or nearly $85,000 annually. In comparison, all information workers (including new hires and existing employees) were paid an average monthly wage of $8,825. New employees in the mining, oil and gas, and utilities sectors also commanded strong wages when compared to new hires in other fields.

Despite experiencing strong wage growth at the start of 2021, new hires in accommodation and food services have historically earned the lowest average wages, at just $1,458 per month or about $17,500 annually. Unsurprisingly, industries with low wages overall also pay new hires less, but the gap between new hire pay and all worker pay ranges from a low of approximately 11% in the agricultural sector to over 50% in fields like management, education, and the arts.

In addition to occupation and industry, location has significant direct and indirect effects on real wages. New employees in certain areas might command different wages for a variety of reasons, but differences in cost of living affect how comfortable it is to live on a given wage. When taking cost of living into account, new hires in Washington and Massachusetts earned the most in 2020, at $4,045 and $3,793 per month respectively. Other states with high adjusted wages for new hires included New York and Connecticut. Conversely, workers in Montana, Hawaii, and Idaho earned the least after adjusting for living costs.

To find the metropolitan areas with the highest wages for new hires, researchers at Self analyzed the latest data on new hires from the U.S. Census Bureau, cost-of-living data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and home price data from Zillow. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the cost-of-living adjusted monthly earnings for new hires in 2020. Researchers also calculated the unadjusted monthly earnings for new hires, the unadjusted monthly earnings across all workers, median home price, and cost of living.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

-Small metros: 100,000–349,999

-Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999

-Large metros: 1,000,000 or more

Here are the large metros with the highest wages for new hires.

Metro Rank   Average monthly earnings of new hires (adjusted) Average monthly earnings of new hires (actual) Average monthly earnings across all workers (actual) Median home price  

Cost of living (compared to national average)


San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA     1     $5,339     $6,764     $11,643 $1,364,273 +26.7%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA    2     $4,541     $5,199     $7,058 $627,290 +14.5%
San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA    3     $4,358     $5,862     $8,583 $1,235,705 +34.5%
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX    4     $3,957     $3,929     $5,550 $441,931 -0.7%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO    5     $3,649     $3,802     $5,102 $517,395 +4.2%
Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT    6     $3,637     $3,728     $5,666 $274,468 +2.5%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX    7     $3,614     $3,675     $5,577 $241,698 +1.7%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV    8     $3,594     $4,219     $5,566 $498,649 +17.4%
Raleigh-Cary, NC    9     $3,571     $3,432     $4,891 $327,048 -3.9%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX    10     $3,549     $3,592     $5,284 $289,582 +1.2%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC    11     $3,535     $3,337     $4,561 $281,335 -5.6%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH    12     $3,463     $4,000     $5,864 $563,149 +15.5%
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN    13     $3,449     $3,256     $4,593 $320,818 -5.6%
Pittsburgh, PA    14     $3,443     $3,181     $4,776 $185,063 -7.6%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA    15     $3,408     $3,336     $4,998 $280,038 -2.1%
United States*    –     N/A     $3,266     $4,783 $281,370 N/A


*Average earnings are weighted averages (by employment) of state-level data

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Self’s website:

company's culture

Here are Six Factors that Comprise a Company’s Culture

“Corporate culture” is a buzz phrase that’s been going around for over a decade now, though the actual meaning behind this hot topic is often lost. A company’s culture goes far beyond celebrations, perks, and the office layout. In fact, it reaches the very core of a business.

Here are six factors that comprise a company’s culture.

Heritage and Vision

Every business has an origin story, and this narrative has the potential to be a driving force for success. It’s important to incorporate your organization’s heritage into your culture. Sharing your business’s unique history connects your employees to the “why” behind your organization’s conception. By celebrating your business’s roots, you connect your staff to the company’s original purpose and encourage them to embody it in their work.

Values and Practices

Companies often define their core values for their employees, but those mean very little if accepted corporate practices don’t align. It’s important to ensure that communication standards, leadership structure, workplace environment, etc. all promote your company values.

Contribution and Recognition

Sometimes it’s hard for employees to see how the work they do affects the big picture. You never want a member of your staff to feel small or insignificant. Celebrate individuals’ accomplishments, hard work, or great ideas. Make a habit of telling your employees how much you appreciate them and how important their contribution is to the overall success of the company.

Promote Growth

No one wants to stick around at a job they feel is stagnant. It’s important to encourage professional growth so employees feel they are improving themselves and their lives while working for you. This can be through continuing education courses, seminars, a book club, or even just built-in flexibility to explore new topics.

Positive Work Environment

This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order to keep employees happy, they have to want to come to work. Take steps to create a positive workplace that’s fun to come to every day.

Stay Consistent

After you’ve decided on the elements that make up your company’s culture, enstate them across the board. Consistency helps build employee trust. If your staff sees inconsistency in your culture, they’ll know it isn’t genuine.

Remember, each company’s culture is unique, and the perfect culture doesn’t always come right away. Don’t be afraid to reflect and revise as you go.


Joel Patterson ( is the founder of The Vested Group, a business technology consulting firm in the Dallas, Texas area, and ForbesBooks author of The Big Commitment: Solving The Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation. He has worked in the consulting field for over 20 years. Patterson began his consulting career at Arthur Andersen and Capgemini before helping found Lucidity Consulting Group in 2001. For 15 years he specialized in implementing Tier One ERP, software systems designed to service the needs of large, complex corporations. In 2011, Patterson founded The Vested Group, which focuses on bringing comprehensive cloud-based business management solutions to start-ups and well-established businesses alike. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University.

trade workers

Best Cities for Tradesmen

The U.S. is facing a shortage of skilled trade laborers. This is due to several factors, including the culture’s emphasis on getting a four-year college degree and an increasing number of retiring Baby Boomers. The shortage of skilled trade labor has pushed up wages in these occupations. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual earnings for skilled wage occupations is $47,428, nearly 20% higher than that across all workers.

While there is a shortage of skilled trade workers nationally, the concentration of skilled trade workers varies significantly on a geographic basis. Some parts of the country have older workforces and more skilled trade veterans that are retiring. Vocational programs are also more popular in some areas than others. At the state level, Wyoming and Louisiana have the highest percentage of skilled trade workers in the U.S. Skilled trade employment makes up 8.5% and 6.6% of total employment in Wyoming and Louisiana, respectively.

To find the best areas in the U.S. for skilled trade workers, researchers at Porch analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and and created a composite score based on the following factors:

-Median annual wage for skilled trade workers: the median annual wage for workers in skilled trade occupations

-New residential construction spending per skilled trade worker: value of new residential construction per skilled trade worker

-Employment growth for skilled trade workers: growth in the employment of skilled trade workers over the past two years

-Private union membership: percentage of private industry workers with union membership

-Cost of living: cost of living relative to the national average

At the state level, the best states for skilled trade workers are in the West. According to the composite score, the highest-ranking state is Nevada, where median annual earnings for skilled trade workers is nearly $50,000. Both Oregon and Washington also rank highly among states and offer attractive wages for tradesmen. All of these states also show higher-than-average employment growth in skilled trades and have high rates of private union membership. At the national level, skilled trade employment grew by 6% from 2017 to 2019, and 6.2% of private industry workers belong to unions.

Researchers at Porch ranked metro areas according to their composite score. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

-Small metros: 100,000–349,999

-Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999

-Large metros: 1,000,000 or more

Here are the best large metros for skilled trade workers.

Metro Rank Composite score Median annual wage for skilled trade workers New residential construction spending per skilled trade worker Employment growth for skilled trade workers Private union membership Cost of living (compared to national average)



Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV      1      83.61 $49,504 $47,374 10.6% 13.1% -3.2%
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA      2      82.78 $52,873 $52,189 13.4% 8.2% +3.6%
St. Louis, MO-IL      3      82.74 $58,038 $25,077 3.2% 10.7% -9.0%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA      4      82.03 $57,582 $40,315 12.8% 7.6% +3.8%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL      5      81.86 $43,218 $35,046 9.9% 8.2% -11.3%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA      6      81.83 $50,079 $37,055 12.5% 14.8% +7.0%
Kansas City, MO-KS      7      81.75 $50,693 $40,603 7.1% 7.1% -7.1%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA      8      81.12 $69,513 $28,447 12.7% 9.7% +31.6%
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN      9      80.45 $47,735 $25,221 8.1% 8.1% -9.8%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN     10      80.25 $48,106 $25,619 8.3% 6.7% -10.0%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA     11      80.00 $61,771 $41,874 4.2% 12.7% +12.9%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN     12      79.67 $48,178 $44,913 6.4% 5.4% -8.4%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI    13      79.17 $60,280 $46,251 4.3% 7.9% +2.6%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH    14      79.05 $60,558 $32,462 11.0% 5.7% +14.2%
Pittsburgh, PA    15      77.59 $52,473 $7,200 4.9% 9.2% -6.9%
United States      N/A $47,428 $37,164 6.0% 6.2% N/A


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Porch’s website: