States Where Wages are Highest

In 2014, the City Council of Seattle, Washington unanimously voted to begin phasing in a citywide minimum wage of $15 an hour. This was in the state that “already has the highest state minimum wage in the country at $9.19,” according to an October 2013 New York Times article.

At $15 per hour, a 40-hour week translates to $600 before deductions and taxes. Assuming one never gets sick or takes a day off, a 52-week year means about $31,200 annually.

How that yardstick aligns with weekly wages across the country can now be seen in new report from RealtyTrac®, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data.

RealtyTrac’s survey ranks U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) by average weekly wages based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data for second quarter 2014. In MSAs with populations greater than 200,000, the leading wage-paying area is the tech-heavy Silicon Valley of San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, California. Average weekly wages there are more than three times that $15 hourly rate.

Others among the top ten are in Connecticut and around New York City, Boston and groundbreaking Seattle.


Metropolitan Statistical Area
Population Av. Wk. Wages 
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA 1,843,860 $1,868
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT MSA 918,892 $1,455
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA 4,348,880 $1,394
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA 5,603,696 $1,283
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH MSA 4,563,673 $1,246
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA MSA 18,923,404 $1,231
Trenton, NJ MSA 366,442 $1,186
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX MSA 5,962,416 $1,168
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA 3,453,748 $1,143
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT MSA 1,211,280 $1,117


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