$40.84: San Francisco Bay Area Leads Nation With Highest Average Hourly Wages

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 18, 2020 | 1:37pm EDT
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Among the fifteen largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the San Francisco Bay Area led the nation with $40.84 in average hourly wages and salaries for private-industry workers as of this March, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On top of the $40.84 in wages in salaries, private-sector workers in the Bay Area also received an average of $17.15 in total benefits per hour, bringing their average hourly total compensation to $57.99. That also led the nation.



The New York metropolitan area came in second with average hourly total compensation of $45.29, which includes $31.21 in wages and salaries and $14.07 in total benefits.

The Seattle metropolitan area came in third with average hourly total compensation of $42.92, which includes $29.87 in wages and salaries and $13.05 in total benefits.

The Boston metropolitan area came in fourth with average hourly total compensation of $41.80, which includes $28.82 in wages and salary and $12.98 in total benefits.

Nationwide, private-sector workers had an average hourly total compensation of $35.34 as of March. That included an average of $24.82 in hourly wages and salaries and $10.53 in total benefits, according to BLS.

The median hourly total compensation for private-sector workers as of March was $26.00, according to BLS. That included $18.05 in wages and salaries and $7.95 in total benefits.

Workers employed by state and local governments got higher average total compensation than private-sector workers and also had a higher median total compensation, according to BLS.

“State and local government worker compensation costs for employers averaged $52.45 per hour worked in March 2020,” said BLS. “Wages and salaries averaged $32.62 and accounted for 62.2 percent of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $19.82 and accounted for 37.8 percent. Total compensation costs at the 50th (median) wage percentile were $50.06.”

“Metropolitan area private industry compensation costs are published each March reference period for the 15 largest Consolidated Statistical Areas (CSA) and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA),” the BLS said in its release today. “Total compensation costs in March 2020 for private industry workers ranged from $27.42 per hour worked in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL CSA to $57.99 per hour worked in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA.”

BLS defines wages and salaries as follows: “Hourly straight-time wage rate or, for workers not paid on an hourly basis, straight-time earnings divided by the corresponding hours. Straight-time wage and salary rates are total earnings before payroll deductions, excluding premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends and holidays, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses such as lump-sum payments provided in lieu of wage increases.”



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