When can less actually be more? When the prices of a city’s goods and services are more expensive than the national average, thus dragging down the wages of the area when adjusting for purchasing power.
For example, as CityLab reports, San Francisco workers have some of the highest average wages in the country, especially in the tech sector, but when adjusting for purchasing power, some unexpected cities actually leap frog San Francisco.
After being adjusted for purchasing power, the average wage in San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. is $53,578. Springfield, Ill. ($53,853), Huntsville, Ala. ($56,659), and Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. ($58,779) all have higher adjusted wages than the Bay Area city, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, sometimes more is just more, as San Jose, Calif., which has the highest unadjusted average wages in the country at $75,770 also has the highest wages after adjusting for purchasing power at $62,107.
For a more detailed look at adjusted purchasing power by metro and by class, click the link below.