July 14th, 2006
Sixteen cities where 6FigureJobs.com and TheLadders.com have had the greatest number of six-figure job listings, and the gross salary required to replicate $100,000 after adjusting for cost-of-living.
While being in the 6figurejobs list can be a marker of a certain level of success, it is not always a marker of buying power.
In many cities, a $100,000 salary only sounds a lot better than it really is because the cost of living is high, taxes are high and even the rate of inflation runs higher than in other parts of the country.
Consider inflation. Over the past 12 months through May, overall inflation in New York was 4.8%. In Cleveland, the rate was 3%. The rate of inflation on rent was 5.6% in New York, while in Cleveland it was just 0.8%.
Consider taxes. State and local taxes make a big difference in how much you net, but so, too, does the federal income tax. Earning a nominally higher salary puts you in a higher tax bracket.
If you adjust for cost of living differences, that $205,000 salary would be worth $102,000 in Cleveland or Denver. The effective federal tax rate on that amount would be just 20.4%, so you would pay $20,868, with $81,480 left over.
It is evident that the greatest number of six-figure jobs tend to be in the most pricey and populous cities, but there are also plenty of opportunities in more affordable ones.
New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are in the top 10.
Besides being less costly, there is another big advantage these cities offer if you’re in the running to make six figures. To attract talent, companies often will offer the same big salaries that you could earn in New York or San Francisco.
Here is the list of top Cities:
New York $205,426
San Francisco $179,034
Los Angeles $156,106
San Diego $149,384