Many American cities are still smarting from the global economic crisis that actually started in 2006 reached a crescendo in 2008 when the sub-prime or secondary mortgage market crashed under the burden of spiralling defaults. The bigger cities like New York, Washington, San Francisco, and Los Angeles were the hardest hit as the largest subprime markets were concentrated in these cities.

However, signs of economic resurgence are now becoming visible exactly in those cities and commercial zones that set the norms for salaries for jobs across all industry segments. Mentioned below are some highly industrialized US cities with large populations that have registered a sharp increase in median salaries for a wide range of job positions in different industrial and commercial segments for the FY 2011-12.

For FY 2011-12


Salaries for job positions across all hierarchical levels in the traditional sectors of gas and oil and also in the commercial sectors of IT, telecommunications, aeronautics, solar energy, and transportation had registered a sharp increase in Houston in 2011-12. Average salaries for most job positions went up by 4.8%. Houston is the biggest city in the state of Texas. Austin, the capital of Texas is also a witnessing a spurt in employment and salary levels and the trend is expected to continue till 2015.


Boston is the capital as well as the largest city of Massachusetts both in terms of area and population. Boston is known throughout the world for its higher education institutions like the Harvard, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the Boston College. Boston is one of the oldest cities in USA whose foundations were laid way back in 1630. The city’s economy mainly revolves around the sectors of healthcare, finance, business and professional services, and administrative activities. The city witnessed a 4.5% rise in salary levels for different jobs in various commercial and industrial sectors.

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Seattle is a coastal city that is located within the national capital region of Washington. Seattle is the 15th biggest metropolitan area in US and the 12th largest in terms of economic output. Four of US’s largest companies in terms of annual revenues-Amazon, Starbucks, Expeditors International and Nordstrom are based in Seattle. It is also one of the major seaports of USA trading mainly with Asia. The city is also a prominent cultural and sports hub in USA. Salary levels for different job positions saw an annual increase of 4.8% in 2011-2012.

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is the administrative capital of USA where the headquarters of the three wings of the Federal Government-executive, legislative and the judiciary are situated. The district has a well diversified and burgeoning economy with an incremental proportion of professional and government sector jobs. The city also has many firms and companies that are engaged in the sectors of scientific research, public policy, education, and finance. The district also had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country in 2011. The unemployment rate was 6.2% in June 2011 when the D.C region had an unemployment rate of 9.8% whereas the national average stood at 9.2%. Average salaries in Washington D.C. rose by 0.1%.

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