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Friday, March 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Seattle tech employees earn 56% more than NYC finance workers

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

In this photo from May 7, 2018, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks on during a video as he delivers the keynote address at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers in Seattle. In the third quarter of 2019, tech workers in King County earned an average of five times more than the national weekly wage. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
In this photo from May 7, 2018, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks on during a video as he delivers the keynote address at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers in Seattle. In the third quarter of 2019, tech workers in King County earned an average of five times more than the national weekly wage. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
By Alex Tanzi Bloomberg

Employment increased in about 80% of the largest U.S. counties in the third quarter of 2019 from a year earlier and wages grew in 350 of 355, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the third quarter of 2019, average weekly wages for the nation rose to $1,093, a 3.6% increase from a year earlier. People working in the information sector in the Seattle area earn almost five times that – King County tech workers average $5,367 per week, or about $279,000 a year.

By comparison, financial workers in the New York City area average $3,437 a week, or about $179,000 a year.

Wages in the wealthy California counties of Santa Clara and San Mateo are among the few that fell but remain the two with the highest average U.S. wages at $2,447 and $2,366, respectively. Wages in San Francisco County rose 7.6% from a year earlier to $2,273. The percentage increase was the seventh fastest in the country.

All 10 of the largest U.S. counties had annual increases in both employment and average weekly wages. The Phoenix area showed the biggest gain in jobs among the 10 largest counties with a 3.2% boost as population growth drove employment in the education and health services sectors. Employment increased by 14,264 jobs from a year earlier.

Wage data includes nonwage cash payments such as bonuses and deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans and stock options.

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