It pays to live in Boomtown, USA

Seen those billboards that read: "If you lived here, you'd be home by now"?

A case could be made for new signs in US hot spots, reading: "If you lived here, you'd make more money."

In a recent report on salary differences based on geographic location, published by the William M. Mercer consulting firm in New York, many US cities have higher average-compensation rates. This can be attributed to a higher cost of living, among other factors.

For example, a salary for a given job that averages $60,000 nationally would climb to $67,200 in Los Angeles (an additional 12 percent).

Based on the same national average, here's how some towns stack up:

San Jose, Calif.: $70,000 +17 percent

New York, N.Y.: $69,240 +15.4 percent

San Francisco, Calif.: $69,060 +15.1 percent

Los Angeles, Calif.: $67,200 +12 percent

Stamford, Conn.: $67,080 +11.8 percent

Brownsville, Tx.: $50,340 -16.1 percent

Alburquerque, N.M.: $54,660 -8.9 percent

Little Rock, Ark.: $55,740 -7.1 percent

Birmingham, Ala.: $56,640 -5.6 percent

San Antonio, Tx.: $57,420 -4.3 percent

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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