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

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.