Friday, January 21

15 US cities with the fastest growth in high-paying jobs


When passion meets skills and experience, you are ready for the best chance to be effective in a new job.
By tsyhun / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Same.

One of the most important long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy could be rising wages. With widespread labor market shortages reported this summer, many employers, particularly those with lower-wage employees, have tried to attract workers with better compensation and benefits. These trends have led to the fastest wage growth rates since the Great Recession, especially among the lowest earners.

Twenty years ago, only 0.7% of American workers held jobs that generally paid more than $ 100,000 per year. By 2015, that proportion was 3.8%. And in the past five years alone, the percentage of American workers in six-figure jobs more than doubled to 7.9% in 2020.

One field that may be contributing to the growth rate of high-paying jobs across the country is technology: Software developers and IT and information systems managers – both have faster growth rates than most other professions – currently combine to generate more than 1.9 million high-paying jobs. But while fast-growing tech jobs and more specialized fields like law, healthcare, or finance often garner attention, the most common six-figure profession is general and operations managers. More than 2.3 million American workers fill this role, which is common in organizations of all kinds in the public and private sectors, and has a median annual income of $ 103,650.

Large Metros with the highest growth in well-paying jobs

Winking woman with money
Alliance Images / Shutterstock.com

In addition to being concentrated in certain fields, high-paying jobs are also geographically concentrated. Six-figure salaries are more common in coastal states, including California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York, where the population tends to be more educated, the cost of living is higher, and higher-paying industries like technology, business, law and health and life sciences are more frequent. But even many parts of the country where these jobs are less common are seeing growth. Six-figure jobs more than tripled in Hawaii from 2015 to 2020, and 10 other states, primarily in the Mountainous West and Upper Midwest, had a six-figure job growth rate of more than 100% in the same lapse. Many of these states are becoming more attractive to employers and professionals looking for lower-cost locations.

To determine the locations with the highest growth in high-paying jobs, our researchers calculated the percent change in employment in six-figure jobs from 2015 to 2020 using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The location with the highest percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs for 2020 ranked higher. For the purposes of this analysis, employment in six-figure jobs was defined as total employment in occupations with an annual mean wage of $ 100,000 or more.

The following are the large metropolitan areas (population of 1 million or more) with the highest growth in well-paying jobs.

15. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin, Texas
Photography Roschetzky / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 101.1%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 7.6%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 80,560
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 40,060
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 44,020

14. Louisville / Jefferson County, KY-IN

Louisville, Kentucky
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 105.0%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 2.9%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 17,590
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 8,580
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 39,330

13. Sacramento – Roseville – Arden-Arcade, CA

Adonis Villanueva / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 107.7%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 12.9%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 124,480
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 59,930
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 48,070

12. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, NC
Sharkshock / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 109.2%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 9.9%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 61,470
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 29,380
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 43,500

11. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
Joe Guetzloff / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 122.3%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 6.2%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 45,090
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 20,280
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 42,280

10. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Aerial view of Portland with Mount Hood in the background.
josemaria-toscano / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 124.7%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 10.1%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 115,080
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 51,220
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 48,050

9. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, New York

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 143.0%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 5.0%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 24,590
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 10,120
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 42,040

8. Tucson, AZ

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 156.2%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 3.7%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 13,730
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 5,360
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 38,900

7. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio at night.
photo f11 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 163.0%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 5.7%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 56,780
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 21,590
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 37,920

6. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 175.2%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 4.2%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 21,630
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 7,860
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 39,430

5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

Riverside, California at night
MattGush / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 181.3%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 6.3%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 93,620
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 33,280
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 39,630

4. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
photography f11 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 204.8%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 6.5%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 33,310
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 10,930
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 38,280

3. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Las Vegas neighborhood with desert hills beyond.
Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 216.1%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 4.8%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 43,690
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 13,820
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 37,690

2. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 217.1%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 8.6%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 180,740
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 57,000
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 41,300

1. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

Nashville, Tennessee
jdross75 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in six-figure jobs (2015-2020): + 270.9%
  • Percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 5.6%
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2020): 53,820
  • Total employment in six-figure jobs (2015): 14,510
  • Average annual salary in all occupations (2020): $ 40,650

Detailed findings and methodology

Woman looking at laptop
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment statistics and occupational wages tables. To determine the locations with the highest growth in high-paying jobs, the researchers calculated the percent change in employment in six-figure jobs from 2015 to 2020, and checked its statistical significance. In the event of a tie, the location with the highest percentage of total employment in six-figure jobs for 2020 ranked higher. For the purposes of this analysis, employment in six-figure jobs was defined as total employment in occupations with an annual mean wage of $ 100,000 or more. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included. In addition, metropolitan areas were grouped into cohorts according to population size: small (100,000–349,999), medium (350,000–999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links within our stories.