Mercer Research Shows Geographic Pay Differences

September 14, 2006 ( - Not surprisingly, a new Mercer study has found that pay for the same career positions differs by geographic location.

In a press release, Mercer said its 2006 Geographic Salary Differentials study found a job with a national median salary of $30,000 could pay $27,840 in Birmingham, Alabama versus $37,680 in San Francisco, California. This represents almost a 33 percentage point spread – from 7.2% below the national median to 25.6% above.

According to the study, geographic pay variations decrease some at higher pay levels. A job with a national median salary of $60,000 could pay $55,080 in Baton Rouge, LA or a high of $72,000 in San Jose, California. This represents a 28 percentage point spread.

At the national median salary of $90,000, pay ranges from lows of $84,510 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and $86,580 in Omaha, Nebraska to highs in New York and San Jose of $102,060 and $104,040, respectively.

Mercer’s study compares local pay rates for more than 200 cities to national medians at different pay levels. The study can be purchased by contacting Mercer at or 800-333-3070.