South Dacola fills my morning with the daily recommended allowance of wage data. Taking umbrage with an anti-Sioux City wisecrack on KSOO, "Poly43" compares 90th percentile wage data for similar jobs in Sioux Falls and Sioux City. At the 90th percentile, we're talking about the people with some of the best qualifications in the field.
The results: in the jobs listed, Sioux City workers make an average of 20% more than their Sioux Falls counterparts.
However, we get a different picture if we look at all jobs. Overall, the average annual salary in Sioux Falls (as of May 2008) was $35,420. The average annual salary in Sioux City was $33,190. So if I understand this correctly, for workers toward the top of the wage scale in certain jobs, the two-hour drive down I-29 from Sioux Falls to Sioux City could produce a 20% pay boost. But over the entire labor sector, moving to Sioux City produces a 6.3% pay cut. Factor in cost of living (Iowa’s cost of living in Q3 2009 was only 2.5% higher than South Dakota’s) and that's an 8.6% cut in purchasing power.
One field where Sioux Falls really kicks Sioux City's can: chief executive pay. Sioux City has 90 CEOs averaging $139,810 a year. Sioux Falls has 190 CEOs averaging $178,590, 28% better. That rushing sound Todd hears from Harrisburg is northbound Lexuses (Lexi?!? :-D )
So if you're trying to win an argument about who makes more where, Sanford Falls or Sewer City, cost of living isn't as big a factor as the type of jobs and employees you're looking at.
Iowa does beat South Dakota statewide. Our average annual wage was $32,770. Iowa's was $35,910, 9.6% higher (6.8% higher after figuring cost of living).
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