Cities With the Fastest Growing Salaries in 2020

While trends indicate sluggish growth in 2020, Glassdoor Economic Research reports that wages rose from 2.3% in December of 2019 to 2.6% in January of 2020. We’ve compiled a list of US cities with the greatest wage increases. Spoiler alert: San Francisco resides at the helm for a second year.



With its mild year-round climate and picturesque location, it’s no surprise that San Francisco is considered one of the best cities to live in the country. Stretching one-mile across the San Francisco Bay is the Golden Gate Bridge, a 103-year-old suspension bridge that awes even the most venerated engineers. Experience quintessential San Francisco with a ride on one of the city’s cable cars or enjoy a walk weaving along quirky Lombard Street. Fisherman’s Wharf is renowned for its fresh seafood, but if eating out is more your style, visit north America’s oldest Chinatown for a meal of delectable dim sum.

As of February 2020, the average salary in San Francisco is $77,316.

In January of 2020, the city had 137,810 job openings. San Francisco’s fastest growing occupations include web developers, statisticians, and home health aides.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Telecommunications14.5%Transportation & Logistics-42.3
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals 11.3%Accounting & Legal -26.3%




Fast-paced, fashion-forward, diverse, and bold—welcome to New York, the city that never sleeps. The iconic town’s 8 million residents live amongst a skyline recognized throughout the world. From cuisine to entertainment, New York City’s offerings are practically limitless. Before spreading across the globe, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton premiered on Broadway in 2015. When Broadway tickets are elusive, off-Broadway productions present quality performances. And if a break from concrete and skyscrapers is necessitated, 840 acres of serenity are mere steps away in downtown’s Central Park.

As of February 2020, the average salary in New York City is $71,277.

In January of 2020, the city had 288,813 job openings. New York City’s fastest growing occupations include nurse practitioners, interpreters/translators, and home health aide workers.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Architecture & Civil Engineering 18.1%Travel & Tourism-28.4
Marketing & Advertising9.3%Accounting & Legal -27.5%




Temperate weather, ocean views, and over 100 museums—it’s no wonder Los Angeles has attracted more than 4 million residents. Home to the first fast food cult-favorite, In-N-Out, LA’s food scene continues advancing with world-renowned chefs and a diversity of cuisines to suit every palate. And since the city is known as the entertainment capital of the world, celebrity sightings are practically inevitable.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Los Angeles is $69,855.

In January of 2020, the city had 207,092 job openings. Los Angeles’ fastest growing occupations include personal care aides, software developers, and medical assistants.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Telecommunications31.8%Private Security-42.3%
Construction16.3%Accounting & Legal -20.9%



BOSTON – 3.3%

Bostonians are well-known for their unflinching loyalty to the city’s professional sports teams. Over 100 years old, Fenway Park is one of Boston’s most revered and visited sites. Boston’s penchant for athleticism extends beyond fields, as the Boston Marathon has been a city staple since 1897. An education-oriented metropolis, Boston is home to Harvard University, MIT, Boston College, and Tufts. It’s also noted for the bar “where everybody knows your name,” Cheers.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Boston is $71,315.

In January of 2020, the city had 139,696 job openings. Boston’s fastest growing occupations include statisticians, personal care aides, and engineers.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Arts & Entertainment 14.6%Travel & Tourism-19.3%
Construction 13.0%Consulting-14.6%



HOUSTON – 3.3%

With over 2.2 million residents, Houston is the fourth largest city in the country. High salaries and low cost of living make Houston a desirable city for relocation. Its top attraction, Johnson Space Center, is situated just outside the downtown area. For the musically inclined, the Downtown Theater District offers a variety of stage performances. Houston residents round out their love for spurred boots and rodeos with their affinity for graffiti. Artists from around the world are featured in Houston’s Graffiti Park, where vibrant works of creativity are spray painted on city walls. If a fan of Tex-Mex, Houston is the city for you, with over 500 Tex-Mex restaurants and food trucks.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Houston is $65,490.

In January of 2020, the city had 89,578 job openings. Houston’s fastest growing occupations include registered nurses, elementary school teachers, and positions in professional administration.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Telecommunications28.7%Architecture & Civil Engineering-21.4%
Real Estate7.4%Arts & Entertainment-9.1%



CHICAGO – 3.0%

Chicago’s iconic architecture is proudly featured in their many skyscrapers visible throughout the city. Even the famous Cloud Gate, a bean-shaped reflective surface, draws large crowds. Splurge in upscale shopping along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile with over 460 retailers, or simply pull up a chair at one of the many deep-dish pizza parlors. On warm summer days, lunch breaks are often enjoyed with toes in the sand at one of the city’s 26-miles of Lake Michigan beachfront.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Chicago is $67,590.

In January of 2020, the city had 184,657 job openings. Chicago’s fastest growing job sectors are leisure and hospitality, business services, and construction.*

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Aerospace & Defense137.0%Consulting-14.7%
Construction12.5%Real Estate -14.6%



ATLANTA – 2.9%

Welcoming over 50 million visitors annually, it’s no wonder Atlanta has the busiest airport in the world. There’s plenty to do in this city filled with southern hospitality. Pay a visit to the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, or tour the World of Coca-Cola. The city’s top tourist site is The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. Cultural attractions and art institutions fill midtown Atlanta, while the uptown district features upscale restaurants, bars, and an active nightlife. And while dining out, be sure to order a plate of one of Atlanta’s most beloved dishes, chicken and dumplings.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Atlanta is $66,267.

In January of 2020, the city had 108,545 job openings. Atlanta’s fastest growing occupations include pharmacy technicians, machine operators, and bank tellers.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Government29.4%Accounting & Legal -20.6%
Facilities21.0%Marketing & Advertising-11.6%



SEATTLE – 2.6%

Seattle is often referred to as Emerald City due to the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests. But it’s likely best-known as home of the first Starbucks. If a triple-venti soy (without foam) doesn’t suit your taste buds, there are a staggering 2,000 coffee shops situated throughout the city. Seattle’s Space Needle observation tower, constructed for the 1962 World Fair, hosts over 1.3 million people annually. Children of the 90s may recall Seattle as home of the grunge band, but a lesser known artistry can be found in their talent for glassblowing.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Seattle is $71,726.

In January of 2020, the city had 107,185 job openings. Seattle’s fastest growing occupations include software developers, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals 18.8%Aerospace & Defense-37.6%
Banking & Finance 14.9%Marketing & Advertising -24.2%




Washington, DC is a history buff’s dream city. Days can be spent touring historical sites, museums, and monuments, while DC’s nightlife thrives with entertainment. The District Wharf offers diners an assortment of restaurants and shops along a wide walkway that hosts unmatched views of the Potomac River. Designed in 1864, Georgetown has preserved its charm with cobblestone streets lined with restaurants, retail shops, bars, and clubs. Enjoy various activities along the waterfront or just admire the spectacular sights of the Kennedy Center and beyond.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Washington, DC is $69,589.

In January of 2020, the city had 171,086 job openings. Washington DC’s fastest growing occupations include web developers, physical therapy aides, and security technicians.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Construction29.7%Accounting & Legal-30.2%
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals14.4%Architecture & Civil Engineering-14.9%




Although cheesesteaks, Rocky, and the Liberty Bell are beloved facets of Philadelphia, this City of Brotherly Love has an abundance to offer. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the country’s largest art museums, while the city’s Mural Art Program is a unique exhibition visible on exterior walls of buildings. With the most bicycles in the US (per capita), it is rated one of the most walkable cities in the country. Philadelphia’s Italian Market has been a mainstay since the 1880s, serving residents along 20 city streets every weekend.

As of February 2020, the average salary in Philadelphia is $65,867.

In January of 2020, the city had 109,104 job openings. Philadelphia’s fastest growing occupations include nurse practitioners, biomedical engineers, and web developers.

Thriving Sectors Struggling Sectors 
Architecture & Civil Engineering14.6%Insurance-40.6%
Arts & Entertainment12.4%Accounting & Legal -26.8%



Feeling inspired to relocate? Contact ARC and we’ll ease you through the process!


Data procured via:

Glassdoor Economic Research’s Job Market Report

Zip Recruiter Salaries

Zippia Jobs