If you work in Charlotte, N.C., you're in the geographic center of the U.S.--for salaries. That is, a job that averages $50,000 across the U.S. pays virtually the same, $50,005, in Charlotte. By contrast, that same job will pay nearly 20% more in San Jose, almost 16% more in New York, and 15.5% more in San Francisco, says the 1998 Geographic Salary Differentials report by human resources consulting firm William M. Mercer Inc., N.Y. You're most out of luck, salary-wise, in Brownsville, Tex., where jobs pay 17.2% below the national average.
Kansas City, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Milwaukee are four other cities that are almost right at the national average. The report is available for $300 in hardcopy, $400 on computer diskette, or $650 for both. Contact William M. Mercer at 1-800-333-3070.