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New York last in cities where paycheck goes far

A network administrator may earn far more in New York City than in New London, Connecticut, about 125 miles to the northeast, but the New London resident will likely have more money left over at the end of the month, according to a new study of cities and salaries.
/ Source: Reuters

A network administrator may earn far more in New York City than in New London, Connecticut, about 125 miles to the northeast, but the New London resident will likely have more money left over at the end of the month, according to a new study of cities and salaries.

New York City came in dead last, at 188, on a list of U.S. cities in “The Salary Value Index,” a report prepared by Web site Salary.com that ranked cities as the most- to least-favorable to live in based on wages, cost-of-living and employment.

“The index measures where you are most likely to have a job that is going to pay you relatively better than the expenses you incur when you live there,” said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com, which researches compensation practices in the United States.

“We do not want to say New York is bad place to live. It’s just that by the numbers, it’s the toughest place to build a bank account,” he said.

New London, a New England coastal city known for submarines and the Coast Guard Academy, ranked No. 1.

The quantitative study did not poll people about how much they love their city. Nor did it ask inhabitants to rate the city’s services or amenities.

Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of a metropolitan area, the Salary.com analysts considered only areas with at least 250,000 residents. Fewer residents would render the data questionable, Coleman said.

While Huntsville, Alabama, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Rock Island, Illinois, were ranked in the top 10, bigger and better-known cities like San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles were in the bottom 10.

“The cities at the bottom of the list are all great places to live and very highly populated, which shows that not everyone makes decisions strictly on bottom line impact,” said Coleman.