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Learn More About the PEO Industry™ “2008 Salary Value Index” Names Cities with Most Favorable Combination of Pay-COL

Saturday July 05, 2008

Best Cities to Build Personal Wealth   
1. Plano, Texas                        
2. Aurora, Colorado                    
3. Omaha, Nebraska                  
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota            
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico          

Worst Cities to Build Personal Wealth
1. New York, New York
2. Washington, DC
3. Los Angeles, California
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. San Francisco, California  

To view the complete list of the 2008 Salary Value Index cities, log onto: developed the SVI to quantify relative differences in the value of individual salaries among large cities in the United States. Local salaries, the cost of living and unemployment rates from cities with 250,000 or more residents were included. Although the primary focus of this analysis is the relationship between living costs and pay, additional second-order measures were taken into consideration this year – including diversity of industry, education level of the cities’ population, proximity to post secondary institutions, percent of population below poverty level and median travel time to work.

“The end result of this analysis is a list in which the most favorable cities offer the largest difference between pay and costs,” said Bill Coleman, chief compensation officer, “Plus, each additional qualifying factor helped to further refine the list by highlighting the ‘employment strength’ of cities with a variety of industry, strong focus on education and low unemployment. The 2008 Salary Value Index represents cities with tremendous workforce and employer diversity and sense of ‘livability’ based on these additional measures.”

Each city at the top of the list is in a period of growth and change and offers appealing amenities. Many of the nation’s largest companies are headquartered in these cities, making them attractive for doing business and raising a family. The cities at the bottom of the list typically represent the places where living is the most expensive and pay differentials are not proportionately inflated. Although they may have high ratings in terms of diversity of industry and education, cost of living and relative strength of wages offset many of the appealing qualities offered by these cities for the purpose of this list.

This year’s list began with a list of cities published by the U.S. Census Bureau which enabled an assessment of population numbers as a springboard for other statistical data gathering. In looking to further refine the index, considered diversity of industry in and around each large city. Cities offering a variety of industries scored higher in the diversity component of the index because residents do not rely too heavily on one industry versus another. The education background of residents and educational proximity factors illustrate the innovation potential and cultural richness that develops in areas that are near institutions of higher learning.

The data used for salary and cost-of-living comparisons are also available directly at Through continual surveying and analysis, tracks-up-to-date salary information for more than 3,700 jobs. This information, available online through the Salary Wizard®, is tracked by local areas, which enables to derive average pay with precision on a city-by-city basis. The Cost-of-Living Wizard is designed to help people compare economic differences between two locations. This Wizard compares cost-of-living and salary in one location, with the expected cost-of-living and salary in another location.

About, Inc. is a leading provider of on-demand compensation and talent management solutions helping business and individuals manage pay and performance.’s highly configurable software applications, proprietary data and consulting services help HR and compensation professionals automate, streamline and optimize critical talent management processes including: market pricing, compensation planning, performance management, competency management and succession planning. Built with compensation and competency content at the core, solutions provide businesses of all sizes with the most production and cost – effective way to mange and inspire their most important asset – their people. For more information, visit

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