Most Valuable Industries by City
Cities are complicated systems that thrive on a network of people and the constant ebb and flow of economic factors. Every city has a unique structure that contributes to its overall fiscal health. While these commercial systems are hugely complex, when it comes to their value to the citizens, it really boils down to two factors: how many people are employed by that industry, and what are they being paid?
That’s why we decided to crunch the numbers to find the most valuable industry in the top 50 cities in the US. To do this, we used Census data to determine the number of employees working in a variety of industries in each city and then multiplied the average industry salary by the number of employees to get an estimate of the total payroll by city. Since we have a special interest in marketing, we decided to go the extra mile to determine the best cities for different positions within the marketing field, based on Payscale salary data.
Here’s what we found out!
Many of America’s top cities are known for hosting a variety of large, lucrative industries that help stimulate their local economy. Unsurprisingly, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago – three cities with booming economies – all had Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services as their most valuable industry. This industry also took the cake in a number of other top cities, like Dallas, Washington D.C., Boston, and Seattle.
In addition to determining the most valuable industry in each city, we were also interested in learning the average cumulative city value for each of the cities we surveyed. To calculate this, we, again, used employee and average salary Census data. Based on the number of citizens in each city employed by each industry and the average salary for each industry, we estimated the amount that each city pays its employees.
In doing so, we found that New York outstripped the competition dramatically, with over $450,000 million dollars in additional payroll, compared with Los Angeles, which had the second-highest with nearly $240,000 million in payroll.
On the other end of the spectrum, Birmingham, AL had the lowest city value with only $20,000 million in payroll for its citizens.
Though Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services is the top industry in a wide range of metropolitan areas, the Health Care and Social Assistance industry won out in an impressive number of cities. Health Care and Social Assistance was the most valuable industry in eighteen different states with a cumulative estimated payroll of $114,796 million dollars.
New York had the highest cumulative estimated annual payroll in fifteen of the eighteen industries we analyzed! New York seems to be leading the charge when it comes to having competitive industries.
Impact to Marketing Roles
Although we were interested in exploring the data for a variety of industries, we couldn’t help but crunch some slightly different numbers for our field of choice – Marketing.
In this area of the study, we were most curious about average salaries for those who work in Marketing by city. And as it turns out, no matter your position, some cities are much more lucrative than others. If you’re a CMO, for example, you’d be much better off accepting a job in Sacramento, CA, where the average salary in upwards of $250,000, than in Albuquerque, NM, where the average salary is under $100,000.
As for Marketing Managers, it appears that you should start your job hunt in San Jose, CA, where average salaries hover around $90,000. And if you’re a Marketing Specialist, it might be time to pack your bags and head to Virginia Beach, VA, which has the highest average salary for that position in the country at $65,000
Now that we’ve shared our findings, we’d love to hear from you! How do you think that your industry stacks up in your city? Also, if you’re selling into any of these industries, how could it help you plan and manage your total addressable market? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Meet Andrea Lechner-Becker
Andrea Lechner-Becker’s bio reads like someone who filled out a what-should-I-be-when-I-grow-up quiz and decided to try every option. Fueled by endless curiosity, Andrea has never met a problem she didn’t want to solve. This led her to managing sales and marketing at an art gallery, then loyalty and email marketing strategy for an NBA team and arena, then the delivery team at LeadMD, followed by a stint as a novelist and culminating with her current role as CMO of LeadMD. With a decade of experience in dynamic marketing roles, Andrea has had the opportunity to work with the most brilliant marketing minds at the best companies in the world. #hugemarketingdork