15 Affordable Cities With the Most 6-Figure Jobs

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on How to Home.

Over the last two years, U.S. workers have contended with one of the most unusual economic environments in memory.

On one hand, persistent tightness in the labor market has provided greater opportunity and wage growth for many workers. The unemployment rate today sits at just 3.7%, but the economy nonetheless continues to add hundreds of thousands of jobs each month.

In efforts to recruit and retain workers in this environment, many employers have been boosting wages, especially for lower-earning workers.

But the highest levels of inflation in decades have eaten into workers’ gains. Year-over-year increases in the Consumer Price Index have topped 5% for every month since May 2021, peaking at 9.1% in June 2022. And many of the categories where costs have risen fastest are necessities that take up a large portion of household budgets, like shelter and groceries.

To determine the affordable metropolitan areas with the most six-figure jobs, researchers at HowtoHome.com calculated places with the greatest share of employees in occupations where the median wage is over $100,000 and the cost of living is below the national average using data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Read more about our methodology at the end.

Here are the affordable U.S. metropolitan areas with the most six-figure jobs.

15. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Tampa waterfront homes with boats.
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 4.6%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 59,620
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,289,900
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $119,365
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -0.9%

14. Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 4.8%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 49,550
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,043,000
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $122,515
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -4.3%

13. Kansas City, MO-KS

Topeka, Kansas
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 5.1%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 52,030
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,016,160
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $122,480
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -5.3%

12. Rochester, NY

Autumn leaves in Rochester, New York
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 5.2%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 24,310
  • Total employees across all occupations: 471,020
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $126,099
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -1.7%

11. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Cleveland, Ohio
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 5.2%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 49,820
  • Total employees across all occupations: 963,990
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $124,335
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -7.0%

10. Columbus, OH

Columbus Ohio
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 5.3%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 54,330
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,022,310
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $123,782
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -5.8%

9. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Cincinnati Ohio
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 5.7%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 58,680
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,023,830
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $124,417
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -6.5%

8. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 6.1%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 45,530
  • Total employees across all occupations: 743,170
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $124,524
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -2.3%

7. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 6.5%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 50,910
  • Total employees across all occupations: 786,640
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $121,877
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -4.1%

6. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 7.3%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 71,600
  • Total employees across all occupations: 976,900
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $127,707
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -3.0%

5. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline autumn
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 7.7%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 200,060
  • Total employees across all occupations: 2,587,890
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $120,481
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -1.8%

4. Richmond, VA

Richmond, California
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 8.0%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 49,400
  • Total employees across all occupations: 617,020
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $125,655
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -4.6%

3. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

Wayne County Michigan
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 8.7%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 156,000
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,801,530
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $120,756
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -2.9%

2. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Charlotte North Carolina
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  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 11.7%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 141,090
  • Total employees across all occupations: 1,209,890
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $124,459
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -5.4%

1. Raleigh-Cary, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sharkshock / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of employees in $100K+ occupations: 11.8%
  • Total employees in $100K+ occupations: 74,860
  • Total employees across all occupations: 633,260
  • Average wage for employees in $100K+ occupations: $122,832
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -4.3%

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Price Parities.

To determine the affordable metropolitan areas with the most six-figure jobs, researchers at HowtoHome.com calculated a location’s share of employees in occupations where the median wage is over $100,000 and the cost of living is below the national average.

In the event of a tie, the location with the greater total number of employees in occupations where the median wage is over $100,000 was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residents were included.