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Old 11-06-2017, 07:45 AM
Location: Tennessee
20,968 posts, read 15,285,903 times
Reputation: 23765


I'm a native Tennessean who has also spent about five years in the Midwest, in the suburbs of Indianapolis and Des Moines.

I graduated college in 2010, and never found work paying more than $15/hr or so, despite applying in Raleigh, Charlotte, Nashville, etc. Granted, the economy was worse then and I had fewer skills (was just doing IT help desk work), but was just surprised I could never find a decent paying job.

I moved to Des Moines in 2012 and immediately got a job at $22/hr. While the cost of living was more than here in Appalachia, it wasn't THAT much more. Windmill factories and various blue collar type places were always advertising for employees at $20/hr or so. That was virtually unheard of here in Tennessee at the time.

I ended up moving back to Tennessee, and had a string of three jobs in 2013, each paying less than last, ending up down at about $11/hr by the end of the year. I moved to Indiana and immediately got back up to $25/hr, then took a job for $30/hr. I've since moved back to Tennessee, keeping my up north salary, but worry that if something happens to my current job, I'd be back to <$20/hr staying in Tennessee.

When I lived in Indiana, we'd often get a laugh at similar jobs in Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, etc. It almost always seemed Southern jobs paid at least a quarter less but the cost of living was notably more in Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville, etc., than cities like Columbus, Indy, or St. Louis.

Anyone else noticed this trend?
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:23 AM
1,519 posts, read 985,845 times
Reputation: 1304
Indianapolis tends to do great economically. The only reason people dislike it here is because they think it is blend and/or too suburban.

Cost-of-Living Adjusted Wage Data for U.S. Metro Areas

Cost of living adjusted wages is ten percent higher in the Midwest. Though there are many cities in the South that provide comparable wages.

4-10 Million:
Houston: $27.66
Detroit: $26.92
Dallas-Fort Worth: $26.56
Atlanta: $25.60
Chicago: $25.11
Miami: $19.93

2-4 Million:
Austin: 28.80
Indianapolis: $27.37
St. Louis: $27.34
Charlotte: $25.94
Minneapolis-St. Paul: $25.09
Tampa: $24.98
Kansas City: $24.84
Columbus: $24.33
Cleveland: $23.30
San Antonio: $22.90
Orlando: $22.81

1-2 Million:
Raleigh: $25.85
Nashville: $25.08
Birmingham: $25.03
New Orleans: $24.73
Richmond: $24.66
Memphis: $24.31
Grand Rapids: $24.27
Louisville: $24.19
Oklahoma City: $24.05
Milwaukee: $23.92
Jacksonville: $23.51
Virginia Beach: $21.72

.5-1 Million:
Durham-Chapel Hill: $29.92
Des Moines: $27.54
Madison: $27.18
Tulsa: $26.33
Omaha: $25.35
Jackson: $24.68
Columbia: $24.46
Knoxville: $24.05
Winston-Salem: $23.90
Akron: $23.01
Wichita: $22.69
Lexington: $22.67
Charleston: $22.48
Greenville: $22.47
Fayetteville: $22.25
Chattanooga: $22.15
Little Rock: $22.00
North Port-Sarasota: $21.01
Deltona: $19.98
McAllen: $17.81
El Paso: $17.76
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