Jobs and the Future of Work

These are the cities where your salary goes the furthest

The downtown Los Angeles skyline is seen at dusk in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

In Zurich, it would take the average worker just 38 hours to purchase the latest iPhone X. Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Keith Breene
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Los Angeles is famous for many things: sunshine, stunning beaches and, of course, being the home of the silver screen.

World-beating value for money isn’t something that usually springs to mind when one thinks of LA. But according to the Prices & Earnings report by Swiss Bank UBS, an average worker’s salary will buy you more in Los Angeles than anywhere else. So much so that LA residents are able to afford almost 25% more goods and services than New Yorkers.

Image: Statista

The report compares 128 prices for goods and services and considers earnings in 15 jobs across all sectors in 77 cities worldwide.

A look at the other cities that do well in the study shows that the rankings are more to do with average wages rather than the price of goods and services.

Swiss cities Zurich and Geneva both feature in the top five for purchasing power, despite having some of the highest cost of living figures in the world.

Jakarta (Indonesia) Cairo (Egypt) and Lagos (Nigeria) are at the bottom of the rankings.

The UBS report has traditionally compared the time an employee needs to work in a city to afford a Big Mac burger, but this year it also compared the hours it would take to afford an iPhone. According to the investment bank, these devices featured top of the list of products that millennials want to buy.

Image: UBS Price And Earnings 2018 Report

While the average employee in Cairo would have to work well over 1,000 hours to afford an iPhone X, in Zurich, a mere 38 hours work will get you the same phone.

Workers in LA would have to put in 50 hours to get their phone.

So it seems the average worker in LA is doing pretty well. In which case, the city’s highest paid workers must be doing very well indeed. But who are they?

While individual actors may earn a fortune, their profession certainly doesn’t rank amongst the best paid.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that of the top 10 earning jobs in LA, eight are in the medical profession. The other two? CEO and lawyer.

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Related topics:
Jobs and the Future of WorkBusinessUrban Transformation
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