Spokane Incomes Compared to Similar Cities
July 23, 2010 7 Comments
The following chart is courtesy of the City of Boise. Cities generally pick similar sized cities to compare their own city’s economy. Spokane picks Boise as a comparable city, and Boise picks Spokane as comparable, therefore, the following data is relevant:
- 2008 Spokane median household income: $41,588
- 2008 Washington state median household income: $58,078
On a statewide basis, the average Spokane household income is 28% lower than that for Washington State.
What This Means
In Spokane, most government, health care and education workers earn salaries similar to those in more expensive cities on the west side of the state.
Most other workers, however, earn substantially less.
The average teacher salary ($59,738) in Spokane is slightly better than the average teacher salary ($58.888) in Seattle. A new report from the University of Washington questions paying nearly identical teacher salaries state wide, considering the differing costs of living and local market rates for labor:
Another source claims an even higher average teacher compensation package (including benefits):
(I am skeptical of those higher claimed salaries based on other data that I have seen and that the above source is a political lobbying group.)
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly wage in Spokane is $720 and in King County is $1,177. About 2/3ds of Washington’s counties, which are very rural, earn less than Spokane’s weekly wage.
If you work in government, health care or education, Spokane will provide you with a good salary and low housing costs and many other benefits.
If you work in most other fields, Spokane will provide you with a significantly below market level salary – which you can think of as the economic cost of purchasing less traffic and lower home prices. In other words, those working in other fields are possibly willing to pay 20% (or so) of their income potential for the benefit of low traffic, low home prices and so on.