Newsflash! It costs a lot of money to live here in the Bay Area -- 40% above the national average. Fortunately, salaries are generally higher here to cover at least some of the cost. The U.S. Dept. of Commerce issued a report showing that the SF-Oakland area ranks number 2 in income per person for 2005 ($52.543/year, as opposed to the national average of $34.471), behind only Connecticut, which is where hedge fund people tend to live. In the number 3 spot: San Jose. It doesn't say if you add up SF, Oakland, and the South Bay if we'd dominate over those Nutmeg State hedge fundies, but we kind of hope we do!
So our average pay around here is 19% above the national average, our region's three major metropolitan areas create 3% of jobs nationwide, and SF is ranked number 25 in job creation.
We'd like to see what the median income is, as opposed to the average (we're sure we could find that online somewhere, but we're feeling a little lazy this morning), since it does also seem anecdotally true that the disparity between rich and poor around here is a big gap -- but in the meantime, you can watch that clip of Material Girl, above.