In the labor market, pay is king. If you had to guess which industries in the Rural Capital Area (RCA) pay better, on average, than the U.S., which industries would show up on the top of your list?

Before looking at the industry breakdown, the first two bars in the chart below show the average pay across all industries for the RCA (dark blue) and the U.S. (gray). Interestingly, average pay in the RCA was $57,061 in 2020, about $7,000 less than average pay in the U.S.

With this background in mind, which industries pay better in the RCA compared to the U.S.? Going down from the top of the chart to the bottom, pay in the Manufacturing sector is much higher in the RCA than in the U.S. ($111,807 compared to $73,398). Surprisingly, the only other industry where it pays to live in the RCA is Trade, Transportation, and Utilities ($56,727 vs. $52,376).

Industries where average pay in the U.S. is higher than that for RCA include Natural Resources and Mining ($50,586 vs. $61,177), Construction ($63,045 vs. $67,352), Information ($66,893 vs. $136,387), Financial Activities ($72,247 vs. $106,704), Professional and Business Services ($74,918 vs. $84,496), Health Services & Private Education ($46,184 vs. $55,323), Leisure and Hospitality ($21,346 vs. $25,864), and Other Services ($40,269 vs. $44,065).

Average Salary by Industry Rural Captial Area vs US