Survey: This city has the most employees who think they aren’t paid enough

New research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows that this American city with the most employees who think they are “underpaid” at work.

Photo: Dale Cruse via Flickr

New research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows that San Diego is the American city with the most employees who think they are “underpaid” at work, at 62%. Overall, 49% of respondents said they are “paid fairly” for the roles they hold now, while 46% said they’re “underpaid,” and just 5% said they earn more money than they should.

As for who weighed in on the topic, the company reports that “more than 2,800 workers in 28 U.S. markets” took the survey, and salary guides were also released alongside the research.

American cities with the most workers who don’t think they earn enough

Here are the cities with the highest percentages of workers who say they’re “underpaid:”

  • San Diego: 62%
  • Austin: 54%
  • Houston: 53%
  • Nashville: 53%
  • Philadelphia: 52%
  • Phoenix: 50%
  • Pittsburgh: 50%
  • Des Moines: 50%
  • St. Louis: 50%
  • Cleveland: 50%
  • Raleigh: 50%

Here are cities with lower percentages of employees who say don’t make enough money (labeled “other cities included in the survey” in the infographic):

  • Salt Lake City: 49%
  • Minneapolis: 49%
  • Indianapolis: 48%
  • Denver: 46%
  • Detroit: 46%
  • Seattle: 45%
  • Atlanta: 44%
  • Charlotte: 44%
  • Boston: 44%
  • Washington, D.C.: 44%
  • Cincinnati: 43%
  • Chicago: 41%
  • Los Angeles: 39%
  • San Francisco: 39%
  • Dallas: 37%
  • New York: 37%
  • Miami: 33%

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, commented on the research in a statement.

“Some firms have not kept up with shifts in market demand and continue to use old job classifications and salary bands. If your organization has not reviewed its compensation plan within the last six months, it could be outdated,” he said.

How people of different genders, ages, and income brackets feel

According to a survey infographic (featuring rounded results that “may not total 100 percent”), Robert Half found that 44% of men think they’re “underpaid,” compared to 51% of them who think they’re “paid fairly” and 6% who think they rake in too much money.

The data also shows that while 49% of women think they’re “underpaid,” 48% think they’re “paid fairly” and 3% think they make too much cash.

In terms of age, those who were 55 and older were the most likely to think they were being “paid fairly” at 52%, although those ages 35 to 54 weren’t far behind at 51%. People between 18 and 34 were the most likely to think they weren’t earning enough, at 48%.

When it comes to education level, those who’ve made it to “high school or less” were the most likely to think they were “underpaid” at 51%, while those who’d completed “university+” were the most likely to think they were being paid enough, at 50%.

Lastly, respondents pulling in a minimum income of $100,000 were the most likely to think they were earning enough money at 57%.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.