ATLANTA -- Pay cuts were more common than raises after the recession arrived, but metro Atlanta salaries were up 2 percent.
The typical American private-sector worker earned $43,000 in 2009, according to a new On Numbers analysis of payroll data for America's 938 metropolitan and micropolitan areas. That was down 0.2 percent from 2008's average of $43,100.
Atlanta ranked 281st among the metros with a 2 percent rise in pay per employee. The area's private-sector worker average salary was $44,700 in 2008 and $45,600 in 2009.
Augusta -- the only other Georgia city on the list -- ranked 181st with an average salary rise of 2.9 percent to $35,800 in 2009.
The New York City area, which sprawls across portions of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, suffered the worst decline of any major market. The average salary for its private-sector workers dropped 4.7 percent from $63,300 in 2008 to $60,300 in 2009.
Next were Wichita, Kan. (down 4.1 percent), Youngstown, Ohio (also down 4.1 percent), and Minneapolis-St. Paul (down 3.7 percent).
Palm Bay-Melbourne, Fla., was the biggest exception to the rule. Its average pay per private-sector employee increased by 5.5 percent between 2008 and 2009, though the upswing came with a price. The number of private-sector jobs in Palm Bay-Melbourne declined by 13,770 during the same period.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle)