Before anything else, let's glory in our superiority. On average, people in the Bay Area are making a lot of money (too bad so much goes to keeping a roof over our heads).
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its latest numbers on employment and wages throughout the United States, says average wages throughout the region are generally much higher than the national average of $22.33 an hour. The South Bay average is $34.45 an hour, which is 54 percent above the national average; in the San Francisco area, it's $32.41, which is 45 percent higher than the U.S. mean; and in the East Bay, it's $28.70, or 28.5 percent higher than the all-American average. Those newly released stats are all from May 2013, by the way.
Beyond the "we sure make a lot of money hereabouts" headline, the bureau's numbers render a sharp statistical snapshot of the technology workforce and its economic impact in the region.
First, note that while tech workers are well paid, they're not the highest-paid folks in the region. According to the bureau's report, that distinction belongs in the Bay Area and nationwide to medical professionals: Psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, orthodontists and oral-maxillofacial surgeons are at or near the top of the money list in every California metro area, with average yearly wages topping $200,000. Chief executive officers and lawyers also are among the top-paid professions.
Second, while there are a lot of tech workers here — by one measure, the South Bay has the highest concentration of technology workers in the country — other metro areas (Washington, D.C., Seattle and New York) have a significantly higher number of people working in what the BLS calls "Computer and Mathematical Occupations."