Kentucky by the numbers: $28,790

That is the median salary in Lexington for a job with a national median of $30,000, according to a recent survey by the consulting firm Mercer. According to Cathy Shepard of Mercer, it is important to understand the difference between the cost of living and the cost of labor. Cost-of-living differentials reflect the differences in the cost of goods, such as housing, groceries and transportation. Cost of labor accounts for differences in compensation for the same work. Mercer's survey showed a job with a national median salary of $30,000 will pay a median of $37,023 in San Francisco, but only $27,060 in Little Rock, Ark. Here is how other in the area cities compare.

2008 % Difference

Area from National

City Median ($) Median

Cincinnati 30,100 +0.3

Nashville 30,060 +0.2

Louisville 29,200 —2.7

Lexington 28,790 —4.0

Owensboro 28,053 —6.5


Source: Mercer, 2008 U.S. Geographic Salary Differentials