Study: Almost No One in Miami Makes Six Figures, Including Probably You

Miami is a glitzy and glamorous city, but not many locals make the big bucks.
Miami is a glitzy and glamorous city, but not many locals make the big bucks. Photo by Mike Troy / Flickr
Today is payday for many of us — a sacred day when we can go out and spend too much money on food or alcohol (or both) before waking up tomorrow, checking our bank accounts, and regretting our life choices.

If you're making six figures, you might regret your spending habits a little less. But that's not the reality for most people living in Miami. Though we live in a glitzy and glamorous city, not many of us are making the big bucks. A recent report based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 3.1 percent of jobs in South Florida pay six figures, compared with 6.7 percent of jobs nationally.

Researchers with Volusion, a Texas-based software company, analyzed data from the bureau's most recent Occupational Employment Survey and calculated the percentage of all employees working in occupations with a median salary of $100,000 or more a year. The data shows that in 2018, there were more than 2.5 million jobs in the Miami metro area; of those, only 79,920 paid six figures.

The report shows that between 2015 and 2018, the number of jobs that pay $100,000 or more a year in the Miami metro area dropped by 31.3 percent. But nationwide, that figure increased by almost 85 percent. The report says Midwest and East Coast states for some reason are seeing declines in six-figure jobs.

The median annual wage across all jobs in South Florida is only $35,780, the report says. The people who make the most money in the area are surgeons, anesthesiologists, and general practitioners. 

In case you're not already deflated enough about your earnings, know that Florida's wages have remained largely stagnant over the years. The Miami metro area, the Miami Herald reports, is among the poorest-paid areas in the nation. Lower-skill workers and higher-skill workers alike are paid poorly. The New York Times reports that although the United States has plenty of jobs, they don't come with substantial pay raises.

The Economic Policy Institute released a budget calculator in 2018 that shows how much money Miamians spend on housing, food, transportation, and other needs. A single resident spends upward of $37,000 yearly on basic needs. And a family of four spends almost $85,000. A single parent with two kids spends roughly $74,000 on basics.

To live "comfortably" in Miami-Dade, the study shows, you'd need to make at least $77,000 per year. Most of us aren't making anywhere near that, so for now, just go have that payday drink.
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Alexi C. Cardona is a former staff writer at Miami New Times.