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L.A. Named One of the Worst Places to Make Your Paycheck Stretch

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By Lenika Cruz

No one really moves to L.A. for the abundance of jobs, low rents or cheap transportation. Even longtime Angelenos aren’t deluded into thinking their city is an easy place to make a living.

But is it really all that bad?

In an article for New Geography titled “Cities Where A Paycheck Stretches The Furthest,” Joel Kotkin described the results of some research he and a colleague did into “the average annual wages in the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas and adjusted incomes by the cost of living.”

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Guess where Los Angeles placed?

“Long associated with glitz and glitter, Los Angeles does particularly poorly, coming in 46th on our list. The L.A. metro area may include Beverley Hills, Hollywood and Malibu, but it also is home to South-Central Los Angeles, East L.A. and small, struggling industrial cities surrounding downtown. The relatively modest average paycheck of $55,000 annually, 12th on our list, is eaten up by a cost of living that is well above the national average. This creates an unpleasant reality for many non-celebrity Angelenos...Places like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco have extraordinary concentrations of both rich and poor workers but fewer in the middle.”

Not exactly heartening, but for those of you who need a quick reminder of why you should stay, we'd like to suggest starting with our "Why We Love L.A. Summers" series.