The Best Cities for Blue Collar Workers

Amanda Postma
by Amanda Postma
Study - 2 months ago

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If you’re a blue-collar worker, then you’re no stranger to hard work. Day-in and day-out you wear yourself out for the betterment of the country. Whether you’re fighting fires or constructing a new hospital building, your skills in manual labor benefit the community.

Now, it’s no secret blue-collar workers work hard at their jobs. What they shouldn’t have to work hard for is finding the best cities to work in that benefit them. Leave it to us. We’ll do the heavy lifting for this part of your journey as we’ve found the best cities for blue-collar workers.

The 10 Best Cities for Blue Collar Workers

  1. Buffalo, New York
  2. Warren, Michigan
  3. Rochester, New York
  4. Springfield, Illinois
  5. Paterson, New Jersey
  6. Tacoma, Washington
  7. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  8. Independence, Missouri
  9. Yonkers, New York
  10. Anchorage, Alaska

If your city is on the top 10 then you’re in the right place. If not, keep reading for a complete list of best cities for blue-collar workers to see where your city ranks.

How We Determined The Best Cities For Blue-Collar Workers

We looked at over 200 cities and ranked them on the following areas:

  • Median Income For Blue Collar Professions
  • Average Home Value
  • Union Membership Rates

We first examined median income in blue-collar professions in each city using data from Census ACS. This covers a range of blue-collar jobs, from higher pay ones to ones that pay out less.

However, big paychecks can come with big bills- so next we looked at average home costs according to the Census. Owning a home is part of the American dream, just like a well-paying job that doesn’t require drowning in student loans, so a good city for blue-collar workers will have affordable housing.

Finally, we looked at union membership rates by state, from the BLS. Stronger unions lead to higher pay and better future opportunities for blue collar workers.

1. Buffalo, New York

buffalo,

Source: |GFDL

Wage: $42,129
Home Price: $98,309
Union Membership: 23%

With median income for blue-collar workers at $42,129 and union membership rates at 22.7%, it’s no surprise that Buffalo, New York comes in at No. 1 on this list. Even the average home price of $98,309 is feasible compared to other cities on this list.

2. Warren, Michigan

warren,

Wage: $52,989
Home Price: $138,163
Union Membership: 15%

Warren, Michigan is named second on the list understandably with the average home price a bit higher than the No. 1 spot and the union membership rates considerably lower. However, with the city’s average blue-collar income of $52,989, workers should have no trouble paying the extra money for a home.

3. Rochester, New York

Wage: $40,012
Home Price: $82,741
Union Membership: 23%

Offering an average salary of $40,012, it’s easy to see why Rochester, New York is third on the list. But with the average home only costing $82,741, blue-collar workers won’t have that hard of a time paying off a home.

4. Springfield, Illinois

springfield,

Wage: $48,036
Home Price: $123,271
Union Membership: 15%

Coming in at No. 4, Springfield, Illinois boasts an average income of $48,036. But the higher income comes at a cost. The average home there costs roughly $123,271 and the union membership rates are only at 14.7%.

5. Paterson, New Jersey

paterson,

Wage: $54,791
Home Price: $255,990
Union Membership: 17%

Paterson, New Jersey completes the first half of the list with an average salary of $54,791 and union membership rates at 17.4%. The only downside is that houses aren’t cheap here as the average house costs $255,990.

6. Tacoma, Washington

Wage: $52,186
Home Price: $309,939
Union Membership: 20%

Taking the sixth spot, Tacoma, Washington offers blue-collar workers an average salary of $52,186. A bonus of living in Tacoma is that union membership rates are at 20.2%. The bad news is that the average house costs $309,939.

7. Fort Wayne, Indiana

fort

Wage: $44,754
Home Price: $115,658
Union Membership: 10%

Fort Wayne, Indiana offers blue-collar workers a decent salary without the average cost of a home being too expensive. The downside to living in Fort Wayne is the incredibly low number of union membership rates.

8. Independence, Missouri

independence,

Wage: $43,796
Home Price: $117,641
Union Membership: 13%

The No. 8 spot on this list is occupied by Independence, Missouri. As for the numbers that we found to support this ranking, all were fairly low for blue-collar workers. The average salary definitely isn’t the highest and the housing costs in Independence are not too expensive.

9. Yonkers, New York

yonkers,

Wage: $53,643
Home Price: $427,048
Union Membership: 23%

You’d be Yonkers to live here (just kidding). Yonkers, New York is tied for being the ninth-best city for blue-collar workers. While you’ll earn a decent salary here, you may not be able to buy a home as the average house costs $427,048.

9. Anchorage, Alaska

anchorage,

Wage: $50,520
Home Price: $321,260
Union Membership: 19%

Living in Alaska may be cold, but the opportunity for blue-collar workers is hot. With an average salary of $50,520, it seems that most of these workers make a decent living in Anchorage. And although the average cost of houses is high, the amount of union membership remains on the higher end.

Summary of Best Cities for Blue Collar Workers

Blue-collar workers work hard for a living. The last thing they should have to worry about is where they can get the most bang for their buck. This list highlights all of the best cities based on average income, cost of houses and union membership rates. Check the table below for more cities that are great for blue-collar workers.
Top Cities for Blue Collar Workers

Rank City Wage Home Price Union Membership
1 Buffalo, New York $42,129 $98,309 22
2 Warren, Michigan $52,989 $138,163 15
3 Rochester, New York $40,012 $82,741 22
4 Springfield, Illinois $48,036 $123,271 14
5 Paterson, New Jersey $54,791 $255,990 17
6 Tacoma, Washington $52,186 $309,939 20
7 Fort Wayne, Indiana $44,754 $115,658 9
8 Independence, Missouri $43,796 $117,641 12
9 Yonkers, New York $53,643 $427,048 22
9 Anchorage, Alaska $50,520 $321,260 18
11 Lancaster, California $48,450 $290,643 16
12 Aurora, Illinois $48,120 $193,865 14
12 Dayton, Ohio $40,837 $66,534 13
14 Bakersfield, California $44,839 $257,213 16
15 Vancouver, Washington $47,829 $325,545 20
15 Modesto, California $48,800 $313,851 16
17 Joliet, Illinois $47,884 $200,942 14
17 Kansas City, Kansas $42,386 $102,568 10
19 Elk Grove, California $58,772 $444,149 16
20 Rancho Cucamonga, California $73,115 $549,939 16
20 North Las Vegas, Nevada $51,557 $262,169 16
22 Stockton, California $47,004 $299,776 16
22 Akron, Ohio $40,166 $84,264 13
24 Syracuse, New York $32,569 $96,179 22
25 Santa Clarita, California $65,852 $576,037 16
25 Chula Vista, California $59,986 $532,714 16
27 Roseville, California $56,198 $470,860 16
27 Lansing, Michigan $38,512 $88,493 15
27 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania $42,369 $140,158 13
30 Concord, California $64,123 $611,079 16
31 Ontario, California $51,118 $406,841 16
32 Hayward, California $58,942 $638,645 16
33 Rockford, Illinois $38,133 $92,769 14
34 Spokane, Washington $39,427 $203,671 20
34 Torrance, California $71,000 $823,002 16
34 Palmdale, California $45,304 $306,792 16
37 Hartford, Connecticut $40,930 $166,176 16
38 Huntington Beach, California $62,347 $830,995 16
39 Fullerton, California $56,940 $664,083 16
39 Topeka, Kansas $40,287 $109,715 10
41 Glendale, California $61,621 $877,359 16
41 Fontana, California $47,807 $406,699 16
43 Kansas City, Missouri $42,969 $166,353 12
44 Omaha, Nebraska $45,500 $163,383 9
45 Santa Rosa, California $52,186 $584,267 16
46 Urban Honolulu, Hawaii $49,214 $705,377 25
46 Enterprise, Nevada $51,796 $341,201 16
46 Henderson, Nevada $51,478 $339,857 16
49 Detroit, Michigan $35,303 $51,616 15
50 Bellevue, Washington $52,792 $924,546 20
50 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $42,007 $167,663 13
52 San Francisco, California $57,438 $1,195,732 16
52 Evansville, Indiana $39,774 $102,760 9
54 Long Beach, California $49,894 $600,678 16
55 Irvine, California $53,469 $843,596 16
56 San Bernardino, California $41,241 $270,317 16
56 Baltimore, Maryland $42,243 $167,840 12
58 Columbus, Ohio $40,449 $159,368 13
59 Peoria, Illinois $37,294 $128,848 14
60 Chicago, Illinois $46,825 $271,600 14
61 Cleveland, Ohio $35,835 $71,080 13
62 Oakland, California $48,824 $717,699 16
63 New York, New York $45,805 $645,147 22
64 Port St. Lucie, Florida $52,216 $233,053 7
65 San Jose, California $49,702 $968,521 16
65 Sunrise Manor, Nevada $39,324 $190,079 16
67 Jersey City, New Jersey $43,567 $416,935 17
67 Newark, New Jersey $38,323 $251,831 17
69 Milwaukee, Wisconsin $40,099 $126,286 9
70 Springfield, Massachusetts $38,747 $159,237 13
71 Lafayette, Louisiana $52,393 $208,122 6
72 Oceanside, California $44,130 $527,070 16
72 Pueblo, Colorado $39,779 $153,905 9
72 Corpus Christi, Texas $45,518 $146,017 5
75 Las Vegas, Nevada $42,494 $284,992 16
75 Wichita, Kansas $38,265 $139,759 10
77 Thornton, Colorado $54,667 $358,747 9
78 Providence, Rhode Island $35,218 $219,488 19
78 Reno, Nevada $45,352 $364,548 16
80 Riverside, California $41,927 $384,965 16
80 St. Louis, Missouri $38,371 $154,759 12
80 Birmingham, Alabama $35,425 $93,407 9
80 Clearwater, Florida $46,046 $218,577 7
84 San Diego, California $44,495 $654,737 16
84 Toledo, Ohio $32,934 $79,886 13
86 Seattle, Washington $43,889 $758,230 20
86 Arvada, Colorado $60,791 $434,850 9
88 Fremont, California $45,955 $1,058,230 16
88 Mobile, Alabama $36,604 $125,134 9
90 Escondido, California $42,297 $466,882 16
90 New Haven, Connecticut $39,237 $211,381 16
90 Surprise, Arizona $53,230 $260,460 7
93 Indianapolis , Indiana $37,713 $142,659 9
94 Amarillo, Texas $42,699 $137,594 5
95 Stamford, Connecticut $47,929 $528,932 16
96 Fresno, California $36,733 $257,150 16
96 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma $40,680 $161,741 7
98 Laredo, Texas $41,588 $124,837 5
99 Arlington, Texas $47,265 $188,824 5
100 Grand Rapids, Michigan $34,421 $154,634 15
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