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Salary Bowl: Atlanta vs Boston

This Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. A modern dynasty, the Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl seven times in the past 20 years, winning the football championship four times. The Falcons, on the other hand, have been to the Super Bowl only once, in 1999, when they lost to the Denver Broncos, 34-19.
Image Credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism/Flickr

Despite an MVP-caliber season from Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, the Patriots are still favored to win behind the arm of Tom Brady, one of the most loved and reviled players in the NFL, depending on where you’re from.

We’ll have to wait until Sunday night to find out whether Atlanta or Boston will hoist the Lombardi Trophy, but when it comes to the labor market in each city, we already know the score.

Median Income:

Patriots fans will be pumped up to hear that Boston walks away with it in this category, with Beantown workers earning a median salary of $62,500, more than $10,000 a year more than Atlanta’s median of $52,000. But Atlanta might be gaining; in Q4 of 2016, according to The PayScale Index, the median salary in Atlanta rose by 1.9 percent, compared with 1.4 percent in Boston.

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Patriots fans will be pumped up to hear Boston's average workers earn $10,000+ more than Atlanta’s.Click To Tweet

When broken out by age group, Boston leads from kickoff to the final whistle, with workers of every age reporting a higher median salary than their Atlanta peers. The highest salary for any age group is for the average 40- to 44-year-old Boston worker, who makes $78,000 a year. The highest salary for Atlanta workers is $61,000, and you have to wait until you’re in the 60-64 age bracket before you can haul in that kind of cash.

Job Types:

One reason for Boston’s inflated median salary might be that jobs in physical and biological science are relatively common in the city, particularly when compared to Atlanta. The most common jobs in Boston include Biological Technicians, Biochemists, Statisticians, and Physicists, as compared to Atlanta’s Flight Attendants, Air Traffic Controllers, Brokerage Clerks, and Telephone Operators. Packed with colleges and universities, Boston’s status as an educational, healthcare, and research hotbed likely influences this list, as does the fact Atlanta is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including major international and domestic air travel company Delta Airlines. In fact, more passengers pass through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport than any other airport in the world. And at nearly 1,000 flights a day, the Delta hub at Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s largest.

Even so, the airport has some serious competition when it comes to having the world’s most gates; the Patriots create new “gates” of their own almost every season. (Spygate, Deflategate, etc.)? *zing*

Job Satisfaction:

When it comes to being satisfied with their job, workers in Atlanta and Boston are virtually neck and neck. Though more Atlanta workers report being “extremely satisfied” at work, more Boston workers report being “fairly satisfied” or “a little satisfied.” On the other hand, more Atlanta workers are unhappy, with 10.6 percent saying they’re “dissatisfied,” and 2.4 percent saying “I hate my job.”

Football aside, according to The PayScale Index, the median salary has steadily increased in both Atlanta and Boston since 2009, which gives residents of both cities cause for celebration. But when it comes to the Super Bowl, when the final whistle blows only one city will celebrate, while the other will be left completely emotionally deflated.

?Sean Leslie is a Seahawks fan who will never get over the Patriots’ last-second victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Tell Us What You Think

Thoughts on the big game, or on either city’s job market? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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How does salary match up with cost of living?

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