Oregon Public Broadcasting

Portland-area workers earn six percent more than the national average -- according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Last year, the average Portland worker earned $23.44 per hour -- compared to a national average of about $22 per hour.

But the Department of Labor statistics paint a rosier picture than may be warranted, says Portland Business Alliance spokeswoman, Megan Doern.

She says if you look at the average wage in the nation's 270 metro areas, Portland doesn't do as well.

"We are two percent below the U.S. metro average. Not just the U.S. average, but the metro average. We like to see how the Portland region is performing compared to metros from across the country."

Doern says the distinction is important, because Portland competes with other metro areas for jobs.

Portland managers earned the most in the Department of Labor study -- averaging about $49 per hour

Health care and high-tech workers were next, with about $43 per hour.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.