Big U.S. cities snub lower-paid professions

We know that major U.S. cities such as New York and Boston are pricing swaths of people out of the housing market. But the cities are also unfavorable ground if you happen to be seeking work in certain lower-paid occupations, like as a trailer mechanic, concrete finisher or freight handler, according to a new report.

Note: Expensive metros are defined as the 10 most expensive with populations over 1 million people based on Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parity data for 2015; Data:; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: The report by the jobs listing site Indeed suggests that big U.S. cities are increasingly bland places — havens for richly-paid data scientists and behavioral therapists who may never mix with a lawn technician or a cable installer.

How to read the chart above: You are looking at the number of wanted ads in expensive U.S. cities, sorted by occupation. The percentages compare job listings in pricey and other, not-so-pricey metro areas. The top grouping are plentiful jobs, and the bottom are listed far less often in wanted ads.

Jed Kolko, Indeed's chief economist, tells Axios that high housing prices not only push less-wealthy people out, but also ostracize certain job categories. Among his findings:

  • Less-diverse cities tend to grow slower, he said: If a certain occupation gets wiped out by market conditions, diversity is a "form of insurance," maintaining economic conditions including the tax base.
  • But some of the lack of certain jobs lies in the nature of cities: "There are fewer auto mechanics and groundskeepers because fewer people own cars and have lawns," Kolko said.