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Oil field workers in North Dakota. Photo: Ken Cedeno/Corbis via Getty Images

The highest median salary in the U.S. if you're a millennial is San Jose, Calif., and the area around it at about $50,000 a year, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project.

  • But once you figure in the cost of living and taxes, Silicon Valley doesn't look as great. You'd be better off — at least from a financial standpoint — moving to Bismarck, N.D., or Midland, Texas, where you'd only earn about $33,000, but would have more in your pocket at the end, the study's authors say.

What's going on: The Hamilton Project compared wages, taxes and the cost of living for 320 unique occupations in about 380 U.S. metropolitan areas, creating an interactive tool that allows further breakdown by age group.

  • Ryan Nunn, one of the authors, tells Axios that the study highlights the importance of living costs in deciding where to work. "It makes quite a bit of difference," he said.

The leading line of work differs substantially between Silicon Valley, Bismarck and Midland. The latter two feature a lot of oil industry jobs, while San Jose has information technology.

By the numbers: Bismarck, Midland, and Rochester, Minn., are the top three locations for adjusted median earnings in the 25-to-34-year-old category.

  • Yes, but: The highest-paying jobs were in San Jose, San Francisco and the D.C. metropolitan area.

Go deeper

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight, hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley issued air quality alerts as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.