The 10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities for Workers

Sometimes it’s necessary to move for that perfect job, but at what price?


In Pictures: The 10 Priciest Cities for U.S. Workers

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There's nothing quite like finding that perfect job, especially after weeks (and sometimes months) of exhaustive searching and interviewing.

But sometimes, a golden work opportunity can move you from everything you know and love to a much pricier location. Aside from housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare, relocation expenses can cost you thousands, depending on where you move and how many people come with you.

Here's a bit more about the 10 costliest U.S. cities for today's workers, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER):

1. Manhattan, N.Y. Whether you've landed a financial analyst position at Goldman Sachs or a waitressing gig at one of Times Square's most-trafficked restaurants, a move to the Big Apple really hits you in the pockets. C2ER finds that the average monthly expenses for a married couple living in Manhattan with one child younger than six years old equaled a whopping $12,719 this decade. The cost of living for a couple with two children between the ages of 6 and 17 totaled $14,041 per month. Home-owning Manhattanites' monthly expenses equaled $13,468, while renters paid about $9,449 in that same period.

Relocation Expense: Moving from the Midwest to Manhattan for the career you always wanted? According to, relocating from Topeka, Kan., to Manhattan, N.Y., in late June will cost you anywhere from $1,410 to $2,800, depending on your number of bedrooms.

2. Brooklyn, N.Y. Construction workers, self-employed entrepreneurs,and artists—if they're living and working in Brooklyn, chances are, they're paying thousands each month to stay afloat. On average, Brooklyn-dwellers' living expenses are lower than those of folks living in downtown Manhattan—but not by much. The monthly cost of living for a family of three (including a child younger than age six) averaged a hefty $10,473 this decade. Larger families living in Brooklyn paid $11,685 in that same period, while homeowners paid $11,367, and renters shelled out a monthly $7,720.

Relocation Expense: Ditching your southern digs for a job minutes from the Brooklyn Bridge? This June, moving from Atlanta to Brooklyn will run you anywhere from $1,150 (for one bedroom) to $2,480 (five bedrooms), reports

3. Honolulu. Few are unmoved by the majestic beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, but aesthetically pleasing living environs don't come cheap. A managerial job at a beachfront resort or a professor post at a local university in Honolulu is usually accompanied by a generous cost-of-living price tag. Couples with one young child paid a hefty $9,887, on average, in monthly living expenses this decade. Couples with two or more children younger than age 18 paid $10,920 in that same period. Meanwhile, homeowners and renters paid $9,712 and $8,574, respectively.

Relocation Expense: Leaving behind a New England corner office for one with a Pacific Ocean view? The trek from Manchester, N.H., to Honolulu will cost you between $5,990 and $8,410 this June.

4. San Francisco. Hopping on a cable car to make it to that comfy tech job at Astro Gaming each morning can really add up. San Francisco homeowners paid about $878 in monthly commuting costs in 2010. The average cost of living for a couple with a baby or young child clocked in at $9,556 a month. Monthly expenses were about $10,555 for a couple with older children. Homeowners spent $9,797 on monthly living expenses in 2010, while renters spent $7,582, on average.

Relocation Expense: Saying goodbye to the nation's capital and hello to sunny San Francisco this June can cost you anywhere from $2,950 (one bedroom) to $4,680 (five bedrooms), according to estimates from

5. Queens, N.Y. Living like a queen in, um, Queens costs a pretty penny. If you're a registered nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital raising a four-year-old with your husband, a landscaper for C & H Construction, you likely paid $8,812 in monthly living expenses in 2010, C2ER finds. Couples with two or more older children paid about $9,873. Homeowners spent $9,330, and renters paid $7,073 in that time frame.