Wage Gap for Women Under 30 Narrower in These Major Cities

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While average women in the United States continue to earn less than men, the gender wage gap is narrower among younger workers nationally — with the gap varying across geographical areas, according to a new study.

Pew Research Center of Census Bureau data released on Mar. 28 showed that in 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas, women under the age of 30 earn the same or more than their male counterparts. The metropolitan areas where young women are earning the most compared to young men include New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, the study noted.

In both the New York and Washington metro areas, young women earn 102% of what young men earn when examining median annual earnings among full-time, year-round workers. Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area, the median earnings for women and men in this age group were identical as of 2019.

The study also noted that, overall, about 16% of all young women who are working full time, year-round live in the 22 metros where women are at or above wage equality with men.

On the flip side, in four metro areas — Mansfield, Ohio; Odessa, Texas; Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas; and Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana — women younger than 30 earn between 67% and 69% of what their male counterparts make.

And when put in the national context, women under 30 who work full time earn about 93 cents on the dollar compared with men in the same age range, Pew noted.

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Earnings parity tends to be greatest in the first years after entering the labor market, the study noted, but widen later.

“The older a woman is, the more time she has had to have been passed up for a promotion, to have gotten a slighter smaller raise compared to an equivalent male colleague, or to have made a career sacrifice for her family,” Betsey Stevenson, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, told The Washington Post.

In another encouraging sign, the wage of American women rose and outpaced the wage of men in February, 4.4% to 4.1%, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s wage tracker. This was the sixth straight month women’s wages outpaced men’s, but women working full time still earn 83% of what men make, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

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