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The wage gap between young men and women doesn’t exist in New York City. Quite the opposite

March 28, 2022, 5:57 PM UTC

The gender pay gap is widening—and not always in the direction you may think.

Although the country has inched towards pay parity since the signing of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, for every dollar a man makes in the U.S., women 30 and younger currently earn about 93 cents. But in 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas, young women earn the same as or more than their male counterparts, Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, published this morning, revealed.

To be sure, these young women are earning more by a thin margin. Per the Census, young women in New York and Washington D.C. make 102% of what men make. The report is based on median annual earnings among full-time, year-round workers in 2019. 

About 16% of all young women working full time, year-round live in the 22 metros where women they’re at or above wage parity with men, Pew found.

Los Angeles and San Diego were other major cities where young women pulled just slightly ahead of young men in the wage race, but San Francisco didn’t make the list.

Encouraging trends

In 2019, just under half of full-time, year-round young woman workers in the U.S. (47%) live in the 107 metro areas the Census identified where they earn between 90% and 99% of what young men earn. 

Earnings parity tends to be greatest in the first years after entering the labor market, Pew found. Additionally, the Census Bureau reported in January, the national gender pay gap has narrowed for young women as they’ve increased their education level and broken into traditionally male-dominated fields. Even so, women remain over-represented in lower paying industries. 

In the tight labor market, however, there’s reason for optimism. Women have seen their earnings rise faster than men’s each month for the past six months, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s wage growth tracker, Alicia Adamczyk reported for Fortune last week. 

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted female workers, especially women of color and primary caregivers. But they’re having a bounceback. The largest wage growth in February was in leisure and hospitality—a female-dominated field—with median wages increasing 4.8% year-over-year.

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