Although we still have a long way to go in the journey to closing the gender wage gap, new Pew Center data shows that we’re slowly catching up to men in pay parity.
According to the analysis, the median woman under 30 who works full time earns 93% of what her male peers make. Yet in 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas, women are earning between 100% and 120% of what their male counterparts are being paid. Those cities include Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA, Barnstable Town, MA, Bremerton-Silverdale, WA, Champaign-Urbana, IL, Chattanooga, TN-GA, Erie, PA, Flagstaff, AZ, Gainesville, FL, Iowa City, IA, Lebanon, PA, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL, Morgantown, WV, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA, Richmond, VA, Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA and San Angelo, TX.
The report points out that despite 22 cities sounding like a minute amount, they are densely populated areas like New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C, which include 16% of the young women’s workforce in the US. Pew Researchers also stated that the percentage is more than three times the 5% of the young women’s workforce who lived in just six metro areas where young women had equal or higher pay in 2000.
The report tracked data from 2015-2019 data from the American Community Survey, the largest household survey in the U.S., and also highlighted that the pay gap had shifted for young women since 2000, from 88% of their male peers’ pay in 2000 to 93% as of 2022.
These numbers change as researchers look at different parts of the country. It’s noted that the city with the widest gender gap, Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana—young women make just 67% of their male peers—- has a wide variety of manufacturing jobs that are predominantly held by men.
There’s also acknowledgment in the report that generational norms also play a role in the wage gap shift as well. Researchers noted that Gen-Z women are more transparent about their salaries with peers, so women aren’t starting from ground zero when negotiating pay.