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California Boasts Four of Top 10 Metros for Women Seeking Gender Pay Equity

MONDAY, JUL 15, 2019

California, which already boasts the nation’s strongest gender pay equity law, now has four of the 10 most equal metros, according to a Social Explorer analysis of Census Bureau data.

The pay gap for women as narrowed to 96 cents for every $1 earned by men in Napa, according to the 2013-17 American Community Survey. The gap was also narrow in Salinas (92 cents), Fresno (90 cents), and Visalia (90 cents). The most equal metro in the nation for women is Jacksonville, N.C., where women earn 97 cents for every $1 made by men.

The issue of pay equity was highlighted earlier this month by the U.S. Women’s National Team, which won soccer’s World Cup. The women’s team, which has now won four world championships, will take home roughly $4 million from soccer’s international governing body; the French men’s team, which won the World Cup in 2018, received $38 million. Members of the U.S. women’s team are suing their employer, claiming gender discrimination. 

Louisiana claimed four of the 10 most unequal metros for women, according to the ACS data. Houma had the greatest inequity; women earn 59 cents for every $1 earned by men. Other Louisiana cities ranking in the bottom 10 included Lake Charles (62 cents), Lafayette (65 cents), and Hammond (67 cents). Texas had three of the most unequal metros among the bottom 10, including Victoria (63 cents), Midland (65 cents), and Odessa (66 cents).


Visualize and compare the median income of full-time male and female workers on the MSA level. Visit to explore further.

Nationwide, the median income for full-time male workers was $51,859. The median income for women who worked full time was $41,650, or about 80 cents for every $1 made by men. Among 519 detailed occupations tracked by the Census Bureau, women outearned men in only 28, with the gap being largest for office machine repair workers. Women who fixed the equipment earned $1.40 for every $1 earned by men in the same jobs. Other occupations where women earned more included “explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters” ($1.21); carpenters ($1.07); postal service clerks ($1.07); parking enforcement workers ($1.06); and dieticians ($1.02).

Men outearned women by the most in jobs that included septic tank services, where females only made 49 cents for every male dollar; financial specialists (54 cents); and printing workers (55 cents). 

The ratio of women’s earnings to men’s earnings also was low for farming (68 cents), chief executives (75 cents), lawyers (77 cents), registered nurses (91 cents), and elementary school teachers (92 cents).

The largest numerical differences in gender pay were found among physicians and surgeons, where the median income for men was $70,700 more than the female median; financial services sales agents ($45,600); and financial specialists ($42,700).

Author: Frank Bass

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