The gender pay gap is closing in many American cities as Gainesville ranks in the top ten places for women's earning potential.
A lot of fuss has been made over the past decade about the gender earnings gap. The debate has been nuanced and different metrics have been employed to make points that are sometimes more political than factual.
The United States Census Bureau says this is because women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs, like service work, while men are overrepresented in high-wage positions, like CEOs and company board leaders.
The Equal Pay Act was signed into law back in 1963 and even still today, women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns nationwide. While Florida ranks among the US states that pay the most equally, on average, the average woman can expect to earn between $4,500 and $9,000 less per year than a man.
It's important to note, here, that these numbers are averages and they don't apply to everyone.
The average American income in 2020 was $84,352, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but we all know there are millionaires and billionaires in America, as well as millions of people who make significantly less. Some women make much more than men and some women make much less.
However, as the US Census Bureau notes, there is some good news for women concerned about the issue: the gender pay gap has been closing in younger age brackets.
Gainesville is one of two areas of Florida that made the top 10 list of cities where women under thirty years old make more than men, according to brand-new research from Pew Research Center.
Pew Research says:
There are 107 metros where young women earn between 90% and 99% of what young men earn. Nearly half (47%) of young women working full-time, year-round lived in these areas in 2019. In another 103 metros, young women earn between 80% and 89% of what men earn. These areas were home to 17% of young women who were employed full-time, year-round in 2019. And in 14 metros, young women’s earnings were between 70% and 79% of those of men in 2019. About 1% of the young women’s workforce lived in these metros.
But in Gainesville, women make 110% of the salaries of their male counterparts (again, on average).
Some other interesting cities made this list, cities that most of us wouldn't think of when we think of gender pay issues, like one city in West Virginia and one in Texas. Morgantown, West Virginia is second in the top ten, for example, with women earning 114% of what their male counterparts earn on average. Alongside them are two places in California and New York, New York, Jersey City, and Newark, New Jersey.
In other words, the causes aren't political. There is no correlation between politics and the pay gap in the data.
So, what's the cause of the narrowing gender pay gap?
Education is the most prominent driving factor, along with being able to find full-time work. These days, women are attending college in higher numbers than men, according to Pew Research data and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and there are more college-educated women than men in the American workforce nationwide.
Research from The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that, on average, a college graduate with any degree earns an average of $78,000 per year while their non-college-educated counterparts earn an average of $45,000 per year.
It makes sense that after more than a decade of earning more prominent degrees and obtaining more education overall for years now, women would be starting to earn more than their male counterparts.
One thing's for sure: if women are looking to maximize their earning potential, Gainesville is one of the best places to be to do just that.