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Wage gap analyses show Rochester trails cities statewide, women earn less in nearly all occupations

Equal Pay Day has come and gone, but the fact remains that women nationwide earn less than their male counterparts.

MoneyGeek has analyzed equal pay by city, looking at data from more than 625 cities, and found that the cities where women earn the highest incomes are more likely to have pay gaps wider than the national average. Nearly 70 percent of the cities with the top 10 percent for women’s total earnings have pay gaps wider than the national average, supporting studies showing that wage inequality is larger at higher income brackets.

In Rochester, equal pay day — the day women must work until to earn the same amount that men earned in the previous year — was Feb. 16. That compares with Jan. 31 in Syracuse and New York City and Jan. 17 in Buffalo. In other words, women’s income as a percentage of men’s is lower in Rochester than in Buffalo, Syracuse and New York City. The MoneyGeek analysis showed that women’s income as a percent of men’s here is 88.4 percent, better than just two other cities analyzed for the report.

The report shows that equal pay day in large cities comes earlier than one might think and that tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Seattle have pay gaps larger than the national average. The five cities with the largest pay gaps are in southern and western states including Texas, Georgia, Utah and California.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research in March released an analysis of the gender wage gap by occupation, race and ethnicity for 2020, finding that women earned less than men in almost all occupations, including in all of the most common occupations for women and all of the most common occupations for men.

Of 120 occupations with enough data for calculating the gender wage gap, just five had higher earnings for women than men, and those differences were marginal.

“Women’s median weekly earnings in six of the largest 20 occupations for women leave a family of three near poverty,” said IWPR Senior Research Fellow Ariane Hegewisch. “Latinas in service occupations — including many essential occupations during COVID — earn only 67 cents on the dollar made by white men in these jobs, and Black women just 69 cents. Even in these very low-paid jobs there is a substantial wage gap.”

IWPR surveyed more than 1,400 women in March and found that more than 70 percent say the government should do more to tackle the wage gap. Seventy-five percent think the government should require all companies with 100 or more employees to report gender and pay information, and eight out of 10 women want the government to require companies to include a wage or salary range in job postings. Two-thirds of the women surveyed want employers prohibited from asking job applicants about previous pay, a practice that has been banned in New York state.

“Black women and Latinas deserve more opportunities to move into work that pays higher wages,” said IWPR’s President and CEO Nicole Mason. “There is no good reason for gender differences in earnings. The wage gap is a fixable problem.”

vspicer@bridgetowermedia.com / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

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