Which is great news! If you live in a city, anyhow. And are under 30. And don't have kids. And...
James Chung has been analyzing data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey for over a year, and has found something startling. Says Time,
According to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more. This squares with earlier research from Queens College, New York, that had suggested that this was happening in major metropolises. But the new study suggests that the gap is bigger than previously thought, with young women in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego making 17%, 12% and 15% more than their male peers, respectively. And it also holds true even in reasonably small areas like the Raleigh-Durham region and Charlotte in North Carolina (both 14% more), and Jacksonville, Fla. (6%).
You can see a breakdown by city on the Wall Street Journal's site. Before you get too excited, keep this in mind: these findings seem to apply only to single, childless women under 30. The reason for Y-women's earning power comes down to education; 3 women graduate college for ever 2 men. Ethnic makeup and the nature of the cities' industries effected the numbers, too - although these factors, too, came down to education. And these same trends seem likely to continue. As Chung tells Time, "This generation [of women] has adapted to the fundamental restructuring of the American economy better than their older predecessors or male peers," and that this leverage may hold true throughout their lives.
But again, this is a small minority of educated women: the vast majority are still earning $.78 to the dollar. And in the areas where there are gains, are we comparing equally educated and qualified men and women? Breaking it down by demographic may give some reason for limited optimism and be a testament to the importance of education, but it's still a big and complex picture.
Cities Where Women Outearn Male Counterparts [Wall Street Journal]
Gen Y Women Outearning Their Peers [LifeInc]
Workplace Salaries: At Last, Women On Top [Time]
[Images via Shutterstock]