As I’ve written previously on Inkwell, the wage gap between working men and women in America is not quite the socioeconomic knot that some would have you think. The wage gap refers to the difference between what men and women, on average, earn, and typically women have earned about three quarters of what men earn. Some have blamed the gap on discrimination but research has shown that most of the gap can be explained by the different career choices, levels of education, years of experience, and other factors that reflect individual preferences and choices. The wage gap is trending out of the workforce as workers age. In fact, young women will never experience the career-long wage gap that their mothers or grandmothers have dealt with, but their boyfriends just might. There’s actually a reverse gender gap trend going on in America’s cities for young working women aged 30 and under. Here’s what TIME said about it:
“But now there’s evidence that the ship may finally be turning around: 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%).”
The trend is likely to continue. Working women 22-30 in metropolitan areas are more likely to have attended college and earned a degree than their male counterparts. Additionally, women are less likely to be in one of the many blue collar industries that experienced massive amounts of job losses. If education and job trends don’t turn around soon, guys will be at a critical loss. We need to encourage education reform to get guys to college, and job training to transition workers into new opportunities in our 21st century economy.