The 10 Best-Paying Cities for Women
24/7 Wall St.
Apr 9th 2013 5:00AM
Updated Apr 9th 2013 10:22AM
Don't look for the the wage gap to get smaller anytime soon. A new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research predicts that it will take another 44 years, until 2057, for women's pay to equal that of men.
The wage gap is larger or smaller depending on where you are in the country. Women in the Provo-Orem, Utah, metro area make just 61.6 percent of what men make; in Los Angeles, by contrast, they take home 91.4 percent of the pay of their male peers.
That women's salaries are more in line with men's in some areas doesn't necessarily mean that women in those areas are doing well relative to women elsewhere. In eight of the 10 metros where wages are most equal, women's income lags the national median of $37,199. That's because many of those areas, like El Paso, Texas, have a higher concentration of low-wage jobs, which tend to pay women and men more equitably. "A low wage gap can just mean shared misery," noted Ariane Hegewisch, a study director for the institute.
Click through the gallery to see the cities with the smallest wage gap between men and women.
See also: The 10 Worst-Paying Cities for Women
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 84.8%10. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
Median income for men: $42,420
Median income for women: $35,958
Although median earnings for women in the Tampa metropolitan area were lower than the U.S. median of $37,199, they were closer to men's compared to the country as a whole. In office and administrative support positions, where 16.6% of full-time workers in the area were employed, women made 93.4% of men's wages, compared to 87.7% across the country. In sales-related occupations, women made 80.9% of men's pay. Although this gap was wider than the wage gap as a whole, it was better than all but one other metropolitan area. Production occupations, which nationwide pay women less than 70% of men's salaries, are far less common in Tampa, accounting for just 3.8% of workers there, versus 6.8% nationwide.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 85.4%9. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.
Median income for men: $40,817
Median income for women: $34,852
The median annual earnings for both men and women were lower in the Miami area than in the United States as whole. However, while women across the nation earned just 78.8% of their male counterparts' pay, in the Miami metropolitan area this figure was over 85%. In the largest sector in Miami, office administration and support, women's median income was 97.4% of men's. Also, women in three professions - installation, construction and the life, physical and social sciences - actually had a higher median pay than men. Unfortunately, in sales positions, which made up nearly 13% of employment in the area, women earned just 58.8% as much as men, versus an already low 65% nationwide.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 85.5%8. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Tex.
Median income for men: $40,633
Median income for women: $34,753
San Antonio-area women working in the business and financial industries were paid 87.6% of what their male counterparts earned. Although hardly equal, it was the ninth-smallest percentage difference among all metro areas for the field. Nationally, women in business and finance earned just 73.3% of male salaries. Both men and women earned less than the national median. The median pay for area men was more than $6,000 less than the national equivalent, while for women it was less than $2,500 less.
7. El Paso, Tex.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 85.6%
Median income for men: $33,821
Median income for women: $28,959
The median pay for El Paso women working in office and administrative support was 99% of that for similarly employed men, one of the smallest disparities in the nation. Additionally, area women who worked in a sales position had median pay 74.2% of the male median, better than in the majority of metropolitan areas and the country overall, where women made just 65% of male salaries. Also, some occupations that grossly underpaid women were not as common in the area. Legal workers accounted for just 0.6% of the area workforce, less than half the proportion for the United States overall. Across the nation, female legal workers earned under 52% of the male median pay.
Photo: Robin Kanouse, flickr.com
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 86.5%6. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Tex.
Median income for men: $30,288
Median income for women: $26,191
Although the median pay for women working full time in McAllen was more than $11,000 less than the pay for women across the country, their pay relative to men was among the best in the United States. In community and social services occupations, which made up a disproportionate share of the jobs compared to the country as a whole, women were paid more than 125% of what men made, higher than all but four other metropolitan areas. In maintenance professions, which also made up a considerably higher proportion of the jobs compared to the rest of the country, women were paid 99.9% of male salaries. Yet the highest-paid female workers relative to men were those in personal care and service jobs, where women made a nation-high 143.8% more than men.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 87.0%5. Stockton, Calif.
Median income for men: $45,201
Median income for women: $39,311
Women working in the life, physical and social sciences in Stockton were paid more than double the salaries of men, earning a median wage of $86,599 versus $41,514. Similarly, women employed in health care support also led the nation in relative pay for their occupations, earning a median salary equal to 146% of the median for men. The Stockton area also has a smaller proportion of workers in several of the industries, which tended to skew pay more towards men. Management positions, which nationally paid women less than three-quarters what they paid men, account for just 9.5% of jobs in Stockton, versus more than 12% nationwide. Similarly, the area had a low percentage of workers employed in business and financial operations, which across the United States paid women just 73.3% of men's salaries.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 87.0%4. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
Median income for men: $40,510
Median income for women: $35,238
In Las Vegas, the median salary for women was 87% of the male equivalent. Although Las Vegas workers are often not well paid - with the area's median earnings of $37,203, well below the national median of just over $42,000 - disparities between national and local salaries are much greater for men than they are for women. Among the reasons, women employed in food preparation positions earn a median salary equal to 106.9% of the median for similarly employed men. Further, food preparation workers make up 10.5% of the workforce, more than in any other major city. Even in one of the more equitable occupations for women's pay, Las Vegas stands out: women working in community and social services fields earned a median of $54,745 versus just $41,422 for men - a 132% premium.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 87.5%3. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.
Median income for men: $40,417
Median income for women: $35,352
In the North Port metropolitan area, women made $7 for every $8 that men made. Women in the health care technology field, which comprised a nation-high 2.8% of jobs in the North Port area, made 124.3% of what men made, compared to 83.8% for the country as a whole. In production occupations, women made 114.3% of men's earnings, a higher percentage than any other metropolitan area. However, one area where North Port fared less well was health care support occupations, which comprised a nation-high 4.2% of all jobs in the metro area. In this field, women made less than two-thirds of their male counterparts, compared to more than 85% across the country as a whole.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 89.1%2. Fresno, Calif.
Median income for men: $40,164
Median income for women: $35,786
Women employed in education, training and library occupations earned 113.7% of what men earned, more than in any other large metropolitan area. Other professions where women outearned men included construction and extraction professions (145.3%), health technology (119.3%) and food preparation and serving (108.9%). But while women's pay gap was lower than the country as a whole in many occupations, they still earned far below men in some. For instance, women in full-time legal occupations earned just 38.7% of what men in the same field earned.
Women's pay as a pct. of men's: 91.4%1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.
Median income for men: $44,607
Median income for women: $40,777
Los Angeles was the only area out of the largest 100 metropolitan areas where women working full time were paid at least 90% of what men made. In office and administrative support positions, which comprised approximately 13.6% of the area workforce, women earned a median salary equal to 102.9% of that paid to men. Women in sales roles - which employed roughly 11.2% of full-time workers in the Los Angeles area and 10% of workers across the United States - received a median pay equal to 74% of that paid to similarly employed men. Across the nation, women in sales earned a median pay equal to just 65% of the median for men. Surprisingly, the entertainment sector appears to be hurting median salaries for women. While the median salary for entertainers is nearly $10,000 more than the national figure and twice as many area workers are employed in the field, women in entertainment make less in the L.A. area compared to men than they do nationally - 85% versus 87%.
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Methodology: 24/7 Wall St. identified the metropolitan areas that have the smallest pay disparity between men and women by comparing the median earnings for the past 12 months of both men and women working full-time, year-round in the country's 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas. We also reviewed employment composition in different sectors and the wages for both men and women in each. All data was from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2011, the most recent period available.