April 9 is Equal Pay Day, established in 1996 to highlight the earnings discrepancy between men and women in the United States. Across the country, women in full-time jobs make just 78.8 percent of what men in comparable positions make; Equal Pay Day marks how far into this year a woman would have to work to earn as much as a man did in 2012.
The wage gap varies 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. To identify the cities that pay women the least, 24/7 Wall St. compared the median earnings for the past 12 months of both men and women who worked full-time in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. We also reviewed employment composition by sector. All data was for 2011, the most recent period available.
These are the cities where the wage gap is widest.
Women's pay as pct. of men's: 70.5%
Median income for men: $50,908
Median income for women: $35,907
The median earnings of women in Colorado Springs was about $35,900 in 2011, some $15,000 lower than the median income of men. The two largest private employers in the Colorado Springs area as of the summer of 2011 were Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. While these employers provide work to many in the community, the pay gap in health services between men and women is significant. Women working in health diagnosing and as treating practitioners made just slightly more than half that of men in 2011, despite the fact that the sector is comprised of nearly 70% women. For health technologists and technicians, the gap was even more significant, with women earnings less than 35% of the pay that men earned.
Photo: Pasa47, Flickr.com
Women's pay as pct. of men's: 69.8%
Median income for men: $45,582
Median income for women: $31,820
The median earnings for women in the Palm Bay metropolitan area in 2011 who worked full time was less than 70% of that for men. The pay gap in the Palm Bay area actually bucks the trend in the state as a whole. In Florida, the median income for women was 83.8% that of men's, the sixth-smallest gap of all states. Nearly 3.7% of the population works in health support, a higher percentage than all but one other city. The pay gap in that field is very large. Women earned just over 55% the pay of men in 2011. One bright spot was in computer and mathematical occupations. Women earned a median income of more than $67,000, or approximately $3,900 more than the median wage for men.