The Worst-Paying Cities for Women

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10. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.6%
> Median income for men: $51,124
> Median income for women: $37,101

The city of Palm Bay’s largest employers include several manufacturers of durable goods — a sector notorious for being among the worst for paying women equal wages. Several jobs in the sector employ mostly men and very few women. According to the Department of Labor, only 1.5% of operating engineers and other construction equipment operators are women, one of the lowest rates among all occupations. Among the area’s largest employers in area in the durable goods sector are semiconductor producer Intersil, electronics manufacturer MC Assembly, defense technology company DRS Technologies, and the Melbourne-based communications equipment company Harris. The Palm Bay metropolitan area is completely out of step with the state of Florida, which has the lowest rate of pay inequality in the country.

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9. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.6%
> Median income for men: $53,608
> Median income for women: $38,890

Two sectors with some of the worst income gaps between men and women are also among the largest employers in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area. In the health services and social assistance industry, women earn just 71.8% of what men do. In the nondurable — or consumable — goods sector, women earn 73.8% of what men earn on average. These disparities are significantly worse than the national average. Some of the largest employers in the area are health services companies Lehigh Valley Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital, followed by chemical company Air Products & Chemicals and energy company PPL, according to the Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS. The area is also home to a number of large food producers, which are included in the nondurable goods sector.

8. Boise City-Nampa, ID
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.4%
> Median income for men: $44,908
> Median income for women: $32,514

The Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area is well-known for its forest products industry. The metro is home to major employers such as Idaho Pacific Lumber Company, paper company Boise Cascade and Idaho Timber. Around the turn of the century, however, Boise’s technology sector became its largest industry. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Micron Technology are among the city of Boise’s largest employers. Women, on average, earn less than 75% of what men do in the durable goods sector, which includes tech products, and less than 74% in the nondurable goods sector, which includes forest products. By state, Idaho ranks 12th-worst for earnings inequality by gender.

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7. Chattanooga, TN-GA
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.4%
> Median income for men: $45,273
> Median income for women: $32,753

Chattanooga is home to a particularly large manufacturing industry of both durable and nondurable goods — both among the worst for pay inequality. According to the city’s website, the largest manufacturing employers in the Chattanooga metropolitan area are McKee Foods Corporation, Synthetic Industries, and home appliance company Roper.

6. Colorado Springs, CO
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.1%
> Median income for men: $50,101
> Median income for women: $36,126

Colorado Springs’ economy is built on health care, the military, tourism, and the high-tech industry. The city’s two largest employers are Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. On average, women in the health care and social assistance sector are paid 71.8% of what men are paid. Among Colorado Springs’ other large employers are such durable goods companies as high-tech manufacturer Atmel, defense contractors Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, as well as communications company Verizon Business, which operated in the information sector. While Colorado Springs does poorly, the state of Colorado does relatively well, ranking 13th highest among all states when it comes to equal pay.