Special Report

22 Metros With the Worst Pay Gaps

The gender wage gap is a hot topic, even as women have cracked the glass ceiling in many fields. The United States has its first woman vice president, Kamala Harris. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House of Representatives, meaning that women hold the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in line of succession to the presidency. The country may soon have another woman justice on the Supreme Court. 

That’s all well and good, but women still earn less than men in many positions and many places. (These are the worst states for women to live and work.)

To determine the 30 metro areas where young women earn the least compared to men, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed an analysis from Pew Research Center of wage data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The analysis found 30 major metro areas in which women under 30 earn 80% or less than the median annual earnings of men under 30. 

One reason Pew Research Center has focused on young women is that inequality persists. People who start their career already behind tend to stay behind. Worse still, the earnings gap sometimes widens, especially when women leave the workforce, even if only briefly, to have children. 

In Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, females under 30 have median annual earnings slightly more than 67% of men’s median annual earnings. Next are two metro areas in Texas, Beaumont-Port Arthur and Odessa, where women under 30 earn less than 68% of what men under 30 do. In two San Angelo, Texas, however, young women earn nearly 102% of what men earn with a range of gender wage gaps across cities in the state, so it is hard to discern a geographical pattern. 

One reason for the gender wage gap may be that women greatly outnumber men in what is called the “caring industry” and in fields such as retail, where jobs typically do not pay well. (These are the lowest paying jobs in America.)

Click here to see 22 metros with the worst pay gaps

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