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Salary trend: Young women crushing young men in several U.S. metro areas

By Leroy Cleveland - June 25, 2023

Although women’s salaries in the United States continue to be about 82 percent of their male counterparts of the same age, the gender wage gap is reversing among young people.

Per Pew Research’s analysis of Census Bureau data, women under 30 are already out-earning men in the same age demographic in 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas including the New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles regions.

Among full-time, year-round workers in the New York and Washington metro areas, young women earn 102% of their male counterparts. And in all, about 16% of all young women who are working full-time, year-round live in the 22 metros where women are at or above wage parity with men.

If you’re a female college student, it might be worth investigating those areas prior to graduation.

The aforementioned data shouldn’t come as a surprise due to the growing gender gap in higher education – both in enrollment and graduation rates.

Women are now much more likely to enroll in college than men as the gender gap widened significantly in 2020. In fact, not only did women represent 59 percent of students enrolled in a postsecondary institution in fall of 2020 but enrolled females were more likely to graduate than their enrolled male counterparts.

Fact: Over 1.1 million women received a bachelor’s degree in the 2018-19 academic year compared to fewer than 860,000 men; put differently, about 74 men received a bachelor’s degree for every 100 women.

– Brookings.edu

Expect, in the not-too-distant future, for women 18-34 to outearn their male counterparts nationwide.

And eventually, perhaps by 2030, women will outearn men nationwide in the 18-39 demographic.

Per Pew Research, 44% of college graduates – including 45% of men and 43% of women – say their college education was extremely useful in positioning them for better job opportunities.

Thirty-eight percent of bachelor’s degree holders insist college was extremely useful in helping them develop specific skills and knowledge that could be applied to their benefit in the workplace (38% of men and 40% of women say this).