Durham County

Report: Durham-Chapel Hill area has smallest pay gap in the nation

Women and men in the Durham-Chapel Hill area have the closest pay in the nation, according to a report that examined wage trends in metropolitan statistical areas around the county.

In the Durham-Chapel Hill area, women earn 92.6 cents compared to a man’s dollar.

“It’s the only MSA where women’s overall median salaries across industries exceed 90 percent of men’s salaries,” the report states.

In the Durham-Chapel Hill area the median income for women is $43,795. Men’s median income is $47,276.

Nationally, the median income for women is $39,315, which is 78.9 cents compared to a man’s dollar, according to the report. Men’s median income is $49,828.

Apartment search website Adobo released the report Thursday after analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey five-year estimates for the 100 metropolitan statistical areas with the most people. The report uses median salaries of male and female full-time, year-round workers who were at least 16 years old.

“Our research team believes that it helps that Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is an incredibly progressive part of the state, home to three major universities,” wrote Sam Radbil, an Adobo spokesman, in an email. “The fact that there are so many jobs in education, math/science, and social services — fields in which the wage gap is less pronounced than in some other fields — affects the number, as well.”

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area in California was second on the list, and Fresno, California was third.

Raleigh is 63rd on the list. The median income for women is $42,227, which is 78.4 cents compared to a man’s dollar, according to the report. Men’s median income is $53,912.

The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area is 69th on the list. The median income for women is $38,182, which is 77.7 cents compared to a man’s dollar, according to the report. The median income for men is $49,156.

Wage disparities can limit economic mobility and ability to get hired for a future job, the report states.

“Also among the consequences: housing affordability,” the report states. “As a national median, women can afford 1,143 square feet, while men can afford up to 1,448. But, as we all know, you can’t order a specified number of square feet for your apartment, which often translates to a tight budget stretched to fit the market reality. As housing costs continue to rise faster than wages, this gap will only become more pronounced.”

To view the full report, which also looks at wage gap within the five fastest growing industries in the country, go to https://www.abodo.com/blog/wage-gap-in-america.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges

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