There’s good news and bad news for New York City women in a recent analysis of census data by Queens College. The good news is that New York women between the ages of 21 and 30 are now earning more than their male peers. The bad news? The ladies better get ready to marry down.
The rate at which young New York women have closed the wage gap with New York men far outpaces the rest of the country, where women still earn 89 percent of men’s salaries. Here in Gotham, women in their 30’s earn 100 percent of men’s wages, while those in their 20’s are earning 117 percent.
And that number is likely to increase, since New York has of late been a magnet for college grads across the country. In 2005, over 50 percent of working women in their 20’s in New York were college graduates, compared with just 38 percent of the men. And with less pressure these days to get married in one’s 20’s, those women can focus on fostering their professional lives. Back in the 1970’s, New York women in their 20’s earned $7,000 less than men; as of 2005, they’re making $5,000 more. While men on Wall Street do continue to out-earn their female co-workers, the census data reveal that New York women in their 20’s who are working as doctors, lawyers, architects, economists and journalists are making more than their male colleagues.
The fact that young women are thriving in New York City is no accident: It is the direct result of smart government in City Hall. For one thing, thanks to the bold and creative anticrime initiatives of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York is the safest large city in the country. Parents feel better about allowing their bright young daughters to move here without a purse full of mace. And as the public schools continue to be priority No. 1 for the Bloomberg administration, those young women will feel better about starting their own families here, rather than joining the sleepy commuters from Connecticut, Westchester and New Jersey. Moreover, the continued growth in prestige of our local universities is drawing smart women who aim to make their mark in an economy that is increasingly based on knowledge and information rather than brawn.
Of course, we’ve always known women are smarter than men. Now it’s finally paying off.