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Local News

April 8, 2013

Pay gap narrow, not gone, in Oneonta

City near top in report on men's, women's earnings

(Continued)

Seale pointed out that in places with larger gender gaps, there are higher salaries earned overall. 

“I suspect we have higher rates of unionization than many cities in the study, particularly those that tend to pay lower wages, and rates of unionization have been shown to decrease the wage gap,’’ Seale wrote. “This positive ranking may be an interaction between having unions that enforce a minimum wage-rate, thereby contributing to equity, and being a place where — unions notwithstanding — employers pay lower wages.’’ 

Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta are among largest local employers. Hartwick employees aren’t represented by a union, while several unions represent staff at SUNY Oneonta. The local school district and police department also are unionized. 

Another or additional explanation to the No. 13 ranking, Seale said, could be related to industries and sex segregation. A lower wage gap exists in cities with less labor segregation between men and women, she said. 

“It could be that Oneonta has lower segregation in the sense that there aren’t a lot of workplaces where men or women are in a huge majority,’’ Seale said. “That would contribute to pay equity.’’

NerdWallet is an online personal finance business founded in 2009. The firm reported using data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey to compare 943 cities.

Cities with the smallest gender pay gaps were Wachula, Clewiston and Arcadia, all in Florida, with a woman’s earnings 95 percent to 106 percent of a man’s earnings.

Cities with the largest gender pay gap were Vernal, Utah; Andrews, Texas; and Pierre Part, La. Each has about a 50 percent disparity between men’s and women’s earnings.

Evidence abounds that women earn less in almost every occupation, according to NerdWallet. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in four of 111 occupations women’s weekly median earnings were higher than men’s pay; for the same occupation, women earn less than their male counterparts, and the gap exists between high-wage and low-wage earners alike.

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