You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby, At Least Until You Turn 30

cast-of-the-TV-show-Scandal-in-Olivias-officeSome good news on the pay equity front: ladies now command higher salaries than dudes, on average, at least in their twenties and at least in jolly old England. The Guardian reports:

between the ages of 22 and 29, a woman will typically earn £1,111 more per annum than her male counterparts.

Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), PA analysed the comparative earnings of men and women between 2006 and 2013. Statistics for 2014 have yet to be verified and were excluded.

While younger women in their 20s came out top in the earning stakes, the story was vastly different for workers in their 30s. A man turning 30 in 2006 would have brought in on average £8,775 more than a woman of the same age.

The difference is slight but statistically significant. In the United States, the situation was, earlier this year, found to be similar, according to an in-depth report by the AAUW:

Women typically earn about 90 percent of what men are paid until they hit 35. After that median earnings for women are typically 75–80 percent of what men are paid. … among full-time workers one year after college graduation — nearly all of whom were childless — women were paid just 82 percent of what their male counterparts were paid.

Pay inequity also, as we’ve discussed, varies by region: Washington, DC, is the best place in the nation for women to get paid roughly on par with men, while Louisiana, where women make on average 66% of what men do, is the worst. (Presumably the study does not take into account the value of Mardi Gras beads?)

There’s some disagreement on this, I should say. Forbes recently insisted that “women in their 20s without children out-earn men by as much as $1.08 to every dollar, according to some estimates.” The author does not link to quote a source on that, so read the article with your salt shaker handy.

The website Politifact also recently fact-checked a similar statement by a conservative pundit and gave it a lukewarm endorsement:

Wood said, “Young women today in metropolitan areas, for example, who are childless, single young women are actually outperforming males in that same category all over the country.”

The statement tracks back to a credible analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data that looks at median incomes in metropolitan areas — a fact that Wood ignores.

But she gets most of the other details correct, and while the information is now six years old, we were unable to track down more recent research to confirm or disprove the point.

Finally, we should note that this comparison holds true because childless, single young women tend to have more education and qualify for higher paying jobs.

The takeaway seems to be that for CHILDLESS SINGLE YOUNG WOMEN IN CITIES, the pay gap is either negligible or has been eliminated, so there’s no need to worry. Uh, yay? I guess the solution is for all of us to figure out how to be Elaine Benes and Olivia Pope forever.

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