On average, women in America get paid 79 cents for every dollar an American man is paid.
But that’s just a country-wide average, and different cities and states have differing wage gaps.
But according to a study by Abodo, women in Chapel Hill-Durham get paid a little over 92 cents for every dollar a man makes. This is the smallest wage gap in the country.
“Being home to three major universities, that just produces jobs in education, math and science, healthcare,” said Sam Radbil, senior communications manager for Abodo. “And those are some of the industries where the age gap is less pronounced than in some other fields, so obviously, that educational system being so close to home there is playing a major factor.”
The company is mostly known for being an online apartment marketplace, but its employees also study the areas in which people apartment-hunting would be interested in living. Radbil said Chapel Hill-Durham is two corners of the Research Triangle, and that contributes to the level of equal pay.
“We think that the universities play a major factor in Durham and Chapel Hill and also in other cities across the country,” he said. “But specifically in Durham and Chapel Hill, with the amount of jobs that are available at the universities in healthcare and tech, that’s definitely a driving force for the local economy. And also for female employees.”
Abodo’s employees analyzed the US Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey of Five Year Estimates. They gathered information about median salaries made by male and female full-time workers over age 16 who work year-round. They also discovered that women who work in community and social services receive the most equal pay, and women who work in legal services, sales and production receive the least equal pay.
Radbil said if industries work on improving pay in those areas, it could be the key to closing the wage gap completely.
“We feel that if those industries, like the legal industry and production and sales-related industries can pick up the slack and improve the equal pay, that’s going to come up the level it needs to be compared to social services and construction and healthcare and things like that which are great,” he said.
The Abodo report also shows that Utah is the state with the highest wage gap, with three metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs making the list: Provo-Orem, Ogden-Clearfield and Salt Lake City.
Provo-Orem is highest, with women making 63 cents to every man’s dollar.
Radbil said there’s still work to do, because even though Chapel Hill and Durham pay women the most equally, it still isn’t equal.
“I would say most importantly not to think of certain industries and occupations as ‘women’s jobs’ or ‘men’s jobs’,” he said. “We think everybody can do whatever they choose to do at a very high level and if everyone believes that, things will obviously improve for the better.”
Photo via Abodo.