Women who work in New York City’s municipal jobs are earning less than men, according to a new report from the City Council. The report, released on Thursday, also found that median salaries for Black, Latino and Asian workers are lower than those of the city’s white employees.
The findings are based on city workforce data from 2019 looking at data from 36 city agencies, but did not include most jobs within the Department of Education.
The City Council said that a major factor driving the municipal pay disparity is “occupational segregation” – meaning that Black, Latino, Asian, and female employees are more likely to hold lower-paying city jobs. White and male workers, on the other hand, are more likely to have the highest-paying jobs, the report found.
City jobs that are most likely to be dominated by women include secretarial jobs and caregiving roles. The median salary for a secretary in the city was $46,673. For a staff nursing job, the median salary was $71,932.
Among the jobs most likely to be filled by men: auto-mechanics and lieutenants for the FDNY. The median salary for an auto mechanic in the city was $90,620. For a firefighter, it was $85,292.
Councilmember Tiffany Cabán, who chairs the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, said in a statement that she was displeased – but not surprised – by the findings.
She noted that these disparities “exist along the same gender and racial hierarchies that have organized our economy at large for the entirety of our city's — and country's — history.”
Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa, who chairs the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, co-led a hearing on Thursday to discuss the causes behind the pay gaps.
Public-sector employment has “long been a source of security for women and people of color,” De La Rosa said. She added that it was critical to examine the disparities in pay presented in the report, given city government’s reliance on those groups.
The report was a continuation of the push behind Local Law 18, which mandated public reporting of city employee pay data.
The City Council’s pay equity report is released on a yearly basis. Last year’s report, which was based on 2018 data, similarly found that “employee demographics are often segregated along gender and racial lines.” The pay disparity between men and women in city government was the same.
Among the report’s other findings:
- In city government, Black workers made 71 cents on average for every dollar white employees made.
- Latinos made 75 cents for every dollar made by a white employee.
- Asian employees earned 85 cents for every dollar earned by a white worker.
- Female workers were earning 73 cents on average for every dollar made by male workers, per the report.
Councilmembers also discussed legislation on Thursday that would, among other things, force city agencies to analyze pay data and take concrete steps toward addressing pay disparities.
In a separate development this week, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and members of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus announced a legislative package that aims to diversify employment within the FDNY. The department is still largely made up of a white, male workforce, and has long been accused in court papers of discriminating against non-white applicants.
Under the proposed legislation, the FDNY would be required to take steps to diversify its workforce by March 1.