Friday, August 03, 2007

which gap, whose favor?

i'm cribbing off of mrs. noz with this one. this morning she drew my attention to this article in today's new york times. the article discusses how young women's earnings now exceed men's in big cities like new york.

the dead tree edition has a chart that shows the data broken down by race and sex. (i can't find the chart on the NYT web site). while the chart does show that overall women in the age 21-30 age range make 117% as much as men in new york (the overall number in the u.s. is 89%), young white women in new york make 89% of men's salaries. in other words, white women in the group profiled don't do better than their male counterparts, but rather follow the national average. the higher overall wage in new york appears to be driven by the experience of black and hispanic women, who each earn more than their male counterparts (young asian women in new york earn the same as young asian men in new york).

so fine, that just makes the findings more interesting. the factor isn't just sex and big cities, it's sex plus big city plus race. the article however, barely mentions race. much of the article is interviews with young women in new york in an attempt to explain their economic gains. while the race of the interviewees is not identified, the two that are in photos accompanying the article are both white. (only one of the two photos made it onto the online version of the article)

so if the gains are driven by black and hispanic women, why did the reporter interview white women about how they supposedly earn more? according to the chart, their group (at least if broken down by race) didn't.

UPDATE: paul showed me where the chart is. you hit the "how wages stack up" link on the right. but you don't even have to do that, because here it is: