By Tim Henderson
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In Chamblee, a city shared by professionals commuting to Atlanta and immigrants working locally, women make more than the typical Atlanta metro worker, but men make far less.
This Atlanta suburb is a lot like other metropolitan suburbs around the country. A manufacturing economy is giving way to new apartments and tech enterprises built around a quick commute to Atlanta.
And as in other communities, there’s a measurable pay gap between its working men and women. But there’s something different about Chamblee: Here it’s the women who earn the higher wages, typically $1.37 for every dollar brought home by a man.
That’s astonishing in a country where, nearly universally and in nearly all of the 2,700 locations reviewed by Stateline, men earn more than women. Nationally, the pay gap is wide: Women still earn less than 80 cents for every dollar men take home.
Of the 2,700 locations in the United States with more than 10,000 workers, Stateline found, there are just six municipalities and one county that flip the script in a statistically significant way.
A Stateline review of census data on earnings across the country found that women also make more in Lake Worth, Florida; the cities of Plainfield and Trenton in New Jersey; Inglewood, California; the village of Hempstead on Long Island, New York; and the Washington, D.C., suburb of Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Most are diverse suburbs in large metro areas. All are majority-minority, and many have low-income neighborhoods as well as the economic benefits of proximity to vibrant cities.
The reasons for the pay differences are complex and uncertain: Pay may be relatively higher for young millennial women who have landed jobs in big cities and found affordable housing in commuter suburbs such as these. And the communities’ high numbers of single male laborers, many of whom are immigrants working without documentation, can also hold down male income, which makes female income relatively higher.