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Women’s Wages In Miami Rank Near Bottom In Survey As Pay Gaps Persist Nationally

Yadira Lopez Miami Herald

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr)  As Yadira Lopez reports, "March 24 this year marks the 2021 date for the extra days women must work to match the average male earnings in 2020. For women of color, “equal pay day” comes even later in the year."

Miami

The average woman in Miami can’t afford much beyond the basics with her wages.

That’s according to a new report that ranked the nation’s 100 largest metro areas based on how far women’s wages stretch when comparing earnings to cost of living. Miami ranked 99. Only McAllen, Texas, fared worse.

The report from MagnifyMoney, a personal finance site, used 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Women in Miami averaged $37,116 a year, according to the data. That’s an hourly wage of $17.80 — just slightly above the $15.90 that is considered a living wage in Miami, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator.

“That’ll get a roof over your head, it’ll get you fed and it will probably get you transportation, but it’s not going to get you a whole lot else,” said Kali McFadden, senior research analyst at MagnifyMoney.

The Miami numbers show a gender pay gap also persists, according to the report. Women made 13% less than men in 2019. Men’s average earnings hit $42,425.

On a national scale, inequities in pay continue to plague women, said Charmaine Davis, regional administrator and director of the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau in Atlanta.

“Occupational segregation, the devaluing of work done primarily done by women and lack of access to benefits like paid family leave all contribute to the wage gap,” Davis said at a press conference Thursday.

While women make up about 47% of the workforce, they are underrepresented in some of the highest paid fields and apprenticeships, she said.

“Our economy is both dependent on the labor of women yet simultaneously undervalues that labor,” Davis added.

March 24 this year marks the 2021 date for the extra days women must work to match the average male earnings in 2020. For women of color, “equal pay day” comes even later in the year.

Compared to white men with the same educational attainment, Black and Latina women with bachelor’s degrees on average earn 65% of what their white male counterparts are paid, according to federal data Davis shared.

The MagnifyMoney findings are no surprise to Dr. Maria Ilcheva, assistant director of planning and operations at Florida International University’s Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center.

“Occupations considered ‘women’s occupations’ don’t pay high wages. Think of teachers, childcare workers and many of the healthcare occupations that are essential — they are not valued in terms of earnings,” she said.

Ilcheva coauthored the annual Status of Women in Miami-Dade County report, which tracks progress toward reducing gender disparities in education, economic participation and opportunities in the county. Achieving income parity would add at least an additional $3.7 billion to the local economy, Ilcheva said.

It would also have a multiplying effect, points out Marya Meyer, interim executive director of the Women’s Fund Miami-Dade, a nonprofit tackling gender equity in the county.

“The core of economic mobility is equal pay,” Meyer said. ——— Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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