What does this measure?
The ratio of female to male median earnings for various occupations.
Why is this important?
The pay equity gap is hotly debated. While the data clearly shows that women generally earn less than men for similar occupations, there can be many factors contributing to this, including choices about when and how much to work, and what types of occupations men and women gravitate toward.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, median earnings for men in Essex County were roughly $74,700, while median earnings for women were around $58,200. In other words, at the median, women earned 78% of men's earnings (or roughly $0.78 for every $1 earned by men). This disparity was similar to the national level ($0.81) and slightly larger than at the state level, where women earned $0.83 for every dollar earned by men.
Differences in pay by gender were larger for some occupations in Essex County. In Production, Transportation and Material Moving occupations, women earned $0.67 to every dollar earned by men. In Healthcare Practitioner and Technical occupations and in the Management, Business and Financial sector, the ratio was $0.83 and $0.73 respectively, while in Service occupations, it was $0.70. Men and women's earnings were closer in Computer, Engineering and Science ($0.87).
How do we compare to similar counties?
Westchester, NY and Middlesex, MA had higher ratios than Essex County, at $0.86 and $0.81 respectively. Women in Lake, IL had a greater disparity, earning $0.76 of every dollar earned by men across all occupations.
Essex County had the highest ratios in both the Healthcare Practitioners and Technical sector and the Education, Legal, Community Service, Arts and Media sector compared to all three comparison counties.
Notes about the data
This data does not separate about full and part-time earners or those who are self-employed.
Dollar figures are in 2021 dollars. The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.