The Income Disparity of Women in the Creative Class

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By Richard Florida (Senior Editor, The Atlantic)  

"What if the modern, post-industrial economy is simply more congenial to women than to men?" asks Hanna Rosin in her widely-discussed Atlantic essay, "The End of Men."

"The attributes that are most valuable today -- social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus -- are, at a minimum, not predominantly male." Rosin argues that the post-industrial playing field has been tilting toward attributes associated with women (such as their superior social and communication skills) and away from physical skills essential in industrial and agricultural economies. All this led her to ask rather bluntly, "why wouldn’t you choose a girl?" 

The ongoing economic crisis appears to have accelerated this shift, leading some to call it a "mancession." More than three-quarters of the jobs that were lost over the course of the crisis were held by men, and the unemployment rate has been consistently higher for men than for women. As of February 2010, women made up a larger share of the total U.S. workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Approximately 36 million Americans, or about one third of the workforce, hold creative class jobs. These jobs pay 60 percent more than the average salary and have been far less vulnerable in the recession, averaging just half the level of the overall unemployment rate.

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Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men. But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is a staggering 70 percent of the average female creative class salary.

Even when we control for hours worked and education in a regression analysis, creative class men out-earn creative class women by a sizable $23,700, or 49.2%.

» Read the full article at The Atlantic.