New York City pay equity report shows large disparities in pay

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New York City pay equity report shows large disparities in pay

A new pay equity report from the New York City Council shows large pay gaps in the city's municipal workforce, especially among Black, Latino and white employees, a divide that gets worse when comparing men and women workers.

According to the report, the black city employees make just 71 cents on average for every dollar made by their white counterparts. The Latinos make just 75 cents for every dollar, while Asian employees make 81 cents.

The gap is even larger for Black women and Latinas, dropping to 69 cents for every dollar made by white male employees. For every male dollar, female city employees make 73 cents.

This dynamic shows what the report calls an occupational segregation of non-white and female employees who hold more junior positions with lower pay than their white male counterparts in the municipal workforce.

After the election in 2021, the council has unprecedented diversity among its members, according to a press release from New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, who has long been aware that pay disparities exist along racial and gender lines. She implied that diversity could lead to more willingness to fix longstanding wage gaps.

As the most diverse and first women-majority council, we will not rest until all New York City workers are valued equally with job salaries and opportunities for their contributions to our city regardless of gender or race, Adams said.

The council held an oversight hearing on proposed legislation that would require city agencies to analyze their wage data through a diversity lens. The laws would require agencies to come up with new ways to solve occupational segregation while expanding what counts as an agency to capture a full picture of pay disparities among a larger number of workers.

The recommendations drawn in the wake of last year's pay equity report came largely to the same conclusions as the one released this week. Pay equity reports are mandated by a New York City law passed in 2019 that was passed in order to find and eliminate wage gaps in public employment.

The council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus also announced new legislation this week to diversify the workforce in the New York City Fire Department and confront what it called the department's exclusion practices that undermine diversity. The bill requires the FDNY to be more transparent about its current demographics.

Carmen De La Rosa, chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, said in a press release that there is a need for data to solve the disparities.

The second round of findings demonstrates that disparities remain, she said, despite the great strides and attempts to mitigate the gap.