NYC government workers of color paid less than white colleagues, study says

Black, Asian and Hispanic NYC government workers continue to be paid less than their white colleagues, a disparity driven by a persistent pattern of low wages for women of color in the municipal ranks, according to a new study release by the City Council on Tuesday.

The study reflects salary levels across all municipal positions as of 2021, the latest period for which data is available.

As of 2021, city government employees of color earned $0.84 for every $1 paid in salary to white workers, the study found. Two-thirds of the $0.16 wage gap is due to disparate salaries for female employees of color, while lagging wages for male employees of color account for the remaining one-third, according to the study, which the Council must conduct annually under a law adopted in 2019.

The latest study found that persisting wage gaps are largely the result of “occupational segregation,” in which women and people of color are concentrated in job titles that pay less.

The report doesn’t show whether disparities have improved since Mayor Adams took office on Jan. 1, 2022.

Still, the latest Council report appears to show some progress on the city government pay equity front as compared to previous years.

As of 2019, Black city employees had made $0.71 on every dollar a white worker received, while Hispanic employees made $0.75 and Asian employees made $0.85 on every dollar earned by a white employee, the Council’s 2022 pay equity report found.

Some agencies that have historically lacked racial and gender diversity continue to see a homogenous workforce, the latest Council report says.

The FDNY proves an especially stark example, with its employees being 62% white and 12% female, the Council reported. The Department of Sanitation is just 9% female and 51% white, the study also shows.