City Council Pay Equity Report finds gender racial gaps in New York City workforce


“We have long been aware that, even within our municipal workforce, pay disparity exists along racial and gender lines,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams . “These pay inequities especially affect Black, Latina, and Asian women.”

The city’s workforce is made up of 337,294 people, according to Citizens Budget Commission data for the fiscal year that began in July 2021. In 2019, nearly 60% of the workforce were women, and more than half were Black and brown women, according to the report. Last year, the council’s Pay Equity Report concluded that civil service titles “are often segregated along racial lines.”

It appears the city’s gender pay gaps are not much different than the financial services sector.

The 2021 data from JP Morgan’s United Kingdom office found that women, on average, make 30.9% less than men on hourly pay. A 2021 report from Citibank’s London Branch concluded that the hourly pay gap between men and women is 28.8%.

The banks are not required to disclose the data in the U.S.

Planned action

Adams made it clear that the council plans to address these pay-equity gaps in the future.

“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,” she said.

The council’s Committees on Civil Service and Labor and Human Rights are scheduled to hold a joint hearing Thursday afternoon on legislation introduced by Councilwoman Farah N. Louis of Brooklyn that would amend the existing Pay Equity Law of 2019 by requiring the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services to provide new data regarding city employment metrics. The bill would give the council greater transparency over year-round pay and employment data to improve oversight.

The bill was introduced in June and has four co-sponsors.

The Pay Equity Report follows the Council’s introduction on Monday of a package of bills to improve diversity, equity and inclusion practices at the Fire Department of the City of New York. The council’s Committee on Fire and Emergency Management found in a Sept. 2022 report that currently 76% of the department’s firefighters are white, while only 8% are Black, 13% are Hispanic and 2% are Asian. Less than 1% of the department’s workforce are women, out of a force of nearly 11,000.

“True equity in our City’s agencies extends further than the diversity and representation of its staff and leadership,” said Councilman Kevin C. Riley of the Bronx. “We build trust and strengthen relationships when the entire New York City community can see themselves in those who serve and protect them daily.”

Correction: The council’s Committees on Civil Service and Labor and Civil and Human Rights are scheduled to hold a joint hearing Thursday afternoon on the pay equity legislation, not the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, which is holding a separate hearing. 

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