working women

Who Works in Those Manhattan Skyscrapers?

Ever wonder who is toiling inside those office buildings in New York City? The New York City Comptroller just released a study specifically trying to isolate the Manhattan office worker population’s characteristics and demographics, looking at what happened between 1990 and 2012.

With the exception of Asians and Hispanics, race and gender disparities actually widened in NYC.  What happened to women?

  • Female office workers in NYC declined from 50% to 48% of the total population.
  • Technology reduced the need for positions that women traditionally held, e.g. “typists and word processors” or “bookkeeping and accounting clerks” and women did not offset these lost jobs by taking on enough positions in higher growth occupations (e.g. technology, finance, real estate).
  • The percentage of female Manhattan architects has remained flat (22%)
  • The proportion of NYC women in accounting and auditing rose slightly
  • The proportion of NYC female financial managers and financial and securities sales declined
  • Women appear to have made progress in the legal industry.  The percentage of female Manhattan lawyers and judges has grown from 26% to 43%.
  • The wage gap for women improved slightly.  Female office workers went from earning 54% to 60% of what male officers earned between 1990 and 2012.  Some of this wage gap may be explained by the difference in hours worked between men and women.
  • Everyone’s hours appeared to have increased over this period.  For women, average working hours grew from 38.1 to 41 hours per week.  For men, average working hours grew from 42.3 to 45.7 hours per week.

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty and methodology behind the data, you can read the full report here.


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