MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – New Data from the Pew Research Center shows that the gender pay gap is closing.
The national average for full-time employed women under the age of 30 is about 93% of what men in the same age group earn.
In Myrtle Beach, that number is as high as 97%, the highest of any city in South Carolina. Florence rounds out the top because women earn 90% of what men earn
Bryan Grady, director of employment information for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Manpower, said one of the reasons Myrtle Beach stands out is the city’s strong service sector, which traditionally has more women working in it.
“Myrtle Beach has a strong industrial base in tourism, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality and leisure industries,” Grady said.
Terri Nardslico, owner and president of CRG Construction, employs 23 women among her 35 employees.
“I like having her around,” Nardslico said. “I think they bring a lot to the table. Not that the men don’t put anything on the table because they do, but we’re a construction company.”
She said Myrtle Beach’s workforce is getting younger, adding that the only way to keep younger workers is to pay them more.
“We need this skilled workforce, so we have to pay them to keep them here,” Nardslico said.
While the pay gap tends to narrow even for younger workers, women of all ages still earn only 82% of what men earn nationwide. Grady said there are several reasons for the widening gap with age, with child care being one of the main reasons.
“Some of it is voluntary,” Grady said. “Again, women caring for children can make different labor market decisions.”
Nardslico was once a single mother of two children. She said her life experiences shaped her habits as a boss to be flexible and understanding.
She said her experience is also why she urges all women to get an education.
“Show your kids, and especially your daughters, that they don’t have to sit back, that all of this is out there,” Nardslico said. “You can do all of that.”
A full breakdown of city-by-city data is available here.