The New York City comptroller’s office has been a’calculating, and it seems that while college-educated men in New York City do, as long suspected, make more money here than anywhere, that all starts to go downhill (along with other things that will not be mentioned) when they hit 37.
A recent study of New Yorkers’ earning patterns by the city comptroller’s office determined, as reported by the New York Times,
A male college graduate in the New York metropolitan area would earn about $256,000 more over his lifetime than his peers in the rest of the country, while the “New York premium” for a female college graduate would add up to about $184,000.
“People in their 20s and 30s make considerably more money in New York at any given level of education than they do elsewhere,” said Frank Braconi, the chief economist in the comptroller’s office. “That’s something we all kind of knew — that there’s a New York premium. What I certainly wasn’t aware of is that it appears that the earnings differential ended later in the career.”
By that fateful 37th birthday, the research says, guys start to make pretty much what they’d make in any other big city. By the time a man is 57, he’d actually be better off in Dallas; by 62, Atlanta (egad) or maybe Chicago. Meaning the cost of living in New York is no longer worth the increased salary he makes, or possibly even that there is age discrimination at work. (Further investigation is needed, according to the economists.)
So what can a diligent fellow learn from this? Work like the wind until you’re 37, my friend. Then retire and spend your days shopping in Underground Atlanta, or watching cable TV in your Dallas McMansion. Ladies in New York, although you may make less than those dudes, you can at least stay put:
Mr. Braconi found that, among women, the premium for working in New York is even larger and, although it also shrinks over time, it never disappears. Educated women in New York continue to earn more than their counterparts in Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago throughout their lifetimes.
Which means, thank God, at least we don’t have to move. And the men will just keep getting younger.