News release -- Following Report, Mayor Warren to Focus on Wage Disparities in Healthcare Industry

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Friday, August 4, 2017) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative today released a new study on wage disparities in Monroe County, showing that minorities are over-represented in the county’s lowest paying industries. Mayor Warren has convened business and community leaders to discuss ways to bring equity to the workforce, and will conduct ongoing discussions to focus on the issue.

“This data in this report confirms what we’ve known for a long time – that there is a lack of equality in our workforce,” Mayor Warren said. “I look forward to working with our business and community leaders to help close the gaps that disproportionately affect many segments of our population. Everyone should have equal access to more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.” 

The study, produced jointly by the Mayor’s Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, looked at wage disparities in Monroe County by race and gender using U.S. Census and Department of Labor data. According to this data, 33 percent of part-time and seasonal workers in the city live in poverty, and 62 percent don’t make self-sufficient wages. 

Key findings:

• Many part-time and seasonal workers live in poverty or are not self-sufficient.

• Minorities are over-represented in several key service industries.

• The industries with over-representation of minorities also tend to be the county’s lowest paying and largest sectors.

• Minorities earn less than their white counterparts in nearly every industry sector.

• Regardless of educational attainment, the wage gap between whites and minorities persists.

“This report gives us the baseline data that will allow us to move forward as a community with enacting strategies to help move people out of poverty into self-sufficiency,” said Dr. Leonard Brock, Director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative has identified increasing household income as a key strategy to addressing poverty and will focus on creating connections across sectors that will promote this goal. Programs alone will not eliminate poverty, instead – we must take a system-wide approach to address factors like wage disparities and change the policies and practices that have created these disparities.”

The City and RMAPI are initially examining disparities in the healthcare sector – which includes some of the area’s largest employers and contains some of the widest disparities. Mayor Warren is seeking to work with leaders to develop a tactical plan to help individuals increase their earnings and become self-sufficient.

To view the full report, entitled “Wage Disparities in Monroe County by Race and Gender,” visit: