Mortality and incarceration rates alone don’t explain why so many black men seem to be missing in communities. Alford Young, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan, notes that they frequently lack permanent addresses. Women, particularly those with children, are likely to obtain support services, and thus to get counted, while black men are not and may become homeless.
Fire departments are still overwhelmingly white and male. As they seek to attract new recruits and diversify the workforce, the job itself is also changing: fires represent less than 4 percent of all the calls that fire departments respond to, with the vast majority being medical emergencies.
The reason women make more than men in the seven places on Stateline’s list is not entirely a reflection of their own success. Many of the places on the list have low-wage male workers, often unauthorized immigrants, and that alone can bring down the median male wage to a point where it is lower than that of women “All low-paying jobs have similar pay for all,” Goldin said. “If everyone got the minimum wage, then the gaps would disappear.