Friday, April 25, 2014

Regional Price Parities, and Health Care Speciality Disparities

Have you ever wondered how much you'd need to earn if you lived in Washington, or, for those in the western part of the state, somewhere more sunny like Florida? If so, the Washington Post has just the tool for you. Using newly released regional price parities data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Post created a calculator that tells you what your income would need to be to maintain the same purchasing power elsewhere.

For those who were wondering, if your income is $40,000 in Oregon, you'd have to earn about $41,800 in Washington, while in Florida your purchasing power would stay just the same.

Oregon's regional price parity (98.8) falls just slightly below the national average (100) for all items, and for rents. Metropolitan-level data show that Portland's regional price parity (100.5) sits just above the national average, and rents are higher (109.2). Regional price parities were below the national average for all other Oregon metropolitan areas.

Moving from parity to disparity...

The Portland Business Journal reports that in health care professions, several occupations slant one way or the other in terms of gender. Here are a few examples from data compiled by the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research:
  • Far more men than women become podiatrists and surgeons; about 80 percent of these are men
  • Nine out of 10 nurses is female, and nearly 100 percent of dietitians and dental hygienists are women

More details can be found in the full article.

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