Security officers in New York are paid more than in the rest of the nation, and the profession is drawing in an older, more educated workforce than it did eight years ago, according to a report released Thursday.
Hourly median wages for NYC security officers, when adjusted for inflation, rose 10 percent to $12.99 between 2004 and 2011, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal. Nationwide, industry wages increased just one percent in the same period. The report’s authors credit this increase in New York to the industry becoming more unionized, boosting pay and improving benefits.
According to the WSJ article, Benita Mays, 44, started working as a security officer at a retail store in 2006, and she made roughly $8 an hour. The union job she currently holds pays $15 per hour, with the addition of health insurance.
The report analyzed U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Labor data, also finding that the industry’s demographics have changed in the past decade, the article says. About 24 percent of New York security officers were 55 or older in 2010, an increase from 17 percent in 2000. The percentage of officers with a college or associate’s degree rose to 35 percent from 26 percent in 2000.
According to Nancy Rankin, co-author of the report by the Community Service Society of New York, and anti-poverty group, people are staying in the profession longer. According to the Wall Street Journal, the industry is seeing the impacts of the recession: “People who lost better jobs that pay more didn’t have options,” Rankin says. “They took jobs they might not have taken in the past.”