The 18 Percent Difference: Still Work to Do for Pay Equity

Equal pay for equal work:  follow the debate live

Equal pay for equal work: follow the debate live (Photo credit: European Parliament)

Imagine getting paid 18 percent less than your coworkers in the same occupation, doing the same work.

Unfortunately, many women across the United States know this scenario only too well. They are still paid less than their male counterparts in spite of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Pay Equity Day is Not a Celebration

Today, April 9, 2013, is Pay Equity Day. It is not a celebration of equal pay. It marks how much longer a female employee would have needed to work since January 1, 2012 in order to make the same amount of money as her male counterparts made in all of 2012.

Slow but Steady Improvements in Pay Equity

Has the U.S. made improvements toward bridging the income disparity? Yes. According to the Department of Labor, in 1963 when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, women made 41 percent less than men.

U.S. Income Earner Profiles

Earners making the most income from full-time employment in the U.S. are:

  • Race: White
  • Gender: Male
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Age: 55-64
  • Marital Status: Married

Earners making the least income from full-time employment in the U.S. are:

  • Race: Hispanic
  • Gender: Woman
  • Education: No high school diploma
  • Age: 16-24
  • Marital Status: Never married

Pay Equity Gap in the States

The lowest income gap is in California, but there is still a 10 percent difference between women’s and men’s income.

The highest income gap is in Louisiana with a whopping 31 percent difference. Louisiana, like the rest of us, has plenty of work to do.

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