Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

State Wage Gap Data Show Little or No Improvement from 2008

The 2009 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States data that was recently released by the Census Bureau show that in 2009, women who worked full-time, year round still made 23 cents less for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. This marks no change from 2008’s wage gap and amounts to nearly $11,000 per year in lost earnings.

The wage gap for women of color in 2009 was even more staggering than for women overall. When Black and Hispanic women work full-time, year round, they only make 62 and 53 cents, respectively, for every dollar their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts earn — this tiny amount is only a one cent increase over the 2008 earnings for Black and Hispanic women.

Additional state Census data released this morning show that in 2009, women working full-time, year round continued to earn less than their male counterparts working full-time, year round in every single state, although the wage gap among them varies. In 2009, women continued to fare best in the District of Columbia, which had the smallest wage gap of 88.2 percent, up .2 percentage points from last year. This 12 cent gap in wages was well ahead of the next best state, California, where women on average made 82.7 percent (down from the California percentage in 2008, which was 84.9 percent). The state with the worst wage gap, where women’s earnings represented only 65.5 percent of men’s earnings, was Wyoming, up less than one percentage point from 2008.

Overall, women in 20 states saw the wage gap between men and women widen. In Maine, for example, there was a three percentage point drop in the wage gap; women in this state earned only 76.7 percent of what men in Maine earned, down from 79.7 percent in 2008.

As the recession lingers on, women’s wages have never been more important: in 2009, 40 percent of women were the primary breadwinners for their families. Let’s prevent another year of bad news on the wage gap and ask Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.


Wage Fairness

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
How long has it been for me....over 30 years? My very first job was as gas jockey for the Shell Oil Company via Arnie's Shell in Phoenix, Arizona. I worked with several other young men at the same job and across the board they made $.25 more per hour than I. One would think that this was because of the aptitude for the business at hand but I was directly exploited by Arnie's Shell by being advertised as the gas jockey in hot pants...come see Suzy at Arnie's Shell. I changed oil, busted tires and washed windows right along side my brethren yet never made the same money. Today, close to 40 years later the situation remains the same. I work as an office manager and my realm of responsibility ranges from taxes, operational permissions, payroll, human resources, governmental compliance and janitorial duties. I have an associate’s degree and my pay is significantly lower than that of the facilities manager, the truck drivers and some mechanics. What is up with this? I worked for a fortune 500 companies in my early to late twenties. When I trained my replacement he started at a higher salary than I was making at the time after holding the position for two years. I managed an office for a tire store while in my thirties...I was told that the men all had families to take care the time I was a single mother and remained single  the entire eleven years I was employed there. I never will get it. I work harder, do a multi-faceted combination of tasks while bird dogging the men in my workplace yet I am paid 1/3 less than they are and expected to be grateful.    

Post new comment