Public social insurance and safety net programs are critical to the economic security of women and families. Social Security, the EITC, SNAP, unemployment insurance, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are five key programs that lifted families’ incomes above the official poverty line in 2013.
Over the past four decades, women’s work experience and educational attainment have increased dramatically. Although women have better credentials than ever before, the job and income prospects for many are bleak. Women make up two-thirds of the nearly 20 million workers in low-wage jobs—defined in this report as jobs that typically pay $10.10 per hour or less—although they make up slightly less than half of the workforce as a whole.
Recognizing that when women succeed, their families and the economy prosper, some legislative leaders are taking action to create opportunities for women in the workplace. The National Women’s Law Center applauds these efforts because investment in women’s economic security is vital for women and their families.
This table details state-by-state information about women and the minimum wage, including the share of minimum wage workers who are women, the state's minimum wage and tipped minimum cash wage, the number of women who would get a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $12/hour by 2020, and what a woman makes for every dollar a man makes among women overall as well as women of color.
The minimum wage is falling short for millions of Americans — especially for women, who represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers across the country, and at least half of minimum wage workers in every state. Use this chart to see how the states compare.
NWLC’s comments to the Human Resources Subcommittee, Ways and Means, focus on the need for any TANF reauthorization bill to provide policies and adequate resources to ensure that families trying to leave or avoid TANF have access to affordable, reliable child care, in addition to the other supports and services needed to meet basic needs and get ahead.
The minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are two federal policies that help low-income workers, especially women, make ends meet and support their families. Improvements to the minimum wage and the EITC are necessary as important complements to—not substitutes for—one another.