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.
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.
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, and what a woman makes for every dollar a man makes among women overall as well as women of color.
On this interactive map, click on a state to see its minimum wage and tipped minimum wage, plus the share of minimum wage workers who are women, the next scheduled increase in the minimum wage, and any recent action on the minimum wage in the state legislature.
This fact sheet lists 12 reasons why raising the minimum wage is a women's issue. Passing the Raise the Wage Act would help close the wage gap and result in a raise for nearly 20 million working women.
Millions of workers—mostly women—struggle to make ends meet on minimum wage earnings. The Raise the Wage Act would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12.00 per hour by 2020, then index it to keep pace with wages overall. The bill would also eliminate the federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers—which has been frozen at just $2.13 per hour for nearly 25 years—by gradually raising it until it is equal to the regular minimum wage. Establishing one fair minimum wage is a key step toward fair pay for women.