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Wednesday, August 15, 2018



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Analysis finds gender wage gap costs Louisiana women more than $15 billion each year

Analysis finds gender wage gap costs Louisiana women more than $15 billion each year


A state-by-state analysis released for Equal Pay Day reveals that a woman employed full time, year-round in Louisiana is typically paid just 70 cents for every dollar paid to a man – a yearly pay difference of $15,238. That means Louisiana women lose a combined total of more than $15 billion every year to the gender wage gap.

If it were closed, on average, a woman working full time in Louisiana would be able to afford 119 more weeks of food for her family, more than one year of mortgage and utilities payments, 1.6 additional years of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year community college, nearly 19 more months of rent or nearly 33 more months of child care each year.

This new analysis, conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, finds that Louisiana has the largest cents-on-the-dollar gap in the nation. It also finds that there is a gender-based wage gap in every single state and the District of Columbia. After Louisiana, the cents-on-the-dollar gap is largest in Utah, followed closely by West Virginia and Montana – and smallest in New York, California and Florida.

The study also analyzed the wage gap in each of Louisiana’s congressional districts, as well as for black women in Louisiana and other states.

Working women in Louisiana are not alone in suffering the effects of the gender wage gap. It has detrimental effects on women’s spending power in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The wage gap contributes greatly to the country’s high rates of poverty and income inequality and is especially punishing for women of color. Nationally, white non-Hispanic women are typically paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, black women 63 cents and Latinas 54 cents. Asian women are paid 87 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, although some ethnic subgroups of Asian women fare much worse.

The wage gap for mothers is 71 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.

“Equal Pay Day is a disturbing reminder that women overall have had to work more than three months into 2018 just to catch up with what men were paid in 2017, and black women and Latinas must work considerably further into the year,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “The wage gap cannot be explained by women’s choices. It’s clear that discrimination contributes to it – and equally clear that it’s causing grave harm to women, families and the country. Lawmakers have not done nearly enough to end wage discrimination based on gender and race; to end sexual harassment, which impedes women’s job advancement; to stop discrimination against pregnant women; to advance paid family and medical leave and paid sick days; and to increase access to high-quality, affordable reproductive health care. If our country is to thrive, we must root out bias in wages, reject outdated stereotypes and stop penalizing women for having children and caring for their families.”

Measures that would increase the minimum wage, eliminate the tipped minimum wage and strengthen protections against sexual harassment in the workplace include Congress passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, The Fair Pay Act, and The Healthy Families Act, among others.

In addition, Ness noted that state lawmakers can help address the wage gap by passing laws that prohibit employers from asking about salary history and protect employees from retaliation if they discuss pay. The private sector plays a role as well, and companies can help level the playing field by increasing pay transparency, limiting the use of salary history and using standardized pay ranges in hiring and promotions.

Findings for each state from the National Partnership’s new wage gap analysis are available at NationalPartnership.org/Gap, as are analyses of the wage gap at the national level, in the 25 states with the largest numbers of black women and Latinas who work full time, and in all 435 congressional districts.