As I type this, somewhere there is a male journalist writing a similar blog who is making more money than I am.
That’s the cold hard truth of the pay structure for women in the US workforce. And, as the US Census Bureau reported earlier this month in frustrating—but not surprising—news, the gender-based pay gap persists. Overall, the data shows women who were employed full time, year round in the United States in 2014 earned 78.6 percent of what males in comparable roles earned; at roughly 79 cents for every dollar men earn, the yearly gap in wages totals nearly $11,000.
While the 78.6 percent marks the smallest gap on record since 1960, it’s just a paltry increase from 78.3 percent in 2013. And, the data indicates that the gap in wages, in inflation-adjusted dollars, has remained virtually unchanged since 2001.
And it’s not just women who pay the price for the disparity. According to an analysis of the Census data by the National Partnership for Women & Families, there’s an overall economic impact to consider, in the form of reduced spending power for women. If the gap were eliminated, the organization says, on average, a working woman in this country would have enough money for 1.6 years’ worth of food, more than seven months of mortgage and utilities payments, more than 11 more months of rent, or 4,635 gallons of gas.
The group also conducted a state-by-state analysis (the gender gap is evident in all 50 states and the District of Columbia) and found that the states with the largest cents-on-the-dollar pay differences are Louisiana, Utah, Wyoming, West Virginia, and North Dakota.
How did New York fare? According to the National Partnership, a woman who holds a full-time job in New York is paid, on average, $44,781 per year while a man who holds a full-time job is paid $51,580 per year. This means that women in New York are paid 87 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly wage gap of $6,799 between men and women who work full time in the state. However, New York had the second-lowest per-dollar wage gap (13 cents; Washington DC is the lowest, at 10 cents per dollar) in the country.