WASHINGTON, D.C. – Critics of the concept of equality for women claim that the gender wage gap is a myth.
“Not so,” says the U.S. Census Bureau.
The most recent findings of the Census’ American Community Survey (ACS) confirmed a disparity of pay at both national and state levels between men and women ages 16 and older for similar work on a full-time, year-round basis.
“This research found the wage gap both within and across occupations,” according to Megan Wisniewski, a survey statistician in the federal agency’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division. “That study focused on the wage gap by sex for each state’s top occupation and the difference in earnings for the top occupations by sex.”
At national level, the median earnings for civilians that worked full-time, year-round in the past 12 months was $53,544 for men and $43,394 for women, a gap of more than $10,000 for similar work.
Wage gaps of similar size – or worse – can be found in many states, with the lone exception of the territory of Puerto Rico.
Wisniewski explains that Puerto Rico has the lowest median income of any U.S. state, territory or possession. But at least on that island the wage gap is reversed. The median income for women working there is $23,478 compared to $22,804 for men.
Here in Utah, the gender wage gap is $17,303, thanks to a median income of $57,247 for men compared to $39,944 for women.
Bad as that sounds, Wisniewski notes that the wage gap in Wyoming exceeds $20,000, with median male earnings there of $59,196 compared to female earnings of $37,520.
In the District of Columbia, where the federal government is the largest single employer, the wage gap is $16,032, based on median male earnings of $88,992 and female earnings of $72,920.
Census analysts advise that there are a multitude of factors that may contribute to earning differences between men and women. They include age, number of hours worked, presence of children and education among others.
The types of jobs that women and men hold, plus the earning differences between those jobs, all contribute to gaps in overall earnings.
The jobs for men focused on in the ACS study included drivers, sales workers, managers and first-line supervisors of workers. The top occupations for women in the study were teachers, nurses, secretaries and administrative assistants.
An interact map illustrating the by-state wage gaps in the United State can be accessed at https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2022/03/what-is-the-gender-wage-gap-in-your-state.html?utm_campaign=20220301msacos1ccstors&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery