Data compiled by the US Census Bureau this week once again demonstrates a gender wage gap, showing that American women who work full-time, year-round jobs on average earn 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. This loss in wages amounts to an average of $10,762 annually for white women, and is significantly greater for women of color.
The data, analyzed by the National Partnership for Women and Families, reveals women with full-time, year-round employment receive far less than their male counterparts, earning roughly $39,621 yearly compared to men whose wages exceed $50,000. The pay disparity is even greater for women of color. Overall, African American women earn just 60 cents on the dollar and Latinas a mere 55 cents.
The need to close the gender wage gap could not be more critical. Not only do women comprise nearly half of the paid work force in the US, but they also head more than 15.2 million households, 4,658,047 of which fall below the poverty line. With the additional $10,762 annually in found wages, women breadwinners would earn enough money for approximately 83 more weeks of food, over a year’s worth of rent and an extra 4,635 gallons of gas.
That gap is even starker for women of color. Full-time working African American women earn an average 60 cents for every dollar paid to a white man, and Latinas earn a startling 55 cents. These gaps amount to losses of tens of thousands of dollars for women each year.
“This study confirms that a punishing wage gap persists for women in every corner of the country and the costs for women, their families and our national and state economies are significant,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families. “America’s women and families – and our nation – cannot afford to wait any longer for the fair and family friendly measures that would help.”
Media Resources: US Census Bureau 9/16/15; National Partnership Data; National Partnership Press Release 9/16/15; Feminist Newswire 9/1/15