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Study details wage gap for women in N.Y.

Rochester Business Journal
April 11, 2016

Women in New York lose a combined nearly $20 billion every year because of the gender wage gap, a new analysis by the National Partnership for Women and Families shows.

On average, the report found, women in New York are paid 87 cents for every dollar paid to men, a yearly pay gap of nearly $6,800. In New York, median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $44,781, while median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $51,580. 

The analysis also found that for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men in New York, African American women, Latinas and Asian women are paid 66 cents, 56 cents and 80 cents.

“This analysis is a sobering reminder of the serious harm the wage gap causes women and families all across the country,” National Partnership president Debra Ness said in a statement. “At a time when women’s wages are so critical to the economic well-being of families, the country is counting on lawmakers to work together to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies that would promote equal pay.”

According to the analysis, if the wage gap were eliminated each woman who holds a full-time, year-round job in the state could afford to buy food for one more year, pay for mortgage and utilities for three more months or pay rent for nearly six more months.

The report, which looked at wage gaps in each state, noted the gap in pay persists regardless of industry. In industries that employ the most full-time employees—health care and social assistance, manufacturing, retail trade and educational services—women are paid less than men. In the health care and social assistance industry nationwide, for example, women are paid 71 cents for every dollar paid to men.

The analysis also noted that in New York nearly 1.1 million households are headed by women. Some 29 percent of those families have incomes that fall below the poverty level.

“It is unacceptable that the wage gap has persisted, punishing the country’s women and families for decades,” Ness said. “Some state lawmakers have taken steps to address the issue by passing legislation to combat discriminatory pay practices and provide other workplace supports. It is past time for federal lawmakers to do the same. We need Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is a common sense proposal that has languished for much too long.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, which was enacted in 1963. The National Partnership argues the bill, with other supportive policies such as paid sick days, family and medical leave and minimum wage increases, are what is needed to close the gap and should be top priorities for lawmakers.

Locally, several groups will come together on National Pay Equity Day to present the results of a separate workplace wage equality survey. The Coalition on Pay Equity will join the Susan B. Anthony Center and the Greater Rochester Area branch of the American Association of University Women for a presentation at the Perkins Mansion on East Avenue on Tuesday.

(c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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