Study: Vermont loses $1.5 billion a year from gender pay gap

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Study: Vermont loses $1.5 billion a year from gender pay gap

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:16pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine An analysis released for Equal Pay Day on Tuesday reveals the size of the gender wage gap and its effects on the spending power of Vermont women. Women employed full time, year-round in Vermont are paid just 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $7,787. That means Vermont women lose a combined total of nearly $1.5 billion every year – money that, the authors say, could strengthen the state economy and is especially significant for the more than 20,000 Vermont households headed by women, 23 percent of which are in poverty.

The new analysis was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families using data from the US Census Bureau. The full set of findings for Vermont, which has the 10th smallest cents-on-the-dollar gap in the nation, is available here. Similar findings for all 50 states and the District of Columbia can be found at NationalPartnership.org/Gap.

“Equal Pay Day is a painful reminder that women in this country have had to work more than three months into this year just to catch up with what men were paid last year,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “This analysis shows just how damaging that lost income can be for women and their families, as well as the economy and the businesses that depend on women’s purchasing power. Entire communities, states and our country suffer because lawmakers have not done nearly enough to end wage discrimination or to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies that would help erase the wage gap.”

According to the analysis, if the gap between women’s and men’s wages in Vermont were eliminated, a woman in the state who holds a full-time, year-round job would have enough money for more than one more year of food, more than five additional months of mortgage and utilities payments, more than eight additional months of rent, nine more months of child care, one-half of an additional year of tuition and fees at a four-year public university, or one year of tuition and fees for a two-year community college.

Nationally, women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. Black women are paid 63 cents and Latinas just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. White, non-Hispanic women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Asian women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, although some ethnic subgroups of Asian women fare much worse. And mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.

It's not just Vermont, of course. Every state and 94 percent of the country’s congressional districts has a gender gap. The National Partnership finds that the largest cents-on-the-dollar differences in the country are in Wyoming, Louisiana, West Virginia, Utah and North Dakota. The smallest cents-on-the-dollar differences are in New York, Delaware and Florida. A ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia can be found here.

The biggest gap was found in the Louisiana 3rd District (coastal region bordering Texas), where women made 60 cents on the dollar ($20,561 less on a total of $31,464) and the best women did was making $1.02 ($879 more) in New York's 14th District ($40,941, Upper Manhattan/Bronx). This also indicates that equity does not equal wealth, as the highest average pay per district was in $72,047 in the New York 12th (Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens West, 78 cents on the dollar), while the lowest pay was in the Texas 34th ($25,811, 87 cents on the dollar, on the southern Gulf coast).

“Numerous studies show that the wage gap persists regardless of occupation, industry, education level or perceived personal choices,” Ness continued. “That is why we need a set of public policies that ensure women have access to good and decent-paying jobs, the support they need to stay and advance in their careers, and fair and nondiscriminatory treatment wherever they work and whatever jobs they hold. That means fair pay and practices, family friendly workplace standards, full funding for federal agencies that investigate and enforce fair pay, and comprehensive reproductive health care.”

Tomorrow, members of Congress are expected to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and establish stronger workplace protections for women. National Partnership experts say the bill would help close the wage gap, along with policies like the Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee paid sick days; the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would create a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program; and measures that would increase the minimum wage and strengthen pregnant worker protections.

The National Partnership’s analysis of the wage gap was released in advance of Equal Pay Day, which is April 4 this year. Equal Pay Day marks how far into the new year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid in the year before. The findings for all states are available in map form at NationalPartnership.org/Gap, in addition to analyses of the wage gap at the national level, in the 20 states with the largest numbers of Black women and Latinas who work full time, in more than 20 major metropolitan areas, and in all 435 congressional districts.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Vermont Women and the Wage Gap

APRIL 2017

In Vermont, median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $40,173 while median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $47,960. This means that women in Vermont are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $7,787.1

What Does the Wage Gap Mean for Vermont’s Women?

On average, Vermont women who are employed full time lose a combined total of nearly $1.5 billion every year due to the wage gap.2 These lost wages mean women and their families have less money to support themselves, save and invest for the future, and spend on goods and services. Families, businesses and the economy suffer as a result.

If the annual wage gap were eliminated, on average, a working woman in Vermont would have enough money for:

  • Nine more months of child care;3
  • One-half years of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, or one year of tuition and fees at a two-year community college;4
  • Approximately 59 more weeks of food for her family (more than one year’s worth);5
  • More than five additional months of mortgage and utilities payments;6 or
  • More than eight additional months of rent.7

Vermont Women and Families Cannot Afford Discrimination and Lower Wages

  • In the United States, mothers are breadwinners in half of families with children under 18, including half of white mothers, 53 percent of Latina mothers, 81 percent of Black mothers and 44 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander mothers.8 Yet the wage gap for mothers is larger than for women overall. Mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.9
  • In Vermont, more than 20,000 family households are headed by women.10 About 23 percent of those families, or 4,571 family households, have incomes that fall below the poverty level.11 Eliminating the wage gap would provide much-needed income to women whose wages sustain their households.

Nationally, the Wage Gap Cannot Be Explained By Choices

  • The wage gap persists regardless of industry. In the civilian 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, women are paid just 72 cents for every dollar paid to men. In manufacturing, just 76 cents. In retail trade, 79 cents. And in educational services, 87 cents. Across all industries, women are paid lower salaries than men.12
  • The wage gap is present within occupations. Among the occupations with the most people working full time, year-round – sales, production, management, and office and administrative support – women are paid less than men. In sales, women are paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to men. In production, just 72 cents. In management, 80 cents. And in office and administrative support occupations, 87 cents.13
  • The wage gap exists regardless of education level. Women with master’s degrees working full time, year-round are paid just 72 cents for every dollar paid to men with master’s degrees. Further, among full-time, year-round workers, women with doctoral degrees are paid less than men with master’s degrees, and women with master’s degrees are paid less than men with bachelor’s degrees.14
  • Discrimination and bias still contribute to the wage gap. Statistical analysis shows that 62 percent of the wage gap can be attributed to occupational and industry differences; differences in experience and education; and factors such as race, region and unionization. That leaves 38 percent of the gap unaccounted for, leading researchers to conclude that factors such as discrimination and unconscious bias continue to affect women’s wages.15

America’s Women Are Concerned About Unfair Pay

  • Women consider equal pay a top workplace issue. Nearly six in 10 women (58 percent) in the United States identify equal pay as one of the most important issues facing women in the workplace. When compared to women in most other leading, high-wealth countries, a substantially higher share of U.S. women list equal pay as one of the most important issues women face at work.16
  • Less than one-third of women believe they are paid fairly. Just 28 percent of U.S. working women say they are confident they are paid the same salaries as their male counterparts. Forty-three percent say they do not believe they are paid the same – a substantially higher share than in most other leading, high-wealth countries.17
  • Women are more likely to support a candidate for office who supports pay equity. Seventy percent of Republican women, 83 percent of independent women and 88 percent of Democratic women say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports equal pay for women.18

A Path Toward Closing the Wage Gap

Despite the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and other federal and state workplace protections for women, experts warn that women and men will not reach pay parity until 2059 – unless something changes. Fortunately, there are policies that would help, including:

Protections that help identify and challenge discriminatory pay and employment practices and address gender-based occupational segregation; minimum wage increases; family friendly workplace supports like paid family and medical leave and paid sick days; affordable child care; and access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

Several states and localities have taken steps to advance these policies, and federal proposals are before Congress. Together, these policies create a path toward closing the gap between the wages of women and men by helping to ensure that women have access to good and decent-paying jobs, the support they need to stay and advance in their careers, and fair and nondiscriminatory treatment wherever they work and in whatever jobs they hold.

NOTES

1 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Geographies: All States within United States and Puerto Rico, Table B20017: Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months (in 2015 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) by Sex by Work Experience in the Past 12 Months for the Population 16 Years and Over with Earnings in the Past 12 Months. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... Nationally, women who work full time, year-round are paid, on average, just 80 cents for every dollar paid to men: U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement: Table PINC-05: Work Experience in 2015 – People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Money Earnings in 2015, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Sex, and Disability Status. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-p... (Unpublished calculation based on the median annual pay for all women and men who worked full time, year-round in 2015)

2 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Geographies: All States within United States and Puerto Rico, Table S2001: Earnings in the Past 12 Months (in 2015 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars). Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Table B20005: Sex By Work Experience in the Past 12 Months by Earnings in the Past 12 Months (in 2015 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) for the Population 16 Years and Over. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... (Unpublished calculation based on the mean annual pay for all women and men who worked full time, year-round in 2015, multiplied by the total number of women working full time, year-round in 2015)

3 Child Care Aware of America. (2016). Parents and the High Cost of Child Care. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://usa.childcareaware.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/CCA_High_Cost_R...

4 The College Board. (2017). Tuition and Fees by Sector and State over Time: Table 5: Average Published Tuition and Fees by State in Current Dollars and in 2016 Dollars, 2004-05 to 2016-17. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-f...

5 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016, August). Consumer Expenditure Survey, Table 1800. Region of residence: Annual expenditure means, shares, standard errors, and coefficient of variation, 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://www.bls.gov/cex/2015/combined/region.pdf (Calculation uses overall average “food” cost for the region in which the state is located)

6 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Table GCT2511: Median Monthly Housing Costs for Owner-Occupied Housing Units with a Mortgage (Dollars) – United States – States; and Puerto Rico. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... (Calculation uses median monthly housing costs for owner-occupied housing units with a mortgage for each state)

7 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Table GCT2514: Median Monthly Housing Costs for Renter-Occupied Housing Units (Dollars) – United States – States; and Puerto Rico. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... (Calculation uses median gross rent for state)

8 Anderson, J. (2016, September 8). Breadwinner Mothers by Race/Ethnicity and State. Institute for Women’s Policy Research Publication. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://iwpr.org/publications/breadwinner-mothers-by-raceethnicity-and-s... (Breadwinner mothers are defined as single mothers who head a household or married mothers who generate at least 40 percent of a household’s joint income)

9 Analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) microdata, as provided by Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Steven Ruggles, and J. Robert Warren. See: IPUMS. (n.d.). Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 4.0 [Data set]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://doi.org/10.18128/D030.V4.0 (Mothers and fathers are married, cohabiting, and single parents who live with their children; nonresident parents are not captured in the data set. Dependent children are children younger than 18 years.)

10 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Table DP02: Selected Social Characteristics in the United States. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... (Calculation uses family households headed by females living in a household with family and no husband; a family household includes a householder, one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder, and anyone else living in the same household)

11 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Geographies: United States, Table DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.... (To determine whether a household falls below the poverty level, the U.S. Census Bureau considers the income of the householder, size of family, number of related children, and, for one- and two-person families, age of householder. The poverty threshold in 2015 was $19,096 for a single householder and two children under 18.)

12 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015, Table S2404: Industry by Sex and Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months for the Full-Time, Year-Round Civilian Employed Population 16 Years and Over. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview....

13 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement: Table PINC-06 Occupation of Longest Job-People 15 Years Old and Over, by Total Money Earnings, Work Experience, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-p...

14 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). Educational Attainment-People 25 Years Old and Over, by Total Money Earnings, Work Experience, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-p...

15 Blau, F. D., & Kahn, L.M. (2016, January). The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9656. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://ftp.iza.org/dp9656.pdf (See Table 4: Decomposition of Gender Wage Gap, 1980 and 2010 (PSID) for the full breakdown of explanatory variables)

16 Thomson Reuters Foundation. (2015). The 5 key issues facing women working in the G20. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://www.womenatworkpoll.com (Ipsos Global @dvisor conducted an international survey among 9,501 women across 19 countries. Surveys were conducted from July 24 – August 7, 2015. The margin of error between two country sample sizes of 500 is roughly 6 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval. Data are weighted to match the population profile of each country by age, region and household income.)

17 Ibid.

18 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. (2016, February 17). Winning Women in 2016: Findings from a Web Survey of American Adults. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://www.americanwomen.org/research/document/American-Women-Survey-Mil... (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted a national online survey of 800 registered voters, with an oversample of 200 millennial women (ages 18-35) voters, for a total sample size of 1,000 registered voters, weighted to be representative of registered voters nationally. The survey was conducted from December 7 – 10, 2015.)

19 Institute for Women’s Policy Research. (2016, September 13). Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2015 (Full-time, Year-round Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2059. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from https://iwpr.org/publications/womens-median-earnings-as-a-percent-of-men...

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families 4.3.2017  NationalPartnership.org/Gap. © 2017 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.