NEW YORK - New research released today shows that the nationÂs gender-based wage gap is punishing New York families. On average, full-time working women in New York are paid $8,590 less than their male counterparts, and the gap costs New YorkÂs families a total of more than $22 billion annually. With 63 percent of New York women now bringing in more than a quarter of their familiesÂ income and women heading more than a million households, unequal wages are harming both families and the state economy.
The research was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, in conjunction with the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
ÂThis new data illustrate the very real harm unequal wages are doing to families and the state,Â said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. ÂIt is long past time to close the gender-based wage gap. With women playing an increasingly important role as family breadwinners, there is no time to waste.Â
According to the report, if the gap between menÂs and womenÂs wages were eliminated, each full-time working woman in New York could afford mortgage and utility bills for 4.4 more months, rent for 9 more months, or 3 more years of family health insurance premiums. Necessities like these would be particularly important for the 26 percent of women-headed households in New York that are currently living below the poverty line.
ÂThis research proves that the gender pay gap is not simply a numbers issue or a womenÂs issue,Â said AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman, CAE. ÂItÂs a bread and butter issue. ItÂs an everyday issue for people who are trying to support their families and provide for their futures. No more lip service, it's time to act.Â
New York is not the only state with a wage gap. In fact, every state has one. Nationally, women working full-time are paid an average of only 77 cents for every dollar paid to full-time working men. The gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a cent per year since the passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. At that pace, working women wonÂt come close to being paid the same amount as men until 2058.
ÂUnless lawmakers and employers make eliminating the wage gap a priority once and for all, generations of women and their families are going to continue to suffer due to unfair pay and discrimination,Â Ness explained. ÂThatÂs why the re-introduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress is so essential. This legislation is critically important to efforts to end wage discrimination and ensuring that working women are paid fairly.Â
The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and establish stronger workplace protections for women, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in the last Congress but fell two votes short of moving forward in the Senate last year.
The National PartnershipÂs research on the wage gap was released the day before Equal Pay Day Â which marks how far into the new year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid the year before. The data spans all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The full set of reports is available at HERE
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan 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.