Chart of the Day: The best and worst states for women’s employment

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) recently released an updated national report for its Status of Women research, including fact sheets on the status of women in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia. Here are the states that fared best (and worst) for women’s employment, along with their median pay for women with full-time jobs:


As Anne Fisher points out in Fortune, “The far higher cost of living in the top five is reflected in the higher salary figures … [as is] the abundance of the best states’ managerial and professional opportunities for women in fields like law, finance, and insurance.”

But, as other research has shown, higher pay still doesn’t mean more equal pay. Fisher continues:

Women’s much-discussed wage gap shows up clearly in the IWPR data. In Washington, D.C., for instance, that $60,000 median salary is just 68.2% of what men earn in comparable jobs. The gap is smaller in other states where women make less, like Minnesota, whose median women’s salary of $40,000, while relatively low, is still 78.4% of what men earn. In Delaware, women’s median salary of $41,000 is about 80% of men’s.

[...] Extrapolating from data the IWPR has gathered for the past 40 years, [study director] Hegewisch and her team calculate that “even in the best states, our projections don’t show women’s pay reaching full parity with men’s until 2058,” she adds. “In the worst states, it will more likely be sometime in the next century.”

The report also provides useful — and abysmal — data to show how these numbers break down when crossed by other factors (e.g. race, area of residence, sexual orientation). In Washington, D.C., for example, that 68.2 percent figure masks the fact that the gap is 80 percent for white women, while for Asian women, it is 73 percent and for Black and Hispanic women, it hovers around half of what white men earn.

Take a look here to see more on how your state is doing — not just on women’s employment but also on issues of economic security and poverty, health, reproductive rights, violence and safety, and political participation and leadership.

Maybe there’s a way to get Scott Walker and the rest of our political leadership to take a look too.

Header Image Credit: Fortune

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