Five things to know on Equal Pay Day

Story at a glance

  • March 14 is Equal Pay Day, which serves as an annual reminder that the average woman is still paid less than the average man.

  • In 2022, women earned about 82 cents for every dollar men made.

  • That pay gap is even wider for women of color; Black women earn about 67 cents for every dollar men make, and Hispanic women make even less, bringing home 57 cents for every dollar men earn.

Today is Equal Pay Day, an annual reminder of how much women have to work in order to earn the same amount of money as men.

Working women have made strides in their earning power over the last 40 years, but there is still a sizeable wage gap between the genders.

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Here are five things to know about Equal Pay Day:

The pay gap has been shrinking since the 1980s

In 1982, women in the United States earned about 65 cents for every dollar a man earned, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Since then, the gender pay gap has gotten smaller, but it has stayed relatively stable over the past 20 years. Last year, women earned about 82 percent of what men earned. That is roughly the same pay difference that existed between the genders in 2002. That year, women earned only 80 percent as much as men did, according to Pew.

That gap is even wider for women of color

Women of color are paid even less compared to their male counterparts. In 2021, Black women in the United States earned 67 cents for every dollar that men made that year, and Hispanic women of any race were paid 57 cents for every dollar, according to the Department of Labor.

The pay gap is narrower for women of a certain age

Working women between in their mid-20s and early 30s face a smaller wage gap compared to men’s earnings than other women. In 2022, women and girls aged 16 and older made about 18 cents less for every dollar men earned, according to Pew. Meanwhile, women between the ages of 25 and 34 made an average of 92 cents for every dollar earned by a man in that same age group.

There is a gender pay gap in every state in the country

Gender pay disparities vary by state. But a gender pay gap exists in all 50 states and Washington D.C. In fact, the only place under U.S. jurisdiction that reported equal earnings between men and women last year was Puerto Rico.

Women made strikingly less money that men that year in Wyoming, Utah and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Discrimination plays a part in the pay gap

There are many measurable reasons why full-time and year-round working men and women make different amounts of money, including age, education, worked hours and industry, according to the Department of Labor. But about 70 percent of the wage gap “cannot be attributed to measurable differences between workers,” a brief from the department states.

And at least some part of the wage gap stems from discrimination, which is hard to measure.

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