Today is Equal Pay Day – April 9 represents how far into 2013 women have to work to match what men earned in 2012.
A new analysis based on Census data shows that women employed full-time in Nebraska are paid 79 cents for every dollar men earn, or an annual gap of $8,758. The National Partnership for Women & Families found that this amounts to a loss of $2.5 billion in income a year for Nebraska women. In Iowa, women earn 77 cents for each dollar men earn.
“This new analysis illustrates the great harm to families, states and metropolitan areas caused by the pervasive gender-based wage gap,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “With most women serving as essential breadwinners for their families, the loss of this critical income has devastating consequences. Local, state and federal lawmakers should make ending gender discrimination in pay and promotions a much higher priority.”
The gap in Nebraska is better than the national average. Nationwide, women working full-time are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. The group said the wage gap has been closing at a rate of less than a half-cent per year since the Equal Pay Act passed in 1963.
Ness said the group urges Congress to pass of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which she said would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, break patterns of wage discrimination, and establish stronger workplace protections for women. The bill was reintroduced in Congress in January. President Obama asked Congress to pass it in his State of the Union address in February.