Dig Baton Rouge

Report: Women in La. earning less – way less – than men

According to new federal data, women in Louisiana earned about 75 cents on the dollar compared to what men earned on average last year.

The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2016 the average median weekly income for women full-time wage and salary workers was $659. That’s 76.4 percent of the $863 median usual weekly earnings of men in the same positions.

That puts Louisiana 45th lowest in the country for its gender pay gap. Vermont had the highest earnings ratio at 90.2 percent, and Utah the lowest at 69.9 percent. The national average was around 82 percent.

The pay gap in Louisiana has ticked up from previous years, including the state’s lowest point in 2009 when women were earning 65 percent of what men made. However, analysts say unless something changes women won’t see parity with men’s pay under current conditions until the year 2059.

The National Partnership for Women and Families, which studies the pay gap, said it winds up hurting Louisiana families and the state economy by reducing the overall spending ability of many families. They said that according to U. S. Census data, more than 270,000 households in the state are headed by women, and 39 percent of those fall below the poverty line.

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