It is going to take another 43 years for women’s average pay in North Carolina to catch up with that of men.
If average earnings of women and men employed full-time, year-round change at the rate they did from 1959-2015, the national gender-wage gap will close in 2059, a year before it closes in North Carolina, according to figures released last week from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a nonprofit Washington think tank.
IWPR’s figures show that a woman on average makes 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.
When IWPR breaks down the wage numbers by race, some women will not experience gender-pay equity for much later down the line: Black women will experience pay equity by 2124, and Latina women will get there by 2248, according to IWPR. White women on average will see pay equity by 2056.
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Women in Florida will attain average pay equity in 2038, according to IWPR, while in four states – North Dakota, Utah, Louisiana and Wyoming – women will not see equal pay in the 22nd century.
“A slow crawl toward equal pay is a drag on each state’s economy, not to mention the U.S. economy overall,” said Heidi Hartmann, IWPR president.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the gender-wage gap, including differences in education, experience, occupation/industry and family responsibilities. But even accounting for those factors a gender-wage gap remains, which suggests discrimination may play a role, the White House Council of Economic Advisers wrote in a 2016 report.
In recent years, lawmakers, including former President Barack Obama, have aimed to address the pay gap through updating overtime rules and pushing for a higher minimum wage.
In North Carolina, the minimum wage is the same as the national minimum wage – $7.25 an hour – and has been so since 2009. The state’s House Bill 2, signed into law a year ago, prevents cities and counties from increasing their minimum wages.
Equal Pay Day is April 4.