The working women of Florida are earning 87 cents for every dollar men make, according to a new study released the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Based on the study, women make a median income of $36,746 in contrast to the median income of $42,261 that men make.
This makes for an annual wage gap of $5,515, which is slightly up from the year before when it was $5,474.
The discrepancy is magnified when comparing white (non-Hispanic), black, Latina, Native America and Asian American women to white (non-Hispanic) men.
According to U.S. Census data, more than 1 million Florida households are headed by women.
On the national level, women are making about 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to U.S. Census data processed by the American Association of University Women.
The National Partnership for Women & Families report stated the pay gap is costing women more than $900 billion every year in lost wages.
An AAUW research paper revealed the pay gap starts as early as a year after graduation. “Among business majors, for example, women earned just over $38,000, while men earned just over $45,000,” the report stated.
Kim Churches, AAUW’s chief executive officer, said the pay gap tends to be narrower for minimum wage jobs and service jobs whereas women accountants, auditors, physicians and surgeons experience the largest gap.
“The gap begins right after you finish your training,” Churches said.
Florida actually has the third narrowest wage gap, sitting behind California, where women make 89 cents to the male dollar, and New York, where women earn 88 cents to the male dollar.
“States whose primary industries tend to be male-dominated ones have wider pay gaps,” said PayScale Vice President Lydia Frank. “We also see that there’s a clear distinction between states that have put equal pay legislation and other policies that are supportive of women into place and those that have not.”
PayScale, a compensation data and software company, released their own report that showed there’s been a one percent improvement on a nationwide level. However, “when men and women with the same employment characteristics do similar jobs, women earn $0.98 for every dollar earned by an equivalent man.”
On March 28, the United States House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would prohibit employers from using salary history and ensure equal pay for equal work among other things.
“By passing this important bill, the House of Representatives has demonstrated its commitment to the economic security of American women and their families,” Churches wrote following the passage of the bill. “The Paycheck Fairness Act provides these tools by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and putting new protections in place for the benefit of all American workers. Its passage is long overdue.”
If the gender pay gap were eliminated in Florida, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families, women could afford nine months of child care, nearly four months of health insurance premiums and almost a year of college tuition and fees.
Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.