A new study by a women's advocacy group stated Monday that, on average, full-time working women earn just 79 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts. File Photo by FotograFFF/Shutterstock
WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- Every single year, women in the United States leave about $500 billion on the table because they aren't paid as well as their male counterparts, according to new research by a women's advocacy group.
Based on U.S. Census statistics, the National Partnership for Women & Families evaluated the difference in the wage gap between men and women and found the disparity to be about a half-trillion dollars annually.
In other words, the study noted, full-time working women typically earn 79 cents for every dollar made by men -- a difference of about $10,700 every year for every American woman.
"This analysis is a sobering reminder of the serious harm the wage gap causes women and families all across the country and especially women of color," NPWF President Debra Ness said in a statement Monday. "At a time when women's wages are so critical to the economic well-being of families, the country is counting on lawmakers to work together to advance strong, fair and family friendly workplace policies that would promote equal pay. There is no time to waste."
The group's report, based on statistical data from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., came a day before Equal Pay Day in the United States, which seeks to underscore the fiscal difference.
The federal government had hoped to put an end to substantial wage disparity with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 -- legislation that helped narrow the gap, but has not succeeded in eliminating it.
"It is unacceptable that the wage gap has persisted, punishing the country's women and families for decades," Ness said. "Some state lawmakers have taken steps to address the issue by passing legislation to combat discriminatory pay practices and provide other workplace supports. It is past time for federal lawmakers to do the same. We need Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is a common sense proposal that has languished for much too long."
When broken down demographically, the group's report showed even more disparity. Black and Hispanic women earn just 60 cents and 55 cents, respectively, to every dollar made by white males. Asian women, who fared better than most women, earned just 84 cents in that regard.
The 10 states with the largest gaps, the research found, are Louisiana, Utah, Wyoming, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana and Michigan. Washington, D.C., fared the best -- with a gap of just 10 cents for every dollar -- for working women. New York is rated as the state with the smallest gap (13 cents).
The NPWF acknowledged new legislation in Congress, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close some of the fiscal loopholes in the 1963 law.