Nationally, women earned 82.1 percent of what men earned, according to BLS. Women earn less than 75 cents on the dollar in another four states: Louisiana, Alaska, Utah and West Virginia. Vermont and D.C. are the only areas where women earn more than 90 cents on the dollar. (In Vermont, they earn 91.3 cents for every dollar men earn. In D.C., they earn 90.8 cents.) The median, or middle value, is often used instead of an average in order to minimize the impact of outliers — small groups of very high or very low values.
Here’s a look at the breakdown by state, along with a handful of other findings in the new report.
The gender pay gap, by state
The gender pay gap ranges from 68.6 percent to 91.3 percent among states, thanks in part to the variation in the types of jobs available in each state and differences in the demographic makeup of each state’s workforce, BLS reports. But take the state-by-state comparisons with a grain of salt, BLS warns.
“In general, the sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national estimates; thus, comparisons of state estimates should be made with caution,” the report’s authors write. “In addition, it should be noted that while earnings are shown based on workers’ state of residence, their reported earnings may or may not be from a job located in the same state.”
The comparisons between earnings for women and men are also “not controlled for differences in important determinants of earnings such as age, occupation, and educational attainment,” BLS adds further down in the report. The comparison being made is not necessarily between people working in the same job or with the same experience.
Generally, the pay gap is closing
While full-time and salaried women workers may still only earn 82.1 cents on the dollar compared to men, that value is an improvement on the less than 65 cents earned in 1979. Since then, the pay gap has been closing, for the most part.
The gender pay gap was widest for Asians and Whites
The gender pay gap was widest for Asian women, who earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to Asian men, according to BLS. The pay gap for white women was 82 percent, while Black and Hispanic women earn 91 percent of what their male counterparts earn.
White women have outpaced Black and Hispanic women in closing the pay gap since 1979. Their inflation-adjusted earnings rose 31 percents, while earnings only rose 20 percent for black women and 15 percent for Hispanic women. Inflation-adjusted earnings for white and black men dropped by 1 percent and 2 percent, respectively.