Wage Gap for Kentucky Women One of Worst in the Nation

By: Brenton Ward

A new report out today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research purports that for for the past decade, the economic status for women in almost half of U.S. has either remained unchanged or worsened. Six of the bottom 10 states cited in the report are located in the south, with Kentucky ranking in the bottom third.  The report goes on to content that if women’s economic progress continues at this rate, the average wage gap between women and men isn’t expected to close for another 43 years nationally, and another 15 years after for women living in Kentucky.

“When half the country is not seeing any gains in women’s employment and earnings, it is a concerning prospect for the nation’s economy as a whole,” said IWPR President and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D, in the reports press release.

The report, “The Status of Women in the United States: 2015 Employment and Earnings” was compiled using data on women’s employment and earnings taken from government agencies and other sources, such the U.S. census, choosing indicators that “prior research and experience have shown illuminate issues that are integral to women’s lives,” according to the report’s methodology section.  While there are several factors to consider when comparing individual incomes on a large scale, women in America, on average, make about 78 cents for every dollar a man makes for a comparable job. The average women working in the United States is purported to lose more than $530,000 over her lifetime due to the gap, with losses being greater for women with higher education. Women with a college education will have lost almost $800,00 by the time she turns 59.

According to the report, women in Kentucky make 77.6 cents for every dollar a man earns. Millennial women experience depression 18.2 more days per year than Millennial men. 31.6% of employed women work in low-wage jobs, while men are 2.4 times more likely to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) occupations than women.The report also noted discrepancies among groups of women of different ages, races and ethnicity.  TK Logan, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Behavioral Science and the Center on Drug & Alcohol research, serves on the national advisory committee of the report.  “States were ranked based on performance in four areas including median annual earning for women who work full time, gender earnings ratio for full-time workers, women’s labor force participation, and the percent of employed women who work in managerial or professional occupations,” she said in a UKNOW release.

To view the full report visit, http://statusofwomendata.org

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