Thursday, December 29, 2011

Disparity: Mainstream Washington women mainly treading water in wages

Call it the Evergreen Ceiling. Maybe that’s an appropriate and awfully unfortunate new Washington sobriquet -- what with our ranking 41st nationally in the wage disparity between women and men.

So reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to this recent "Disparity in wages puts Washington at No. 41" article in the Spokesman-Review newspaper.  Here’s the specific, state-by-state table on the bureau’s website.

That's right. By a good many measures, the Evergreen State justly prides itself on the accomplishments of citizens who make up more than half of its population:
  • Women U.S. senators? Check.
  • Woman governor? Check.
  • Woman Chief Justice of state Supreme Court? Check.
  • Woman majority leader in state Senate? Check.
  • Women significant percentages in both state legislative chambers? Check.

But when it comes to wages for average working women, that's another story. Consider that in 2010 women totaled 938,000 and men 1,255,000 of the state's workforce of 2,193,000.

Washington women working full time earned $748 a week in 2010, which is 76.5 percent of the $978 that the men here took home every week. On average, U.S. women earned $669 a week, which is 81.2 percent of the median weekly wage of $824 for men.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.