If Wage Gap Closed, Texas Women Could Afford More Than Nine Additional Months of Rent, 16 Additional Months of Child Care or Nearly Seven Additional Months of Health Insurance Premiums.
A new state-by-state analysis released on the eve of Equal Pay Day by the National Partnership for Women & Families finds that women employed full time, year-round in Texas are typically paid just 81 cents for every dollar paid to a man in Texas – a yearly pay difference of $9,178. This annual wage gap represents money Texas women could be spending on housing, child care or health insurance costs. If the wage gap were closed, on average, a working woman in Texas would be able to afford more than nine additional months of rent, 16 additional months of child care, or nearly seven additional months of premiums for employer-based health insurance.
Working women in Texas – who lose a combined total of nearly $81 billion due to the wage gap each year – are not alone in experiencing the effects of the wage gap. The National Partnership’s new study concludes that there is a gender-based wage gap in every single state and the District of Columbia. The cents-on-the-dollar gap is largest in Louisiana, followed closely by Utah, Indiana and Alabama – and smallest in California and the District of Columbia. The study also analyzed the wage gap in each of Texas’ congressional districts, as well as for Black women and Latinas in Texas and other states.
The nation’s persistent wage gap is especially harmful for women of color. The analysis finds that nationally, Latinas are typically paid 53 cents, Native American women 58 cents, Black women 61 cents, white, non-Hispanic women 77 cents, and Asian American women 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wage gap for mothers – who are breadwinners in half of families with children under 18 – is 71 cents compared to every dollar paid to fathers.
“The wage gap is truly a chasm that impedes women’s ability to support ourselves and our families, pursue and achieve our dreams, and save for the future,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “This gap persists across industry, occupation and education level. It does not have a single cause and will not be eliminated with a single solution. The U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would help end harmful practices that lead to pay discrimination and establish stronger workplace protections and remedies for women who face discrimination, is an encouraging step, but lawmakers must do more. To erase the gender wage gap lawmakers must also raise the federal minimum wage and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for workers who rely on tips, and workers with disabilities; pass legislation to end sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination; set national standards for paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and predictable schedules; and increase access to high-quality, reproductive health care. Women and their families in Texas and across the country cannot afford to wait.”
Findings for each state from the National Partnership’s new wage gap analysis are available at NationalPartnership.org/Gap.
National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care, and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.