The one state where a gender pay gap will live for another century


Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The U.S. gender wage gap is expected to close in 2058. The map shows how many years faster or slower the wage gap will close in each state compared with the U.S.

Wyoming is home to a yawning and enduring wage gap between men and women’s pay, according to data highlighted Tuesday for Equal Pay Day.

The Cowboy State has the longest expected wait within the U.S. for women workers to earn the same as men, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports.

Wyoming’s gender wage gap — the difference in earnings between full-time, year-round women and men adult workers — is projected to close in 2159, says IWPR, a Washington-based think tank. So, it’ll be 143 years until Wyoming women may make the same money as men.

As seen in the chart, that span is 101 years longer than for the country as a whole. The U.S. pay gap is expected to close in 2058, in about 42 years from now.

Wyoming’s wait period eclipses those in other states. The No. 2 longest wait is in Louisiana, where the gap is seen closing by 2106 (90 years from now and 48 years longer than the U.S.). And the No. 3 longest wait is in North Dakota, where the gap is seen closing in 2104 (88 years from now and 46 years longer than the U.S.).

The industrial makeup of these areas could be behind the pay-gap trends. Mining, which pays relatively well (the sector’s annual mean wage is $63K vs $48K among all U.S. occupations), is a dominant industry in Wyoming. Women make up about one-in-seven jobs within the U.S. mining and logging industries.

Woman’s Work has written before about ongoing inequity in the workplace. Women’s earnings are about 80% of men’s among full-time workers. They need to increasingly enter well-paid jobs and industries to make as much as men. But currently women dominate the most common low-wage occupations, such as childcare workers and home health aides.

At the other end of the inequity spectrum among states, the gender wage gap is expected to close the fastest in Florida — by 2038, or 20 years ahead of the U.S. In both California and Maryland, the gaps are expected to close by 2042, or 16 years before the U.S.



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