State With The Biggest Wage Gap

Wyoming has the largest gap by gender in the nation.By Tami Luhby

Watch out, women workers in Wyoming. You're probably earning a lot less than the men in your state.

Despite having the nickname "The Equality State," Wyoming has the largest income gap by gender in the nation. Women there earned only 67 cents for every $1 a man earned in 2011, far below the 77-cent average nationwide.

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The state is filled with industrial, energy-sector and construction jobs, which are typically higher-paying and dominated by men. Women, meanwhile, are more likely than men to work in part-time, lower-paying jobs, often to accommodate their family schedules, according to the Wyoming Council for Women's Issues.

More: 4 Fields Where Women Earn More Than Men

More than one-third of respondents to a recent council survey said they are paid less than male colleagues for the same job, and more than half said that they know of other women in the state who are in the same situation.

On the flip side, Washington, D.C., has the smallest gap, at 90 cents to the dollar.

The income gap between men and women continues decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, which forbids pay discrimination on the basis of gender. President John F. Kennedy signed the act into law 50 years ago this week.

For black and Latino women, the picture is even worse, according to a recent analysis by the National Women's Law Center. Black women made only 64 cents for every $1 that a white man earned in 2011 nationwide. Vermont had the smallest gap at 79 cents, while Louisiana had the widest at 49 cents. Vermont also had the smallest wage gap for Latino women, with women earning 72 cents for every $1 earned by a white man. California had the widest gap at 43 cents. Nationally, Latino women earned 56 cents for every $1 a white man earned.


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