Alabama’s gender wage gap is one of the worst in the nation with women earning, on average, 73 cents for every dollar paid to men.
According to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families, a nonprofit advocacy group promoting fairness in the workplace, this amounts to an annual wage gap of $12,109, which ranks Alabama as the sixth largest gap in the country. But Alabama is not the only state with a wage gap. In fact, every state and 98 percent of the country’s congressional districts have one — Louisiana’s 35-cent gap is the largest, while New York’s is the smallest, at 13 cents. In the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., the pay gap is just 10 cents.
“This analysis is a sobering reminder of the serious harm the wage gap causes women and families all across the country,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “At a time when women’s wages are so critical to the economic well-being of families, the country is counting on lawmakers to work together to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies that would promote equal pay. There is no time to waste.”
Alabama’s gender wage gap spans the state — the report shows that a gap persists in all seven of Alabama’s congressional districts.
Based on the analysis, if the gap between women’s and men’s wages in Alabama were eliminated, each woman who holds a full-time, year-round job in the state could afford to buy food for 1.9 more years, pay for mortgage and utilities for 11 more months, or pay rent for nearly 17 more months.
Basic necessities like these would be particularly important for the 39 percent of Alabama’s woman-headed households currently living below the poverty level.
Ness continued: “Some state lawmakers have taken steps to address the issue by passing legislation to combat discriminatory pay practices and provide other workplace supports. It is past time for federal lawmakers to do the same. We need Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is a common sense proposal that has languished for much too long.”