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Report: Wage gap declines, but won’t close for 30 years

Equal Pay Day was this week, and a new report finds the wage gap between men and women is closing. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research data show full-time working women made 84 cents for every dollar paid to men in 2022.

Weekly earnings in 2023 were at almost 87 cents for full-time working women. For all workers, New York ranks 14th with a pay-equity ratio of around 77 percent.

Jamila K. Taylor, the Institute’s president and CEO, said as good as progress has been, more work needs to be done.

“We do have to strengthen equal payand pay transparency at the federal level. Some states have done this, but it’s not something that is across the board. And, so having a national policy put in place at the federal level will help make things more uniform,” she explained.

She’d also like to see a national minimum-wage increase, and feels eliminating the tipped minimum wage could help close the gap faster.

Such global events as the pandemic didn’t impact the gender pay gap, despite 45% of mothers across the country being out of work.

New York law does make it illegal for employers to pay their workers differently based on “substantially similar work.” This isn’t based on job title but on skill, effort, responsibility and the similarity of working conditions.

At the current pace, the report finds the wage gap won’t be closed until 2053. The report also shows women of color face a higher gender wage gap. Latina women face the largest racial gender wage gap, being paid around 59 cents on the dollar compared with white men. Black women earned almost 66 cents on the dollar to white men in 2022.

This stood out to Taylor, who said there are challenges to bridging all wage gaps for women.

“Ensuring that we’re dealing with this in a comprehensive way. That means creating more opportunities for women in the workforce, no matter what the occupation is. I think that’s going to be key,” she continued.

She added that lawmakers need to come together about national policy to eliminate the gender wage gap. In 2021, the Paycheck Fairness Act passed the U.S. House but failed in the Senate. The bill would have required the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct studies about eliminating gender pay disparities. It would also have required the department to provide information on wage discrimination to help build education about it.