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Equal Pay Day: How long it takes for NJ women to make what men earn

It took until April 4, 2017 for women in the United States to earn as much money as men had earned in 2016, if you start counting both at the beginning of last year.

Doctor Examining Female Patient With Elbow Pain
Catherine Yeulet, ThinkStock

New Jersey’s “Equal Pay Day” — the date when women’s salaries catch up to men’s from the year before — actually arrived a couple days earlier. But statistics point to continued gaps between pay for men and women in the Garden State. And they make up about an equal amount of the state’s workforce.

According to calculations from the National Women’s Law Center in D.C., women in New Jersey make 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is slightly better than the national average of 80 cents, and New Jersey ranks 17th among the states.

“A lot of times people want to celebrate that we’re making 82 cents and we’re doing better … but that’s still a huge difference in pay. That’s 18 percent that you’re missing out on,” Terri Boyer, executive director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, told New Jersey 101.5.

An analysis from NWLC pointed to significant ethnic disparities in the Garden State when comparing women’s earnings to those of white men. According to their data, New Jersey ranks dead last among the states and D.C. in pay equity for Latina women (43 cents on the dollar). Comparative earnings for African American and Native American women rank 39th and 37th respectively. At 87 cents for every white male dollar earned, Asian women in New Jersey fare the best.

“Wage inequalities are particularly stark in New Jersey because men’s wages are so high; we rank second in the nation for white, non-Hispanic men,” Dana Britton, director of the Rutgers Center for Women and Work, said in a news release. “Our proximity to New York’s financial district and the mix of highly profitable industries in the state pushes wages up, but for some workers more than others. The gaps are so large for Latina workers because they are disproportionately concentrated in lower paying occupations in the service and logistics sectors.”

At the current rate, according to an Equal Pay Day release from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women in the U.S. will not see equal pay until 2059. It will take much longer for women of color.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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