April 20th, 2010

Today is Equal Pay Day, marking the 4 extra months women have to work into 2010 to make the same wages men earned for equal work in 2009.

Working families just can’t afford the gender wage gap. This interactive map shows the career wage gap by state. Over a 40-year period, a man will earn, on average, $488,000 more than a woman working in Alabama with the same education.

Meanwhile, this map shows that 42.4 percent of working women in Alabama are the primary breadwinners for their household, and 24.9 percent of them are co-breadwinners.  Their lost income has a real impact on children and other dependents, especially at a time when men are more likely to be laid off than women.

And there is a direct link between women’s earning power and poverty.  In Alabama, 45.4 percent of female-headed households with children live below the federal poverty line, compared to 19.5 percent of all families with children.

Women’s wage gap by state, via the American Community Survey (PDF)

Posted by Robyn Hyden