By the Numbers: A Look at the Gender Pay Gap

Why does the gap vary so much from state to state in the United States? There is no single answer to this question, but there are factors that, taken together, can explain at least some of pay gap. First, the kinds of industries in a state form part of the answer. As men and women still tend to work in different industries and in different jobs, their opportunities and earnings vary by state. The sector of the economy can also make a difference. If a state has a large percentage of jobs in the public sector, for example, the pay gap is often narrower. The age and race/ethnicity of a state’s population play a role as well. The gender pay gap within a single group is widest between white women and white men, while the earnings of black and Hispanic women are closer to those of their male counterparts.
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