March 24 Is Equal Pay Day This Year, Reminding People of the Gender Pay Gap

March 24 Is Equal Pay Day This Year, Reminding People of the Gender Pay Gap

LANSING - Equal Pay Day — timed to represent how far into the year women must work to equal what men earned the previous year — is today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women still don’t make the same amount for every dollar men earn.

In 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, women earned 82 cents to every dollar earned by men.

The census said 34 million women work in jobs officially classified as essential, and women represent the majority of workers in several occupations, including health care, education, personal care and sales and office occupations.

But despite women’s substantial presence in essential jobs, the disparity between total median earnings for women and men exists across occupations deemed essential.

Because women make up a large portion of the essential workforce, the census said they have played a critical role in the U.S. economy and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to stats from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1973, full-time working women earned a median of 56.6 cents to every dollar men earned, and in 2019, 46 years later, women earned 82.3 cents to every dollar men earned, a gain of 25.6 cents.

In addition to Women’s History Month, Equal Pay Day is an important reminder that the gender pay gap is narrowing but continues.

The Office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has not released a statement about Equal Pay Day yet, but said earlier this month that according to the National Women's Law Center, women overall working full-time, year-round are typically paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.

It also said more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women in Michigan continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay, with even greater disparities across race and ethnicity.

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