MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Women in Minnesota earn just 83 percent of what the state’s men do on average, according to a new study.
The study, from the American Association of University Women, found median annual earnings for men in Minnesota in 2016 were $53,200 compared to $44,132 for women. This ranks Minnesota 12th in the nation in terms of gender pay gap.
New York – where women in 2016 earned 89 percent of what their male counterparts did – has the smallest pay gap in the nation, according to the AAUW.
In 2016, Louisiana had the largest pay gap in the United States — women earned just 70 percent of what their male counterparts did.
The pay gap is worst for women of color and mothers, the AAUW said.
Minnesota ranked 18th in 2015, with women earning 81 percent compared to men, so the 2016 numbers represent a slight improvement.
Still, the AAUW makes recommendations for both Minnesota and the United States as a whole to close the gap, including increasing protections against discrimination and establishing legal remedies for wage discrimination.
Three proposed laws — the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Pay Equity for All Act and the Fair Pay Act — would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, prohibit employers from using a person’s salary history to determine their future pay and require employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value, regardless of whether the jobs are the same.
On the local level, the AAUW recommends contacting your member of Congress to encourage them to fight for equal pay.