Seattle has a new distinction - having the biggest wage gap between men and women of any major metropolitan area nationwide. This comes on April 9th, National Equal Pay Day.
"Today we commemorate yet another Equal Pay Day - a date determined based on just how far the average woman has to work into the new year to earn what their male colleagues earned doing the same work in the previous year," U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said in a statement. "Presently it takes the average woman 464 days to earn what a man makes in just 365 days."
A number of recent studies have highlighted the difference in pay received by men and women. One study reported that on average, women in Seattle make 73 cents for every dollar their male counterparts bring home. That means the average woman makes $16,346 annually.
"But today isn't just about women," Murray said. "And it's not just about fairness. It's about the economy. And unfortunately, a recent study shows women in the Seattle area have it the hardest, suffering from the largest gender pay gap in the United States, meaning women have less money to put food on the table, stay in their homes, build a nest egg for retirement, and help pay for their children's education."
Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Detroit have the next largest gaps after Seattle. Los Angeles has the smallest gender wage gap, with the average woman making just eight cents less than the average man.
The passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963 has helped close the gap, but only at a rate of less than half a cent per year. Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar men are paid.
The numbers were released by National Partnership for Women & Families, a workplace-rights group.
The study said if the wage gap in the Seattle area were eliminated, each full-time working woman could afford to pay for:
- Food for 2.3 more years.
- 4,300+ more gallons of gas.
- Eight months of mortgage and utilities or rent for 16 more months.