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Wage Inequality in the U.S. Persists

The Exchange

The rise of women in the U.S. workforce -- along with their dominance in both the undergraduate and graduate degree arena -- has not brought us very close to income parity on a national level. According to the most recent study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, if the overall U.S. annual wage gap ratio -- which stands at 77 percent according to the Census Bureau -- continues to close at the current pace, male and female incomes on average will not be on equal footing until 2056.

While the wage gap between men and women in the U.S. has significantly narrowed over the past several decades, and females are increasingly becoming the primary household earners, there is still just one U.S. region where full-time female employees earn more than 90 percent of what their male counterparts do. Washington, DC., has that distinction, with female workers earning a median annual wage of $56,127, compared to $61,381 for their male co-workers. Conversely, Wyoming has the largest remaining gender gap, with women earning just 64 percent of what their male counterparts do. At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that close to 40 percent of women in the U.S. are out-earning their husbands. A recent study by Prudential Financial, which surveyed around 1,400 women, shows that 53 percent of these women were primary household breadwinners, with 22 percent of them earning more than their spouses.

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