June 20, 2018
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Maine ranks ninth in nation for pay equality, but women still earn only 83 cents to men’s dollar

By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — A report using newly released census data shows that women in Maine make an average of 83 cents for every dollar earned by men.

That figure puts Maine at ninth place nationwide in terms of pay equality, said the American Association of University Women, which released the study on the wage gap Thursday.

Washington, D.C., where women earn 90 percent of what men do, ranked first, while Wyoming — 64 percent— ranked last.

Nationally, women earn 77 percent the wages of men — the same as it’s been for more than 10 years, after increasing steadily from 58 percent in 1972, the study states. The study compares women and men who are full-time, year-round workers.

The figure represents a comparison of the median annual income for men — $42,280 — and women — $35,057. Median income represents the middle of the economic spectrum, with an equal number of people making more or less.

Women in southern Maine fare better than their northern counterparts. In the southern and more urban 1st Congressional District, women make 82 cents on men’s dollar. In the 2nd Congressional District, they make 78 cents for every $1 men in the district earn.

The study also indicated that, nationwide, the wage gap increases with age. Younger women’s earnings are closer to men’s, while older women’s are much lower. It also shows that education is no protection against income inequality between the genders.

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