Pay of US women varies by race, study indicates
Updated: 2013-03-27 10:46
By Caroline Berg in New York and Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily)
Asian American and white women working full time in the US in 2012 earned more than Hispanic, Latina and black women, but still lag behind their male counterparts, according to a report.
Compared with salaries for white male workers, Asian women's salaries show the smallest gender pay gap, at 88 percent of white men's earnings, according to an analysis of government data by the American Association of University Women. The pay gap was largest for Hispanic and Latina women, who were paid 59 percent of what white men were paid in 2012, the report showed.
"Education is a primary reason why Asian men and women earn more than other racial groups in the US," said Catherine Hill, AAUW director of research. "Asian men and women have higher levels of educational attainment than any other group in the US." Half of Asian Americans have attained at least a bachelor's degree compared with the national average of 28 percent, according to Hill.
Half of Asian Americans have attained at least a bachelor's degree compared with the national average of 28 percent, according to Hill.
American men earned an average of $54,647 annually, while women earned $43,635, according to five years of data gathered between 2007-11 by the American Community Survey, an ongoing statistical survey by the census bureau.
"Asian-American women are very aware that there is a pay gap between them and men in the same or similar jobs," said Joyce Moy, executive director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute, of the City University of New York. "Asian women have joined their voices with those of women all over the country in support of legislation and policies that rectify these disparities."
In general, women working full time in the US were paid on average 77 percent of what men were paid as of 2011, the report shows.
For working women ages 20-24, the pay gap is 7 percent, and it widens to 24 percent for full-time workers ages 45-54.
On the state level, the study shows the largest wage gap exists in Wyoming, where women were paid only 67 percent of what men were paid in 2011. Vermont had the lowest gap, where women were paid 87 percent of what men were paid.
The AAUW, founded in 1881, says it "empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research." The organization's pay-gap report is based on the AAUW's analysis of data from the US Census Bureau, the Department of Education and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is published annually in connection with National Equal Pay Day, the symbolic date in April when women's wages catch up to men's from the year before. This year, Equal Pay Day falls on April 9.
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