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Wage gap between men and women still exists in San Diego

Although 50 years have passed since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law, women in San Diego and throughout the entire U.S. are still earning less than men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are earning about 82.2 cents for every dollar men earn.

The numbers do vary by state, though. According to statistics, Wyoming weighs in as one of the worst offenders, paying women an average of 69.7 cents for every dollar men earn. The wage gap between men and women is smallest in California, with women earning nearly 90 cents for every dollar men earn. Although there is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to complying with the Equal Pay Act of 1963, at the time the act was passed 50 years ago, women were only earning a mere 58.9 percent of what men were earning.

It seems the notion of equal pay is still a concerning issue in the U.S., but it is not necessarily for the reasons one might think. In California and some other states, many women feel as though they are paid less than men because they do not qualify for the higher paying jobs. Many of the higher paying jobs are for occupations that are geared towards men, requiring physical strength. The wage gap is not necessarily due to discrimination, but the nature of work that is available in some areas.

It seems urban areas with more white-collar jobs show less disparity between wages earned by men and women while rural areas show a larger gap. The reason may be because white-collar jobs create a more level playing field in which males and females are doing comparable work.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “50 years later, women are still paid less,” Ann Belser, Jan. 23, 2013

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