In 2019, women who were full-time workers (35 hours or more per week) had median weekly earnings on the level of 81.5 percent ($821) of male full-time workers ($1,007). It represented significant progress compared to 1979 when women’s earnings were 62 percent of men’s (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s, for full-time workers, 1979-2019 annual averagesSource: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, among the 50 states, women’s median weekly earnings in full-time positions ranged from $669 in Mississippi to $1,017 in Maryland in 2019.

Maryland had the highest women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s that reached 89.1 percent ($1,017 for women and $1,142 for men), and Wyoming had the lowest, 72.5 percent ($762 for women and $1,051 for men) (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s, for full-time workers, by state, 2019 annual averagesSource: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2019, Midwest states differed significantly in women’s-to-men’s ratio that ranged from a low of 73.6 percent in Indiana ($726 for women and $986 for men) to a high of 83.6 percent in Nebraska ($786 for women and $940 for men) (Figure 3).

In three Midwestern states, women made more than that the nationwide average of 81.5 percent of their earnings of male workers: Minnesota (82.3 percent), Wisconsin (82.4 percent), and Nebraska (83.6 percent).

Figure 3. Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s, for full-time workers, by Midwest state, 2019 annual averagesSource: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Women’s participation in the workforce could explain that the wage and salary gap between men and women is less severe in some Midwestern states than it is nationally and might clarify the differences between Midwestern states. In Indiana, working women as a percentage of working men were 77.6 percent compared to 84.9 percent in Nebraska in 2019.

Author: Zuzana Bednarikova, zbednari@purdue.edu

Dr. Zuzana Bednarikova is a Research and Extension Specialist at NCRCRD.