Women in Louisiana who work full-time are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to men, a yearly wage gap of $14,469, according to an analysis by the National Partnership for Women & Families.
The report, based on U.S. Census Bureau data, shows that unequal pay means that women in Louisiana lose out on more than $9 billion in income each year. The report was released to coincide with Equal Pay Day.
“This new analysis illustrates the great harm to families, states and metropolitan areas caused by the pervasive gender-based wage gap,” Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a news release. “With most women serving as essential breadwinners for their families, the loss of this critical income has devastating consequences. Local, state and federal lawmakers should make ending gender discrimination in pay and promotions a much higher priority.”
The report says if the gap between men’s and women’s wages in Louisiana were eliminated, each full-time working woman in the state could afford to pay for food for 2.4 more years, buy more than 4,100 gallons of gas, make mortgage and utilities payments for 12 more months or pay rent for 19 more months.
These basic necessities would be particularly important for the 40.2 percent of Louisiana’s women-headed households currently below the poverty level, the report says.