The fact that women’s wages lag behind men’s is nothing new, but a new report is showing that the minimum wage may have something to do with it.
According to a study by the National Women’s Law Center, the average gender wage gap in states with minimum wages above the federally mandated $7.25 per hour is smaller than the pay gap in states where the minimum wage meets the $7.25 criteria. Of the ten states with the widest wage gaps in 2011, only two had minimum wages above $7.25 per hour. All of the states with the narrowest wage gaps had minimum wages above the federally mandated level.
“The gap in wages has moved at a snail’s pace—shrinking only 18 cents in five decades and remaining stagnant for the last decade,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger. “And for women of color, the wage gap is even worse. Equal pay is not an abstract principle for women and their families.”