The Federal Government has released the latest data on employment and wages. The news on women’s wages is disheartening but not new: women must work for 16 months to receive the amount of pay their male co-workers (performing the same tasks) make in just 12.

Women With College Degrees

Women with college degrees, on average, make $0.77 for every $1.00 made by their male counterparts. The news is even worse for women without college educations, they earn between $0.52 and $0.62 for every $1.00. Especially hurt by these figures are minority women of African American and Hispanic origin.
Research also shows that the income of single working moms is well below the poverty level. This has an adverse effect on children. Families living in poverty stricken areas often go without the basic necessities of decent clothing, food, and medical care. These areas tend to have schools of poorer quality. Rarely do these children have the opportunity to attend college. The result is that, not only is the economy hurt, but so if the future of a whole generation of children, and ultimately, the future of the United States.

Unemployment

The recent bad economy has hurt women (without education) more than men. While men found jobs in the recent months, women have lost them. To put salt in an already opened wound, women receive less unemployment benefits than men. Why? Because unemployment benefits are based on a worker’s past salary. Since women have earned less through the years, their current benefits are less.
Retired women have less savings then men. Again, the reason for this disparity is based on income. While women with degrees tend to save for retirement (more than non-degreed women) their savings is still less than a man’s. This is due to the fact that retirement funds are often based on a percentage of income. Women receive less social security retirement benefits for this same reason.
Women working in businesses in big cities earn more than those working at labor jobs in the mid-west. Women working in the nation’s capitol (Washington, D.C) earn the most, while women in the state of Wyoming earn the least.

Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act is coming up for a vote in Congress. This would give women more rights and ammunition in their fight for equal pay. If this legislature is passed, not only can women sue for back pay, but they can also collect punitive damages. It allows women to unite in class action suites. It protects workers who choose to share their wage information. Finally, it would require employers to report their salary base to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Even if this law is passed, the best bet for women to ensure their future is through a college degree.
Want to learn more about women’s wages? Follow this link to learn more: http://www.pay-equity.org/. Read what President Obama said about equal pay.

Earn your bachelor’s degree, it will come back to you in higher earnings and more job opportunities.

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