Published On: Fri, Apr 11th, 2014

Manchin fights to close wage gap

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) this week issued the following statement after the Senate failed to secure enough votes to move forward to debate and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“The fact that working women in West Virginia earn around 70 cents to every dollar a man makes just defies common sense,” Senator Manchin said. “My very first vote in the Senate was for paycheck fairness, and I will continue to fight to close the wage gap because people should earn the same pay for doing the same work. It’s past time that we correct this unfairness to make sure that women are paid what they deserve.”

According to the Census Bureau, in West Virginia, a woman who holds a full-time job is paid, on average, $30,885 per year, while a man who holds a full-time job is paid $44,159 per year. This means that women in West Virginia are paid 70 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly wage gap of $13,274 between men and women who work full time in the state.

In West Virginia, if the wage gap were eliminated, on average, a full-time working woman would have accumulated more money every year for approximately:

• 112 more weeks of food for her family (2.2 years’ worth);

• 14 more months of mortgage and utilities payments;

• 22 more months of rent;

• 3,786 additional gallons of gas.

According to Census Bureau data, women in West Virginia earn less than men in many occupations and all education levels. For example, men in West Virginia with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $48,839, while women with a bachelor’s degree earn on average $35,812.

In the workforce, Census data shows that in:

• Sales and related jobs – women earn 55 percent of male counterparts’ salaries;

• Management, business and financial – women earn 70 percent of male counterparts’ salaries;

• Computer, engineering and science – women earn 81 percent of male counterparts’ salaries.