Wage gap costs Black women more than $877K

Based on today’s wage gap, an African American woman starting her career now will lose, on average, $877,480 over a 40-year career, according to new analysis released today by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). In six states, African American women will lose more than $1 million over this period. This analysis (click to view report), which includes a state-by-state map, is being released in advance of African American Equal Pay Day on August 23—when African American women finally catch up to white men’s pay from the prior year.

“African American women shouldn’t need to work more than 66 years to earn what a white man earns in 40 years,” said Emily Martin, NWLC Vice President for Workplace Justice. “If we don’t act now to ensure equal pay, for many women of color, the cost of the lifetime wage gap will surpass a million dollars. We literally can’t afford to ignore this.”

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • African American women typically make just 60 cents for every dollar white men make.
  • African American women have to work 20 months to make what white men did in 12.
  • African American women with high levels of education still experience a wage gap—African American women with a bachelor’s degree typically make $46,825 per year—only $1,849 more than white men with only a high school degree ($1.06 for every dollar).

The six states, including the District of Columbia, where African American women stand to lose over $1 million during a 40-year career are:

  • District of Columbia ($1,595,200)
  • New Jersey ($1,231,600)
  • Connecticut ($1,140,400)
  • Louisiana ($1,134,880)
  • California ($1,046,960)
  • Massachusetts ($1,022,440)

NWLC economic experts are available to discuss the broader implications of the wage gap for African American women.

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Note: All figures are for full time, year round workers. Figures for whites exclude Hispanics.

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