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Gender wage gap: Nevada’s not the worst

By John Seelmeyer
Published: Last Updated on

Women in Nevada don’t make as much as men, but the gap isn’t as wide in Nevada as elsewhere in the United States.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a study a few days ago that found women working full-time jobs in Nevada had median weekly earnings of $776. For men, median weekly earnings were $920.

(The agency used 2019 figures in its study, and it didn’t break the numbers down by county or city.)

The ratio of women’s earnings to men’s earnings in Nevada — 84.3% — is slightly better than the national average of 81.5%.

On the other hand, Nevada women lost some ground since 2018, when their median paycheck was 87.1% of those earned by men.

The federal researchers cautioned against reading too much into the numbers. Earnings, they noted, can reflect job skills and responsibilities, work experience and specialization.

The 515,000 working women in Nevada counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics account for nearly 44% of workers in the state.

Nationally, Maryland has the highest ratio of women-to-men earnings — 89.1%.  Wyoming had the lowest, at 72.5%.  In part, the researchers said that reflects the kinds of jobs found in each state.

The median earnings for men nationwide were $1,007 in 2019. For women, the figure was $821.

Digging deeper into the national figures, the researchers said women aged 35-44 earn the biggest paychecks — a median of $920. Men in the same age group have median earnings of $1,149.

Generally, the researchers found, the wage gap has been shrinking among younger workers.

And the gap has been closing rapidly for college-educated women. Since 1979, the researchers said, the inflation-adjusted paychecks of women with college degrees rose 38%, while earnings for men rose 21%.

On the other hand, things have been going south for men with only a high school degree.

The federal study found their inflation-adjusted earnings have fallen by 17% since 1979. Women with high school diplomas have seen a modest 4% increase after inflation.

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