US Pay Equity: Lingering Gap Despite Progress

Pay equity, or the principle that people should receive equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender, race, or other demographic characteristics, has been a longstanding issue in the United States.

Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963 and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, which were aimed at addressing pay disparities based on gender and other protected characteristics, significant pay gaps still exist. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women in the U.S. earn approximately 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, while women of color face even wider pay disparities.

According to an analysis from Forbes, women earned 17% less than men on average. Men in the legal profession earn 59% more than women in the same field and women of color are among the lowest-paid workers in rural areas, with rural Black and Hispanic women making just 56 cents for every dollar that rural white, non-Hispanic men make.

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