Press Releases

JEC Mother’s Day Report Shows Women Earn 18 Percent Less than Men

Report Highlights Critical Role Mothers Play as Breadwinners for their Families

May 09 2012

Washington, D.C. – With Mother’s Day approaching, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), chaired by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), today released a new report which finds women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men and that this persistent gender pay gap harms families and weakens the economy.

The report entitled, “Mother’s Day Report: Paycheck Fairness Helps Families, Not Just Women,” also shows that mothers’ earnings play a key role in supporting their families.  Two-thirds of mothers work outside the home and one in three working mothers is the only income earner in her family, the report shows. 

“This new JEC report makes clear that women are still getting paid significantly less than men for the same work,” said Chairman Casey.  “The stubborn pay gap harms families who depend on women’s earnings and limits our nation’s economic growth.    We need to close the pay gap and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act will help.”

The report also finds that mothers’ earnings are especially important to lower-income families.  While mothers’ wages account for 38 percent of total family income for the typical two-earner family, for families at the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution, mothers’ earnings provide nearly half (49.5 percent) of household income.

“The pay gap is both a fairness and an economic issue,” continued Casey. “It’s simply wrong that women aren’t paid the same for doing the same work, but there is a steep economic cost as well. When women have fewer dollars in their paycheck, they have less money to support their families and fewer dollars to put back into the economy."

Additionally, the report finds that the gender wage gap varies across states, with women in Louisiana, for example, facing a gender pay gap of 30.6 percent, while the pay gap in California is the lowest – 9.5 percent. (See Table)

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