Sunday, 14 December 2014

Last Blog post - The wage gap

The wage Gap

The most well-known aspect of the wage gap issue in America is that women are paid less than men for doing the same jobs, but the wage gap also extends to men of colour as well. It is also less well known that a wage gap is present between that of a white man and a man of colour, with a white man being paid more.

Every state in America experiences the wage gap, with Washington D.C having the smallest wage gap and Louisiana having the largest. Women in Washington D.C are paid 91 percent of what white men are paid compared to Louisiana where women are only paid 66 percent of what white men are paid. This wage gap is present no matter the occupation, even in female dominated fields the gap is still present. Although the wage gap can increase dramatically further for certain occupations.

For women of colour this gap is even worse, the largest gap being for Hispanic women who are only paid 54 percent of white men’s earnings. As the wage gap increases for women of colour it suggests the wage gap is an issue of gender and race rather than of other factors such as the level of education of the person. Although having a higher level of education can narrow the wage gap, the gap is still present for black and Hispanic women even when they have the same education as their white and Asian female peers. This shows that there is still a high level of racial discrimination in wages.

As well as all this, the wage gap is effected by age. Women on average earn about 90 percent of what men are paid until they are 35 and then the wage gap increases so that women are only paid 75-80 percent of what a man would earn.

 The issues with wage gaps extends to men of colour also, as the average black man will earn only $665 per week compared to the $768 a white man would earn for the same job. This means for every dollar the white man is paid the black man only earns 87 cents. The wage gap then further increases for Latino Americans who only get paid 77 cents per dollar the average white American would earn. What is interesting is that Asian men in America on average are paid 137 cents for every dollar the average American earns.

As well as these inequalities in pay for different genders and ethnic groups, there is also a very prominent wage gap for those of certain occupations. The average fast food worker will only be paid $382 a week compared to fast food service managers who are paid $744 a week. Adding to this all of the other factors mentioned above and a fast food worker could be paid much less than this. For example, if a Hispanic women worked in Louisiana and was over the age of 35 she would be paid significantly less than a white male of the same age working the same job for the same hours.

There is also further discrimination for working mothers, those with disabilities, and LGBT* individuals.

Wage gaps are present in other countries too, with the Annual survey of Hours and Earnings 2012 in the UK showed that the hourly rate of pay for men was £16.50, compared to £14.05 for women. This survey showed that women working full time would still earn £5,000 less than a male in the same occupation per year.

The wage gap issue is obviously not just one confined to America, but it is a much bigger problem in America. President Obama has signed several acts to address the wage gap issues in America, but the senate Republicans have voted against them each time meaning there is minimal help for those affected by the wage gap and no sign of change.

The fact that a wage gap even exists shows that there is still existing discrimination against certain people in American society, and the fact that here has been minimal effort to try and change this problem shows that this isn't just a problem that hasn't been fixed, it is a problem that a large proportion of American's do not care about fixing. The very fact that there is a political group who actively stopped acts being passed that could aid this problem shows how there are still a lot of very discriminative beliefs held in America. 


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