Quick Hit Ellyn Fortino Monday September 14th, 2015, 10:58am

Illinois Women Won't Achieve Equal Pay Until 2065, Report Finds

The year 2065.

That's when Illinois women are projected to achieve equal pay in the state, if the current rate of progress in closing the gender wage gap continues, shows a recent report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).

Of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, women in Illinois -- who currently make 80 cents on average for every dollar earned by men -- have the 25th shortest wait until they will see equal pay.

In other states, women born today probably will not achieve pay equality during their lifetime if current trends continue.

The gender wage gap will take the longest to close in Wyoming, where women today make only 67.9 cents on the dollar made by men. At the current pace, women in Wyoming won't see equal pay until 2159.

In addition to Wyoming, wage equality is not likely to happen until the next century in four other states: Louisiana, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.

Florida is on track to having its gender pay gap closed in 2038, the soonest out of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, according to the research. In Florida, the earnings ratio between women and men is currently 85 percent. 

Nationwide, women earn 79.2 cents for every dollar paid to men. IWPR estimates it will take until 2058 to close the gap at the national level.

For the typical woman born between 1955 to 1959, the gender wage disparity has meant a cumulative lifetime loss in earnings of $531,502, the report showed. Average liftetime earning losses are nearly $800,000 among college-educated women born between 1955 to 1959.

Current figures show that a "woman working full-time, year-round with a bachelor's degree earns wages comparable to a man with an associate's degree, and a woman with a graduate degree earns less than men with bachelor's degrees," IWPR explains.

Here's a chart from the report showing how women stack up to men in terms of earnings by education level:

In addition to the gender wage gap, the report explored other areas related to women's employment and earnings. The group assigned each state and the District of Columbia a grade based on the gender wage gap plus women's level of earnings, labor force participation and representation in professional and managerial occupations.

Illinois scored relatively well, earning a grade of 'B-' and the 16th best state ranking. In 2013, median annual earnings for full-time Illinois women working stood at $40,000. Also, the report showed 61 percent of Illinois women were in the labor force in 2013 and 40 percent held professional and managerial jobs.

According to IWPR, the District of Columbia is the best place for women's employment and earnings and West Virginia is the worst.

Overall, many states haven't seen much improvement recently as it relates to women's economic well-being, explained IWPR President Heidi Hartmann. 

"When we looked back at how the states measured up in the past, we found that, despite progress in many parts of the country, women's status on employment and earnings either worsened or stalled in nearly half of the states in the last decade," she said. "When half the country is not seeing any gains in women's employment and earnings, it is a concerning prospect for the nation's economy as a whole." 


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