Abortion, political party connect to gender pay gap, report finds — see NJ’s numbers
Women make more in New Jersey than women in most other states, but that number is still far below the annual pay earned by men in the Garden State, according to a new analysis.
Using full-time wage data from the 2020 census, personal finance technology company MoneyGeek found that women's earnings in New Jersey amount to 80.2% of men's earnings.
Among the 50 states, that gap ranks at No. 25. There are no states where women make at least 90% of their male counterparts, according to the analysis.
"Women's earnings in New Jersey are the third highest in the country, yet they're still making around $14,000 less annually than men," said Melody Kasulis, data analyst for MoneyGeek.
The monthly gap amounts to around $1,180 in New Jersey.
Nationally in 2022, women's earnings fell to 82.4% of men's in the second quarter of 2022, from 83.1% in 2021, according to the report.
In its report, MoneyGeek points to a correlation between a state's gender pay gap and its approach to the subject of abortion. Of the 15 states with the biggest wage gaps, abortion is either considered illegal, restricted, or "not protected."
In state's with expanded abortion access, such as New Jersey, women's earnings are 84.3% of men's, on average. In states where access to abortion was illegal, the report finds, wage gaps were at 77.1%.
According to business expert Melissa Williams at Emory University, who contributed commentary on MoneyGeek's report, the connection between women's economic opportunity and control over their reproductive rights "is very tight."
"When women face unwanted pregnancies, they are likely to fail to complete their educations, to delay their entry into the workforce and to have fewer hours available for paid work," Williams said. "Without the ability to decide when or whether to have a child, women cannot have the same educational and economic opportunities as men."
The 10 states with the biggest wage gaps in America are all Republican-leaning, according to the report. On average nationwide, women in Republican states earn 3.3% less than those in blue states.