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Eye On Boise

Idaho’s gender pay gap ranks among nation’s 10 worst

The American Association of University Women has released its annual 50-state rankings for the gender pay gap, and Idaho ranks 42nd among the states, with median annual earnings in 2016 at $45,305 for men and $34,403 for women. That’s an earnings ratio of 76 percent, compared to the national ratio of 80 percent – meaning women earn 76 percent of men’s salaries.

Idaho improved slightly from 2015, when the state ranked 44th in the nation and median salaries showed women earning 74 percent of what men earned; that year, the national ratio also was 80 percent.

Idaho’s ranking has varied slightly in previous years; in 2014, it was 45th; 2013, 39th; 2012, 42nd; and 2011, 42nd. But the gap between median pay for women and men remained roughly the same, with Idaho women earning between 73 and 76 percent of Idaho men’s median salaries in each of those years.

The AAUW reports, “The gap narrowed over the past half-century, but progress has stalled in recent years.” The federal Equal Pay Act hasn’t been updated since 1963, the group notes; it supports both legislative and executive actions to reduce the gap and ensure fair pay for women.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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