Find Out How Illinois' Women Rate In Wages And Employment

Mar 18, 2015

Credit Institute for Women's Policy Research

  Illinois earned a B- in a new report assessing status of women’s employment and wages in the states.

The report is a project of the Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

According to the assessment, in Illinois, women earn 80 cents for every dollar men earned, and women will not receive equal pay in the state for another 50 years.
Meanwhile, 30 percent of women in Illinois have low-wage jobs.

Illinois ranked 16th overall. States were scored 1 to 5 and Illinois received a 4.11.

The District of Columbia ranked first, and was the only place to attain a grade of A in the assessment. Other states in the top five were all in the east. Receiving F grades were southern states: Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia.

“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,” said IWPR Heidi Hartmann in a press release on the report. “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.”

The release also stated: “The report shows that a typical working woman in the United States loses more than $530,000 over her lifetime due to the gender wage gap. The losses are greater for women with higher levels of education. By the time a full-time woman worker with a college education turns 59, IWPR researchers calculate that she will have lost almost $800,000 throughout her life.”

According to the institute, “Women’s status in the area of employment and earnings has improved on two indicators since the publication of IWPR’s last national report on the status of women, the 2004 Status of Women in the States, and remained unchanged or declined on two others.”

However, the researchers found that over the last 30 years studied, real earnings for men have remained stable, while women’s grown from $30,181 to $39,157— but from a much smaller base.  

“Among women, the growth in real median annual earnings took place in the 1980s and 1990s; since the early 2000s, women’s earnings, like men’s, have stagnated.”