Paid Family Leave and Child Care Could Erase Motherhood Wage Penalty

Mothers earn less than fathers in every U.S. state – and mothers fare the worst in Utah, earning just 58 cents for every dollar fathers make. That amounts to about $25,000 less annually, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center. The motherhood penalty is also higher for low-wage workers, while mothers in the top-10 percent of earners incur no wage penalty, Budig explained in a 2014 report. Emily Martin, NWLC’s vice president for workplace justice, says the motherhood income gap is higher in states where women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs, such as Louisiana, the No. 48 state for gender parity, where mothers earn $24,000 less than fathers annually.