Press Release

Latinas Lose More Than $1 Million over the Course of a Career Due to Wage Gap, New NWLC Analysis Shows

Posted on October 31, 2016

Ten worst states include California, Texas and Virginia

(Washington, D.C.) Based on today’s wage gap, the typical Latina stands to lose $1,043,800 over a 40-year career, according to new analysis released today by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. The analysis is available in English and Spanish.

In some states, the situation is even worse. In the 10 worst states, Latinas will lose between $1.1 million and $1.7 million over a 40-year career. In the District of Columbia, they will lose more than $1.7 million. The 10 worst states include California ($1,616,520), Connecticut ($1,437,040), Illinois ($1,251,520), Maryland ($1,473,720), Massachusetts ($1,320,480), New Jersey ($1,685,120), Rhode Island ($1,180,840), Texas ($1,342,520), Virginia ($1,154,560), and Washington, D.C. ($1,781,720).

The analysis coincides with Latina Equal Pay Day tomorrow—November 1—when Latinas’ earnings will finally catch up to those of white, non-Hispanic men’s from 2015. Put another way, Latinas have to work 22 months to make what white, non-Hispanic men earned in 12 months alone.

“The wage gap leaves a gaping hole in Latinas’ pocketbooks,” said Maya Raghu, NWLC Director of Workplace Equality. “The average lifespan of a Latina is 84 years. This means that a Latina needs to start working at age 10 and work until the day she dies to earn what a white, non-Hispanic man earns in 40 years. If we don’t act now to ensure equal pay, Latinas and their families will continue to pay the price of this staggering gap. They literally can’t afford to wait any longer.”

Additional topline data include:

  • Latinas who work full time, year round are paid just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
  • The gender wage gap amounts to a loss of $26,095 each year for Latinas working full time, year round.
  • Latinas are overrepresented in jobs that pay $10.50 per hour or less. Latinas’ share of this low-wage workforce (14.2 percent) is more than double their share of the overall workforce (6.7 percent).
  • But even in these low-wage jobs, Latinas face a wage gap. In fact, Latinas in low-wage jobs are paid just 62 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
    • Latinas working as agricultural sorters and graders—a low-wage job where Latinas make up more than half of the workforce—are paid just 49 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
  • Latinas are grossly underrepresented in well-paid occupations, particularly those that pay a salary of $100,000 or more annually (2.4 percent). When they do hold these jobs, they are paid just 58 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
    • Latinas working as physicians and surgeons—high-wage jobs where Latinas make up less than 1 percent of the workforce—make just 48 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
  • Latinas must obtain a bachelor’s degree or more before their typical wages exceed those of white, non-Hispanic men with only some college education, but no degree. The typical Latina with a bachelor’s degree or more makes$52,037—less than what white, non-Hispanic men with associate’s degrees make ($54,620). Latinas with an associate’s degree make about $9,700 less than white, non-Hispanic men with only a high school diploma or equivalent.

Here’s a full ranking of all 50 states for Latinas’ lifetime losses from the wage gap.

NWLC experts are available to discuss the implications of the wide pay disparity on Latinas and their families.

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For immediate release: Oct. 31, 2016
Contact: Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org) or Olympia Feil (ofeil@nwlc.org)

The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.