How much do you earn at work? New data shows there’s a big difference between a man and a woman’s paycheck in New Jersey.

Analysis from the National Women’s Law Center finds the pay gap between men and women in New Jersey is 79 cents for every one dollar men earn.

“That’s actually a little narrower than the national average which is 77 cents for every dollar, but still nowhere near good enough” said Emily Martin, Vice-President for NWLC.

Vermont and California also boasted small wage gaps between men and women, while Louisiana and Utah were among those with the largest wage gaps.  One reason for the wage gap is that men and women traditonally choose different career paths.  “The jobs that women do tend to be paid less.  For instance, child care workers earn less than mechanics on average” said Martin.

But a disparity still remains, even if men and women have the same occupation, work the same hours, with the same level of education.

“There still seems to be some some discrimination at work that continues to drive this wage gap.”

Since the Equal Pay Act passed in 1963, Martin said the gap between men and women has narrowed slightly.  “We went from earning 59 cents to about 77 cents, which is still the national average, and we have been stuck at that number for quite some time.”

State Labor statistics estimate that full-time working women lose about $15 billion each year in New Jersey due to the wage gap.  Recently, the New Jersey Assembly Women and Children Committee devoted its inaugural hearing to pay equity and the wage gap.