New figures from the federal government show that female workers in New Jersey continue to make about 80 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey women who were full-time wage and salary earners in 2020 had median usual weekly earnings of $1,041, or 82.2% of the $1,267 earned by full-time men.

"Usual weekly earnings" relates to earnings before taxes and other deductions, and includes overtime pay, commission and tips.

The gender wage gap in New Jersey has tightened a bit since 2019, when the women's-to-men's earnings ratio was 79.3%, but the ratio was as high as 84.8% in 2010.

But the latest figures do not necessarily suggest that females are making substantially less than males while doing the same exact job, noted Bruce Bergman, regional economist for the BLS New York-New Jersey Information Office. Women, he said, are underrepresented in higher-paid positions, and workers' pay may relate to factors such as one's education and experience.

"Among full-time workers, men are more likely than women to work more than 40 hours per week," Bergman added.

“The increase in women's relative earnings in New Jersey from 79.3% in 2019 to 82.2% in 2020 is a mixed blessing," Yana Rodgers, faculty director of the Rutgers Center for Women and Work, told New Jersey 101.5. "Overall women appear to be doing better, but some of the increase is explained by women in low-pay jobs dropping out of the labor force completely. The apparent jump is also masking wage stagnation for some workers, especially Latina and Black women in service sector jobs.”

Nationally, the women's-to-men's earnings ratio has remained in the 80-83% range since 2004, BLS said.

Several states, including Connecticut (97%) and Maryland (86.1%), currently post a ratio at 85% or higher, according to BLS.

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