The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report on women’s weekly earnings, nation and for Pennsylvania. The report found that Pennsylvanian women who were full-time wage and salary workers in 2009 had median weekly earnings of $654. That's 79 percent of the $825 median for their male counterparts.
The Bureau’s Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins says for every one dollar earned by a man, a woman earns 79 cents. Nationwide, that ratio was 80 cents to the dollar. Pennsylvania’s women’s to men’s earnings ratio has remained below national numbers since this data became available in 1997.
Watkins says this is one of the highest ratios ever reported in Pennsylvania since 1997, which could mean progress for the state. “It’s stabilized within 2 cents over the last 4-5 years, which is an increase from it’s historical levels of anywhere from 71 cents to 76 cents, so there has been improvement.”
Watkins says these numbers could fluctuate significantly depending on educational level. She says whether you’re a man or a woman, it really depends on the occupational distribution in a particular state.
Watkin reports that the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings has increased from 62 cents in 1979 to it’s peak of 81 cents in 2005 and 2006. She says earnings for college degrees by women have increased that ratio, so there is a clear correlation between weekly earnings and educational level.