July 31 is Black Womenâ€™s Equal Pay Day. That means that this is the day in 2017 when black women have finally caught up with what white men were paidÂ in 2016. Thanks, wage gap! While we often hear the (accurate as far as it goes) statistic that women are paid 80 cents on the dollar compared with white men, the gap gets a lot worse when you break it out by race, and black women are paid just 63 cents on the white manâ€™s dollar.
Here are a few more facts from the National Women’s Law Center. Education doesnâ€™t make it go away:
- Pursuing higher education does little close to the wage gap. Black women with a bachelorâ€™s degree are typically paid $46,694â€”just under what white, non-Hispanic men with only a high school degree are paid ($46,729).
- Black women have to earn a Masterâ€™s degree to make slightly more ($56,072) than white, non-Hispanic men with just an Associateâ€™s degree ($54,620).
High wage jobs, low wage jobs â€¦Â the gap persists.
- Among workers in low wage jobs, Black women make just 60 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Black women who work full time, year round in these occupations are typically paid about $21,700 annually, compared to the $36,000 typically paid to white, non-Hispanic men in these occupations. This gap translates to a loss of $14,300 each year to the wage gapâ€”more than enough to pay for an entire yearâ€™s worth of rent or more than a year and a half of childcare costs.
- Among workers in high wage occupationsâ€”such as lawyers, engineers, and physicians or surgeonsâ€”Black women are paid 64 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men in the same occupations. Black women who work full time, year round in these occupations are typically paid about $70,000, compared to the $110,000 typically paid to white, non-Hispanic men in these same jobs. This amounts to a staggering annual loss of $40,000 each year, or $1.6 million dollars over a 40-year career.
Over 48Â years, the entire time for which data is available, the situation has only improved by 20 cents, from black women making 43 cents for every dollar a white man made to making 63 cents in 2015, and â€śIn Louisiana, the worst state for Black womenâ€™s wage equality, Black women typically are paid slightly less than half of what white, non-Hispanic men are paid.â€ť