Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Government

Ohio women workers earn 17% less than men: FitzGerald takes on Kasich on pay gap

See also

Among the thorny issues that will debated this midterm election cycle is pay inequality for working women versus men's earnings.

More Photos

In Ohio, where women outnumber and outvote men, full-time female wage and salary workers in 2012 had median weekly earnings of $664 or 82.8 percent of the $802 median weekly earnings of their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] reported Feb. 7.

Nationwide, women earned $691 per week or 80.9 percent of the $854 median for men.

The ratio of Buckeye women’s to men’s earnings has ranged from a low of 71.0 percent in 1999 to a high of 83.6 percent in 2011. In 2012, the ratio had remained above 80 percent for the second year in a row.

On Monday Ed FitzGerald, the endorsed Democrat who wants to unseat incumbent Gov. John R. Kasich, elected in 2010, called for a renewed legislative focus on pay equity for Ohio's women.

"Ohio's middle class families are still struggling, and their situation is made more difficult by persistent pay inequity for women," he said. "Rather than focus on passing income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, our legislature needs to pass meaningful reform that will allow Ohio's women to earn equal pay for equal work. Because when women succeed, Ohio succeeds."

Responding to claims by Gov. Kasich's office that a recently proposed income tax cut would save a single mother making $30,000 more than $350 in tax relief every year compared to what she paid when he took office, FitzGerald said, "If the Governor dedicated his legislative efforts to pay equity, rather than tax cuts for the wealthy, the average woman could have earned $11,607 in 2012 alone."

Among the 50 states, median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions in 2012 ranged from $566 in Montana to $868 in Connecticut. States with the highest wages for women were located along the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to Connecticut, women’s earnings in Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey were also above $800 per week.

Across the nation, median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Arkansas at $717 and highest in Connecticut at $1,127. Four of the five highest-paying states for full-time male workers (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland) were also located along the Eastern Seaboard. The sole exception was on the West Coast – Alaska.

The ratio of female-to-male earnings in 2012 varied across the nation, ranging from 65.5 percent in Wyoming to 86.8 percent in Arizona. Two other states recorded ratios above 85.0 percent – California at 86.0 percent and Maryland at 85.2 percent. The differences among the states reflect, in part, variation in the occupations and industries found in each state and in the age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, comparisons by gender are on a broad level and do not control for factors such as educational attainment which can be significant in explaining earnings differences.

On the bright side, BLS regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that the Ohio women’s to men’s earnings ratio in 2012 was the second-highest in the history of the series.

FitzGerald's pressing the Kasich Administration and a friendly legislature dominated by Republicans today coincided with a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that shows women’s wages haven’t grown much, and that the decrease in the gap between women and men is the result of men's wages falling over the past decade.

One finding from the report shows that, during the 1980s and ‘90s, women’s rising real earnings drove much of the narrowing of the gender wage gap. Men’s earnings fluctuated up and down during that period, but women steadily earned more. Median usual weekly earnings rose from $565 in 1980 to $617 in 1990 and then to $667 in 2000.

Reasons for women's wages stagnating include that historically female jobs, like teachers and clerical workers, have been left to flounder as the nation continues to dig itself out of the economic hole created by the Great Recession.

The Columbus Dispatch's placement Sunday of a report on the Ohio Democratic Party's Legacy Dinner the night before in downtown Columbus next to the Obituary Page, on page six, is a not-so-subtle demonstration of why Ed maybe dead in central Ohio.

But the 45-year old Ed FitzGerald, already endorsed by ODP, has many mountains to climb this year if he hopes to limit Gov. John R. Kasich to one and done. But while the now downsized Columbus paper, in both size and staff, has relegated Cuyahoga County's Executive leader to sharing space with the dearly departed, the former FBI special agent, mayor and assistant county prosecutor is both alive and well and on the campaign trail, where he hopes to court Buckeye women to his side by advocating for issues important to them. Equal pay for equal work is high on that list.

In unpublished information from a national polling firm on the matchup between well-known incumbent Republican Gov. John R. Kasich and his hardly known Democratic challenger from Cleveland, Ed FitzGerald, the first-term governor enjoyed a 21-point lead over his major-party long-shot challenger. That demoralizing point spread is due in large part to the constant adoring coverage Ohio's self-declared "Greatest Hometown Newspaper" has bestowed on the 62- year old former nine-term Congressman from Westerville.

In four of Ohio's six regions, based on survey results hitherto not made pubic, the overly covered Kasich finds himself in a toss-up election seven months out with a phlegmatic but spunky challenger who has no where to go as more voters learn about him, while Kasich may have hit his polling apogee.

Even though Ohio's self-described "Greatest Hometown Newspaper" has demonstrated time and again that fair and balanced coverage isn't its strong suit, having ceded both its front page and editorial page to Gov. Kasich over the past three years, some independent reporters are daring to cover topics some legacy newspapers shy away from for fear it upsets the narrative that the Buckeye State is the envy of others, as Gov. Kasich repeatedly proclaims with little evidence to undergird his case for an "Ohio Miracle."

Can FitzGerald win with women? Time and change will surly show what miracles become reality this year.

The news article Ohio women workers earn 17% less than men: FitzGerald takes on Kasich on pay gap appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.

Subscribe. It's ALWAYS free. Send news or tips to ohionewsbureau@gmail.com. Join me on Google+, Pinterest or Twitter, or watch my 60 Second Ohio videos on YouTube.

Advertisement

Related Videos:

  • ISIS target hit
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518362224" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518362224&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Vladimir Putin
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518387023" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518387023&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Mitch McConnell
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518325681" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518325681&autoStart=true"></div>