Women in full-time work earned an average of $11,500 less than their male counterparts in 2012, according to new data released Tuesday from the US census bureau's annual survey.
According to the new survey data, women with full-time, year-round jobs were paid just 77¢ for every dollar paid to men who hold full-time, year-round jobs. The difference in median wages means women earn $11,500 less than men.
Race intensified the wage disparity. African American women were paid 69¢ for every dollar paid to all men, and 64¢ for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Latinas were paid 58¢ for every dollar paid to all men, and 54¢ for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
The number of men working full time increased by 1m, while it was unchanged for women. Nationally the census said median income dropped from $51,100 to $51,017, a change the bureau described as statistically insignificant. The poverty rate, at 15%, was unchanged for the second consecutive year.
Four in 10 US households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center study released in May. The figure is the highest on record and has grown steadily throughout the recession.
Barack Obama has pushed to address the gender gap but the Paycheck Fairness Act has stalled in Congress amid Republican opposition. In June, marking the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, Obama called again for Congress to pass the paycheck fairness act and raise the minimum wage. "I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman's hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man's. So together, let's create a future where our daughters' work is valued as much as our sons'," he said.
According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, the gender gap has remained largely unchanged for 11 years. Women have been paid 77¢ for every dollar paid to men since 2002, with two minor exceptions: in 2003, women were paid 76¢ for every dollar paid to men, and in 2007, women were paid 78¢ for every dollar.
Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, said: "The persistence of the gender-based wage gap is a blot on our nation's commitment to civil rights and equal opportunity. These new data should give Congress and the administration even more reason to make addressing it a priority. In doing so, both have the opportunity to set an example for employers, and to demonstrate a true commitment to improving the well-being of America's families."