Another shot in the gender pay war

Georgia women do slightly better than average when it comes to equal pay, according to a study released today by a national advocacy group.

But that means companies get women at a discount, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families: A woman in a full-time job averages $36,468 per year compared to a man’s average of $44,623 per year, meaning that women in the state receive 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, a wage gap of $8,155 every year,

Nationally, women average 79 cents an hour for every dollar paid to men, the group found.

Comparisons of average pay for men and women are often controversial and the study today is not likely to be the last word.

Critics of similar studies often argue that some of the gap is explained by the choice of different professions, some explained by the choice of how many hours to work and also that careers and earnings take a hit when a parent – often a woman – chooses to spend years outside the workforce to have and care for children.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization describes itself as a nonprofit and nonpartisan and as working for workplace fairness and “policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.”

While the study today did not go into detail, the group tried to pre-empt at least some of the critique, arguing that the wage gap exists in most industries and within occupations.

“In the health care and social assistance industry, women are paid just 71 cents for every dollar paid to men. In manufacturing, just 75 cents. In retail trade, 78 cents. And in educational services, women are paid 87 cents for every dollar paid to men.”

The study also concludes that women are paid similarly less on average even when they have advanced degrees.