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NC Women Earnings High For South, Low For Nation

Angelina's Kitchen
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina is in the middle of the pack nationwide when it comes to women’s employment and earnings.  That’s the latest from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

North Carolina ranks 22nd  in the nation, in the latest women’s employment and earnings index.  The median annual full-time earnings for women in this state is $34,000.   About 58% of women here are in the labor force.  Those numbers equate to a C+ according to the Washington, DC-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Cynthia Hess is a Study Director at IWPR.  She says even with a ranking of 22, North Carolina is a state to watch.

“North Carolina has actually gone up since the last time we calculated the composite index in 2006, it’s moved up 11 places in the ranking," said Hess.  "And so that’s actually the largest improvement that we saw, along with Pennsylvania, which also moved up 11 places.”

Women's Earnings
Credit Institute for Women's Policy Research
IWPR map of states, by grade, when it comes to women's employment and earnings.

The report states women in Washington, DC rank number one in the nation for women’s employment and earnings, at $60,000.  West Virginia ranks at the bottom of the list, at $30,000.

The IWPR report takes into consideration more than median earnings for women.  It also looks at the earnings ratio between full-time, year-round employed women and men, the percent of women in the labor force and the percent of employed women in managerial or professional occupations.  North Carolina ranks 14th in that category.

“It is promising to see improvement where it happens and North Carolina is one of those states that kind of stood out to us as having made a significant move up the rankings," said Hess. "Missouri, I think is the one that had the biggest drop, and again we don’t know exactly why that is.”

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
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