The 10 Worst-Paying States for Women

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10. North Dakota
>Difference in full-time, year-round income: $12,955
>Female full-time, year-round median income: $33,792 (11th lowest)
>Male full-time, year-round median income: $46,747 (25th highest)
>2011 unemployment rate: 3.5% (the lowest)

North Dakota’s unemployment rate was the lowest in the country in 2011 at 3.5%, but the jobs that pay larger salaries were primarily in male-dominated industries. The state is in the midst of an oil boom, an industry that is attracting predominantly young men to work in the oil fields for relatively high pay. More than 13% of state workers were employed in natural resources, construction and maintenance, while more than 9% were employed in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and mining, both the second highest among all-states. Meanwhile, 12% of North Dakota workers were employed in retail, which has a larger proportion of women working in it and tends to have lower wages.

9. West Virginia
>Difference in full-time, year-round income: $13,237
>Female full-time, year-round median income:$30,632 (2nd lowest)
>Male full-time, year-round median income: $43,869 (14th lowest)
>2011 unemployment rate: 8% (25th lowest)

At 12.3%, West Virginia had the sixth highest percentage of workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and mining, with men representing more than 91% of those workers men, the second highest percentage of all states. West Virginia has long had a robust coal mining industry, with wages for coal miners averaging $85,051 in 2011 compared to $38,567 across all industries. Conversely, 12.6% of West Virginia workers were employed in the lower paying retail trade, the sixth highest rate of all states. About 55% of retail workers in 2011 were women — the third highest rate of all states.

Also Read: States with the Widest Gap Between the Rich and Poor

8. New Hampshire
>Difference in full-time, year-round income: $13,263
>Female full-time, year-round median income: $41,953 (8th highest)
>Male full-time, year-round median income: $55,216 (8th highest)
>2011 unemployment rate: 5.4% (4th lowest)

New Hampshire is by some measures one of the best states to be in as a female worker. The state had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country in 2011, and full-time, year-round females earned more than all but seven states in the country. However, they still earned $13,263 less than New Hampshire men in 2011. In the state’s Manchester-Nashua metropolitan area, the difference was nearly $16,000. More than 165,000 New Hampshire workers were employed in education, more than in any other major industry. New Hampshire women employed in that industry earned $34,007, while men employed in the industry earned $44,288.

7. Virginia
>Difference in full-time, year-round income: $13,459
>Female full-time, year-round median income: $41,797 (10th highest)
>Male full-time, year-round median income: $55,256 (7th highest)
>2011 unemployment rate: 6.2% (8th lowest)

Virginia had a comparatively high-skilled workforce — it had the second highest percentage of workers in professional, scientific and management, and administrative and waste management services. Those jobs comprised nearly 15% of Virginia’s workforce in 2011, and men filled more than 60% of those jobs, the sixth highest rate of all states. But the wage gap was present across a wide range of different industries. Women in full-time management, business and financial occupations earned 72 cents for every $1 men earned in 2011. It was even worse in sales occupations, where women earned just 64 cents for every dollar men earned.

6. Massachusetts
>Difference in full-time, year-round income: $13,924
>Female full-time, year-round median income: $47,302 (4th highest)
>Male full-time, year-round median income: $61,226 (3rd highest)
>2011 unemployment rate: 7.4% (18th lowest)

Massachusetts workers earned a median of $30,463 in 2011, more than all but three states. The state’s women earned nearly $14,000 less than men. In the Boston metropolitan area, the wage gap was more than $15,000. In the state, nearly 70% of all managers of corporate enterprises were women, but women in those positions earned a median of $46,635, which was less than half what men in those position earned — a median of $108,262. Massachusetts had one of the largest proportions of its working population employed in education. In that industry, median earning among men exceeded those of women by more than $6,000.