In 2018, Oregon women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $808, or 82% of the $985 median usual weekly earnings of their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week.
Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the 2018 women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio in Oregon increased from 2017, up 0.5 percentage points. Nationwide, women earned $789 per week or 81% of the $973 median for men. The earnings comparisons in this release are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences, such as job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization.
In Oregon, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has ranged from a low of 72.2% in 1998 to a high of 87.5% in 2016. The earnings ratio in the state has remained above 80% since 2012.
Among the 50 states, the median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions in 2018 ranged from $637 in Mississippi to $995 in Massachusetts. In addition to Massachusetts, women’s earnings in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, and New Jersey were above $900 per week. In the District of Columbia, women earned a median weekly wage of $1,259.
Median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Arkansas at $809 and highest in Massachusetts at $1,170. Five other states (Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Oregon) had weekly wages above $1,100 for full-time male workers. In the District of Columbia, men earned a median weekly wage of $1,445.
California had the highest women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio among the states, 88.3%, and Wyoming had the lowest at 67.8%. The District of Columbia had a ratio of 87%. The differences among the states reflect, in part, variation in the occupations and industries found in each state and differences in the demographic composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, the sampling error for state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national estimates. Consequently, earnings comparisons between states should be made with caution.