Latinas Make 53 Cents to a White Man’s Dollar — Here’s Why You Should Care

When it comes to the fight for gender pay equity, change has been slow — and at times regressive.

Today — 305 days into 2018 — marks how far into this year Latinas have to work to earn what the average white man earned in 2017. In other words, Latinas make about 53 cents to every dollar earned by white non-Hispanic men. What’s worse, this year’s data shows that things are headed in the wrong direction: Last year, compared with White men, Latina women earned a penny higher at 54 cents on the dollar. (Equal Pay Days exemplify the pay disparities among female demographics in comparison with their white male counterparts.)

According to data by the Economic Policy Institute, the types of jobs that Latinas take compared with their white male counterparts makes little to no difference. Controlling for education level, experience and location, the institute in 2017 found Latinas are paid 34 percent less per hour than non-Hispanic white men.

The outcomes are only marginally less grim for African-American women — their Equal Pay Day landed on Aug. 7, and they earn just 63 cents to every dollar earned by white men.

Meanwhile, all women earn about 80 cents to every dollar earned by white men — and that Equal Pay Day fell four months and 10 days into the year, on April 10.

Beyond the obvious inequality, with a rising number of women becoming the main breadwinners of their households, these harrowing statistics are significant because the implications of children and families living on lower incomes are wide-ranging.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, more than half of Latina mothers are the top earners for their families. More specifically, nearly 3 million family households across the U.S. are headed by Latinas, and nearly 36 percent of them live below the poverty line.

What’s more, according to research from the Office of Policy Development and Research and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, low-income people as well as racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by violent crimes. Meanwhile, factors such as viable job opportunities — (think: livable wages) — are associated with lower crime rates.

And if the wage gap were eliminated, the National Partnership for Women and Families said that on average, a Latina working full time year-round would have enough money for more than three additional years of child care, three more years of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, 193 more weeks of food for her family and close to 18 additional months of mortgage and utilities payments.

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