Study reveals ‘wage gap’ in Texas

Breakdown extends to state’s congressional districts

It’s not a holiday, or even official, but Equal Pay Day, a symbolic observance that occurred on April 10, serves up the stern reminder of the pay gap under which women are sometimes paid less than men for the same job.

The nuances of unequal pay have been broken down state-by-state and even by congressional districts by the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF). Their analysis found that in Texas, women on the whole are paid $9,775 less annually than their male counterparts — which is about 79 cents per hour. If that were eliminated, the study found, Texas women would be able to afford an additional 17.2 months of child care, 10.2 additional months of rent and one year’s worth of tuition and fees for a four-year public university. 

Closer to home, data compiled by the Texas Tribune in February 2017, Texas State University, which has 2,007 female employees and 1,674 male employees, listed a median female salary of $50,651 and a median male salary of $58,630. The Tribune data goes on to show that 1,585 female employees earn up to $79,080 annually, compared to 1,143 male employees. Those making up to $142,560 annually number 268 women and 403 men. Earning up to $206,040 annually are 28 female employees and 49 male employees. At a salary level of $269,520 annually, there are three men and zero women.

The top earner at Texas State University is head coach Everett Rowe Withers, who is paid $650,000 annually. Coming in second is President Denise M. Trauth, whose annual salary is $525,000. 

Examining the pay gap according to the 36 congressional districts in Texas, the NPWF found that Dist. 36, represented by Brian Babin (R-Port Arthur) had the lowest difference in male and female earnings at $0.64, hourly ($37,343 annually for women, $58,674 annually for men) while among the highest hourly gap was Dist. 30, represented by Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Waco), which had an hourly wage difference of $0.99 ($36,291 for women, $36,560 for men). (Johnson’s district was one of 422 among 435 in which women are either paid the same or more than men, or where the margin of error is large enough and the earnings ratio is close enough to one that it cannot be said with at least 90 percent confidence that there is a gender wage gap. )

Locally, Dist. 35, represented by Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) had a pay gap of $0.89, ($32,336 for women, $36,370 for men) while Dist. 21, represented by Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) had a gap of $0.82, ($45,635 for women, $55,375 for men).

Just across the border in New Mexico, the gap is less, at $7,629; however it’s wider in Oklahoma at $12,055 and wider still in Louisiana at $15,238. Louisiana and Utah have the nation’s widest gaps, the study found, and smallest in New York, California and Florida.

It should be emphasized that all figures cited here are raw and do not account for factors like seniority or the difference in job duties. 

For more, visit National Partnership's website.

San Marcos Daily Record

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