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Report Shows Little Economic Progress for Nebraska Women

A new report says Nebraska women earn 73 cents for every dollar earned by men in similar jobs. (Pixabay)
A new report says Nebraska women earn 73 cents for every dollar earned by men in similar jobs. (Pixabay)
January 9, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. – Despite advances in recent years, new research finds Nebraska women still face inequities that can prevent them from reaching their full potential.

The report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research gives Nebraska a C grade on poverty and opportunity, and a C-minus for women's employment and earnings.

Report co-author Julie Anderson says paying women the same as men for comparable work and hours would pull more than half of those women out of poverty, and have a ripple effect on the entire state.

"So, the wage gap is obviously a drain on individual women, but a huge drain on the state economy, and public assistance programs,” she states. “And so, that's a big, big policy lever that would have a huge impact."

The report says full-time working Nebraska women earn 73 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts and, if current trends continue, will not see equal pay until 2066.

Anderson says providing paid sick days and family leave are other benefits that would make a big difference to women, as they typically shoulder the responsibility when family illnesses or emergencies arise.

"It's women who will back out of the labor force, and that's very, very difficult to recover from,” she explains. “But paid sick days and paid family leave will support families in keeping multiple earners in the workplace, and not dropping out because of that impossible bind."

Among other indicators, Nebraska's best grade was a B in the area of women's health and well-being – although it received a failing grade for attention to reproductive rights.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - NE