Bringing the Economy Home

Women’s Wages Lag Behind Men’s In Idaho By More Than 25 Percent

Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images

A teacher prepares for class.

Another day, another study that places Idaho among the worst states in terms of the gender pay gap.

This time, it’s the American Association of University Women that’s tracking the disparities in men’s and women’s earnings by state.  The AAUW study places Idaho 43rd, based on federal data from 2010.

What does placing 43rd mean?  Well, median pay for a full-time worker in Idaho is $41,128, if that worker is a man.  If the worker is a woman, it’s $30,403.  Put in other terms, women in Idaho earn about 74 percent as much as men.

As the study points out, these differences cannot be explained away by differences in men’s and women’s educational and occupational choices.  However, the “segregation of occupations” does contribute to the pay gap.

It’s not the first time we’ve noted Idaho’s gender wage disparity.  Last month, the financial news and commentary site 24/7 Wall Street ranked Boise the eight worst city, based on this measure.


  • McGee

    The study will always show a gap if they base it on a median income of all Idaho males and a median income of all Idaho women. It does not take into account stay at home parents (majority are women, especially in a red state like Idaho). If the comparison was based on the same position, experience, etc… where the only difference is sex, then the findings would be worthwhile. If that study showed a difference then you have a strong ground to complain on.

  • Nate

    Does this also take into account the fact that men work in more dangerous or competitive fields which tend to be higher earning? Since workplace discrimination is illegal, I’m curious what the author means by “segregation of occupations”

    • While I agree with you that it should be associated with occupation and not just all workers lumped together, saying that “men work in more dangerous or competitive fields” is a very large generalization. I am in a very competitive field which I went to many years of school for. I am the higher earner in my household, yet still make less than my male counterparts doing the same job. Is that fair?

  • F. Douglas

    These “studies” are worthless if they are comparing situations like this:

    * The pay of a guy who is working in below-zero temperatures to fix a fallen utility line when the power goes out at midnight compared to a woman who works nine to five in a nice temperature-controlled office.

    * A lawyer who takes off ten years to raise her kids compared to one who stays in the work force, and then re-enters the work force.

    * A woman who works part-time compared to a man who works full-time.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the situation the last two women are in, either for them or their employers. In fact, it can work well for both. It is just flawed to suggest they have the same monetary value to their employees as people who haven’t taken time off, or are working full-time.

  • You need a consistent basis for comparison for any comparison to be valid. Unfortunately, most studies showing a gender-based gap completely lack this.

    If you’re going to attribute an effect to a cause, you must rule out everything else that might also be responsible for the cause. These studies almost always fail to take into account hours worked, level of experience, education, specialty, etc.

  • Hpnoemail

    The American Association of University women, along with their journalistic shills like Messick, provide ample proof that women are still useless at math and science. Keep hammering on the wage gap myth, ladies – the rest of society is finally catching on to your bad faith.

  • Cjb06271

    “As the study points out, these differences cannot be explained away by differences in men’s and women’s educational and occupational choices. However, the “segregation of occupations” does contribute to the pay gap.”

    This is true, as the occupational choices only account for a tiny portion of the wage gap. If you take those into account, women are still making a mere 98% of what men make.

  • More false and misleading feminist propaganda from the AAUW.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »