Utah's Gender Pay Gap One Of Nation's Worst

Mar 18, 2014

A national comparison shows that Utah is one of the worst places nationally for gender pay gaps.

Women working on a car ca. 1940s
USA Today reports that two cities in Utah, the Ogden-Clearfield and Provo-Orem areas, are on the top 10 list nationally for worst-paying cities for women.
Credit Utah State University

This week USA Today reported a list of top ten worst-paying cities for women based on figures published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2012. The research is conclusive: gender gaps in pay are still present.

Utah has two cities on the list of worst pay gap perpetrators with the Ogden-Clearfield area coming in at number eight and Provo-Orem topping the list at number one with women making only 63.4 percent of men’s earnings. The median earnings for men in the area is $50,583 while the median earnings for women hovers at $32,082, the fifth-lowest rate in the nation.

Nationally, women’s median earnings are reported at just 78.3 percent of men’s pay, which on average translates to approximately $10,400 in annual income.

Gene Lown, a Women and Gender researcher at Utah State University says she believes local culture and attitudes toward women leadership roles are to blame.  

USA Today reports that although significant progress has been made in the last few decades, the gap in pay has leveled off, no longer noticeably narrowing.  Other cities on the list include Baton Rouge, LA, Bakersfield-Delano, CA, Augusta, GA, St. Louis, MO and the Birmingham-Hoover area in Alabama.