NC Women Earnings High For South, Low For Nation

Sep 4, 2014

Angelina Koulizakis-Battiste, a known cook in Pittsboro, opened her own restaurant in the past five years, 'Angelina's Kitchen.'
Credit Leoneda Inge

North Carolina is in the middle of the pack nationwide when it comes to women’s employment and earnings.  That’s the latest from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

North Carolina ranks 22nd  in the nation, in the latest women’s employment and earnings index.  The median annual full-time earnings for women in this state is $34,000.   About 58% of women here are in the labor force.  Those numbers equate to a C+ according to the Washington, DC-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Cynthia Hess is a Study Director at IWPR.  She says even with a ranking of 22, North Carolina is a state to watch.

“North Carolina has actually gone up since the last time we calculated the composite index in 2006, it’s moved up 11 places in the ranking," said Hess.  "And so that’s actually the largest improvement that we saw, along with Pennsylvania, which also moved up 11 places.”

IWPR map of states, by grade, when it comes to women's employment and earnings.
Credit Institute for Women's Policy Research

The report states women in Washington, DC rank number one in the nation for women’s employment and earnings, at $60,000.  West Virginia ranks at the bottom of the list, at $30,000.

The IWPR report takes into consideration more than median earnings for women.  It also looks at the earnings ratio between full-time, year-round employed women and men, the percent of women in the labor force and the percent of employed women in managerial or professional occupations.  North Carolina ranks 14th in that category.

“It is promising to see improvement where it happens and North Carolina is one of those states that kind of stood out to us as having made a significant move up the rankings," said Hess. "Missouri, I think is the one that had the biggest drop, and again we don’t know exactly why that is.”