Virginia ranks 11th in report on women’s earnings

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Virginia ranks 11th in a national ranking of top states for women’s employment and earnings by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The Old Dominion was given a grade of “B” by the institute in a report issued on Tuesday based on a composite index that includes median annual income, a ratio comparing the earnings of women and men, the percent of women in the labor force and percentage of women in managerial or professional occupations.

Virginia ranked 10th in median annual full-time earnings for employed women ($40,000, compared to a national average of $37,000).

The commonwealth was fourth in percentage of women in management and professional roles (44.4 percent, vs. 39.6 percent nationally) and 17th in percentage of women in the workforce (61.6 percent, compared with 58.8 percent throughout the U.S.).

Nonetheless, Virginia fell out of the top ranking in a comparison of women’s earnings vs. men’s. Women earned 76.9 percent of men’s pay, 32nd highest in the country. The national average was 78.6 percent.

One Virginia neighbor, the District of Columbia, ranked highest in the overall survey, with first place rankings in every category.

D.C. had median annual earnings for women of $60,000, 60.8 percent women were in professional and managerial positions, 66.9 percent of women participated in the workforce and women’s earnings equaled 92.3 percent of men’s pay.

By contrast, another neighbor, West Virginia, ranked lowest in the report, with median earnings of $30,000, 36.5 percent of women in management and professional posts, 49.6 percent of women in the labor force, and women earning 66.7 percent of men’s pay.

After D.C., the top 10 spots, with grades of B or better, went to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire and Colorado.

In addition to West Virginia, the lowest ranked states, which received a grade of D+ or lower, included Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, Utah, Tennessee, Missouri and  South Carolina.

The institute has been compiling state rankings since 1996.

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