A federal study indicates Missouri’s women earn about one-fourth less than men do for doing the same jobs. But that’s nothing new.

The federal bureau of labor statistics calculates the median wage of Missouri women is about 75 cents for each dollar paid to men in similar positions….Only Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Wyoming have worse ratios. Missouri’s ratio is six percentage points under the national average. Bureau economist Linda Nickisch ways Missouri’s situation has not improved since spiking more than a decade ago. Women in 1998 earned almost 81 percent of what men earned, the only time Missouri’s women have topped 80 percent.

Nationally, women have narrowed the gap considerably while Missouri’s women have held in the 75 to 77 percent range. Nickisch says women nationally earned 62 percent of what men earned in 1979. Now, nationally, the figure is more than 81 percent.

She says the ratios are based on extensive samples of wage and salaried workers and don’t include people in agriculture or those who are self-employed or are in management and are CEOs. She says age, education, and the makeup of a state’s industries and the labor force also can affect pay ratios.

 Economist Linda Nickish 12:45 mp3