CHEYENNE - The Research and Planning Section (R&P) of the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) released a study to the Wyoming Legislature regarding the gender wage gap in the state. Wyoming has traditionally had one of the widest gender wage gaps in the county. The study was the result of a HEA No. 0112, a bill passed signed into law during the 2017 legislative session.
A Study of the Disparity in Wages and Benefits Between Men and Women in Wyoming: Update 2018 explores variables and life situations that affect the gender wage gap in the state such as education, data source, industry worked, tenure, location, hours worked, having children and age. The study shows that the gender wage gap:
- varied by county and industry;
- widened with age;
- was narrower among individuals with a postsecondary degree; and
- widened with the number of births per individual.
Women in Wyoming tend to work more in service industries such educational services, healthcare services, and leisure and hospitality. Many of these service industries pay lower wages than male-dominated, goods-producing industries such as mining, construction and manufacturing.
Analysis into select characteristics found significant differences in the pay gap. The disparity was significantly less for females with bachelor's degrees. Females who work in the healthcare and social assistance sectors experience a larger pay gap.
The gap also varied by location. In Wyoming's two most populous counties, Laramie and Natrona, women were paid $0.80 and $0.82 cents respectively on the dollar compared to men. Teton County has the narrowest gap at $0.93. Lincoln County has the widest pay gap at $0.61.
The wage disparity was narrower for many occupations within the educational services industry. Women earned $0.88 for every dollar earned by men in the educational services sector in total. In some cases, women out-earn men in this field. For example, female kindergarten teachers earn $1.14 on a man's dollar.
The study also examines actions other states have taken to address the gender pay disparity.
A Study of the Disparity in Wages and Benefits Between Men and Women in Wyoming: Update 2018 is a follow-up to a study conducted in 2003 by the University of Wyoming. The full study and supplementary information can be found here.