Gender Wage Gap in Wyoming

By on August 14, 2009
Gender Wage Gap in Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Employment – Research and Planning came out with an article this month in the Wyoming Labor Force Trends Newsletter that discusses wage gaps in Wyoming’s counties.  The research and article are by Sylvia Jones, a Senior Research Analyst at the department.

 Ms. Jones relates that in 2006 full time working women in Wyoming earned 66 cents for every dollar earned by a full time working man in Wyoming.  One of the primary factors pointed out in the article for this problem is that more men are entering into the workforce in the expansion related economy (minerals, construction, pipelines) than women.  The jobs in the expansion related economy are where the high paying jobs are and Wyoming is not doing a good enough job to encourage women to enter into that higher paying segment of our economy.  I toured the Western Wyoming Community College recently where much of the training occurs for people going into the PInedale anticline to work for the natural gas companies.  I saw very few women. 

 Teton County actually had the lowest gender gap in Wyoming.  Of all 23 counties in Wyoming, Teton County has the highest average wages for women.  The men’s wages ranked number 6 in the state.  However, the men’s wages were still higher than the women’s wages and thus the gap in Teton County is .72.  Sweetwater County came in last with a gap of .44.  What is interesting about Sweetwater County (where a lot of the workers for the Pinedale anticline live) is that the women salaries were #6 in the state, but that still did not make a difference because the men’s salaries were huge in Sweetwater.  The average men’s salary in Sweetwater County is $49,820 making them #2 just behind #1 Campbell County (Coal Country) at $50,973.  Just for comparison sake, the average salary for women in Teton County is $26,721 and for men it is $36,934.

 Wyoming needs to put more resources toward encouraging women to enter into training programs such as those available at Western Wyoming Community Colllege, so that they can enter into the lucrative jobs available in the expansion related economy. 

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:35 PM

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