Skip to Content Accessibility Information

Equal Pay Day Report - Employment Standards Service (ESS)

Executive Summary

Each year, Equal Pay Day has been used to symbolize roughly how far into the following year women need to work to earn as much as men. Equal Pay Day provides an opportunity to examine the gender wage gap, its causes, and its impacts. Families depend on women’s earnings now more than ever – in Maryland and nationwide, more than 40% of mothers are the lead or only wage earner.1 Yet full-time working women are typically paid less than full-time working men.

According to data averaged over a five-year period from 2018 to 2022, Maryland has the fourth smallest wage gap in the country: women who work full-time, year-round in Maryland are typically paid only 86 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make.

However, women of every race and ethnicity are paid less than white, non-Hispanic men, at all education levels, and much broader disparities exist for some groups. In Maryland, for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes:

  • Hispanic women or Latinas are paid 50 cents – a wage gap of 50 cents;
  • American Indian and Alaska Native women are paid 56 cents – a wage gap of 44 cents;
  • Black or African American women are paid 67 cents – a wage gap of 33 cents;
  • White women are paid 79 cents – a wage gap of 21 cents; and
  • Asian women are paid 86 cents – a wage gap of 14 cents.

Compared with other states, the wage gap for Hispanic women or Latinas in Maryland is the 4th worst nationwide. The wage gap for Black or African American women is the 9th smallest nationwide. While Black or African American women experience smaller per dollar disparities between white, non-Hispanic men in Maryland than they do nationally and in several other states, they are still only paid a fraction of what white, non-Hispanic men are paid.

Maryland has many high-wage jobs. This means women tend to be paid more in Maryland than in many other regions of the country, but it also means that wage gaps translate to significant income and wealth gaps over time. Median earnings for full-time women workers in Maryland are
$65,507. This is the third highest level in the nation but over $24,000 less than the median earnings for white, non-Hispanic men ($89,814). Calculated over a career, this leads to some of the largest lifetime earnings gaps in the nation.

Compared to white, non-Hispanic men, in Maryland:

  • The lifetime wage gap for Hispanic women or Latinas is over $1.8 million – the 4th highest gap, when compared to other states.
  • The lifetime wage gap for American Indian and Alaska Native women is over $1.5 million – the 6th highest gap.
  • The lifetime wage gap for Black or African American women is over $1.1 million – the 16th highest gap.
  • The lifetime wage gap for white women is over $750,000 – the 8th highest lifetime.
  • The lifetime wage gap for Asian women is over $500,000 – the 26th highest gap.

This report also provides information about gender wage gaps in Maryland’s 13 local workforce development areas (LWDAs). At the LWDA level, the majority of women in Maryland are paid less than their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts. In 11 out of 13 LWDAs, at least one racial

or ethnic group experiences over $1 million in lost wages over a lifetime. The size of the overall gender pay gap varies from county to county, based on a number of factors including demographic characteristics and industry concentrations. Since Black and Latino men, in particular, also experience a wage gap when compared with white women,2 counties with higher percentage populations in these groups tend to see smaller differences between men and women as a whole.

The Moore-Miller Administration has focused on work, wages, and wealth—and closing wage gaps addresses all three. There are many causes of the gender wage gap, including occupational crowding,3 pay secrecy, gendered caregiving responsibilities, and the lack of quality, affordable child care, which impact the job opportunities available to women. Addressing pay gaps–of all types–requires systematic efforts to address these issues. Policies like responsible procurement, paid leave, pay range transparency, investments in child care and care workers, as well as strategic investments in workforce training and education, can help to close gender wage gaps.

The Maryland Department of Labor is charged with enforcing the state’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a law that prohibits employment and wage discrimination by gender, as well as other laws that protect workers’ pay and rights on the job. The Department also analyzes labor market conditions to better understand the needs of workers and employers and the state labor market.

This report focuses on gender, but as noted above, many other groups experience pay and opportunity disparities. The Department hopes that publishing this report will guide policy development and resource deployment in a way that benefits not only women, but all workers, and leads to a more competitive, inclusive, and robust state economy.

View Equal Pay Day Report