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Some paydays more equal than others

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By Roger Snodgrass

National Equal-Pay Day looked downright unequal in Los Alamos County, according to a New Mexico county-by-county wage study announced by Lt.-Gov. Diane Denish Tuesday.

Los Alamos County, one of the wealthiest in the country, came in last in the state in pay equity, with women earning 57 percent of what men earned.

“For every dollar a man is paid, women were paid 57 cents,” Denish said in a telephone interview, discussing the study.

Tuesday was National Equal Pay Day, the day this year by which, including all last year, full-time women on average earned as much as the average male earned last year alone.

Nationwide, the National Committee on Pay Equity said that the gap between men and women stood at 77 percent last year, unchanged from the year before. Median full-time earnings for men was $42,261 and $32,515 for women, according to U.S. Census statistics released in 2006.

The New Mexico report came from information compiled by the Southwest Women’s Law Center and was based mostly on data from the 2000 Census.

“That was the most recent year when census data was available for all the counties in N.M,” said Jane Wishner of the center.

More recent data, from 2006, was available for seven New Mexico counties but did not include Los Alamos.


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