U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement announcing that he strongly supports the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this afternoon.
"People should earn the same pay for the same work. Period," Senator Manchin said. "It shouldn't matter whether you're a woman or a man -- you should be treated fairly no matter what. The fact that working women in West Virginia are earning 70 cents to every dollar a man makes just defies commonsense. Too many families are working too hard to make ends meet, especially in families where women are the breadwinners. The first vote I took in the U.S. Senate was for paycheck fairness, and it's past time that we correct this unfairness to make sure that women are paid what they deserve."
According to the Census Bureau, women in West Virginia earn on average about 70 cents for every dollar paid to men. On an annual basis, that means the median yearly gap between full-time working men and women is $12,475.
According to the Joint Economic Committee and Census Bureau, 34 percent of married employed mothers in West Virginia are their families' primary wage earners. There are 213,517 children in West Virginia households where the mothers contribute to the family income.
According to an analysis of Census Bureau data, women in West Virginia earn less than men across all occupations and educational levels. Women's median earnings are less than men's median earnings in 264 out of 265 major occupation categories. Census data also shows women's pay lags men's in the following occupations in West Virginia:
Manchin: Nothing Fair About Paycheck GapSales -- women earn 49 percent of male counterparts' salaries;
Management, business and financial -- women earn 72 percent of male counterparts' salaries;
Computer, engineering and science -- women earn 84 percent of male counterparts' salaries.