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Closing the Equal Pay Gap: 50 Years and Counting

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President Barack Obama officially declared Tuesday, April 9, 2013 as National Equal Pay Day. In a statement issued Monday, April 8, Obama said, "Women, who make up nearly half of our nation's workforce, face a pay gap that means they earn 23 percent less on average than men do. This disparity is even greater for African-American women and Latinas. On National Equal Pay Day, we recognize this injustice by marking how far into the new year women have to work just to make what men did in the previous one."

Libra, the Balance., Digital ID 1817443, New York Public LibraryLatifa Lyles, acting director of the Labor Department's Women's Bureau, in her official blog of the U.S. Department of Labor, "Closing the Equal Pay Gap: 50 Years and Counting," stated, "In 2013, 50 years after the signing of the Equal Pay Act—the true parity is still elusive even though women currently make up nearly half of the workforce… For millions of working women, the gap means less income to pay for necessities like housing, clothes and food. It's less income to pay for their children's education. And it's less to go toward retirement. All of these reasons make equal pay more than just a women's issue; it impacts families, communities—the whole economy."

Latifa Lyles in her blog invites the public to join her for a Web chat this Friday, April 12, at 1 p.m. EDT to learn more about steps to close the pay gap taken by the department's Women's Bureau and its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The department's chief economist, Dr. Jennifer Hunt, also will be able to answer questions about current statistics and the gap's economic impact.

You can also learn about Women in the Labor Force from the February 2013 Report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information on Equal Pay Gap, please visit Job Search Central at 188 Madison Avenue and 34th Street.

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