Black Women Are Disproportionately Affected By Motherhood Wage Gap— A $34,000 Loss Compared To Other Groups

It’s a given that motherhood is expensive for everyone. But new data shows it’s costing Black moms even more than we could’ve imagined.

According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), a new report pointed out moms from all ethnic groups are greatly affected by the wage gap, but Black mothers lose almost $34,000 compared to white, non-Hispanic fathers—thousands more compared to other minorities.

“Since there were massive job losses in 2020, especially among low-paid workers, substantially fewer people worked full time, year round that year—and those who did often had higher pay than those who lost their jobs,” authors of the report said. “As large as the wage gap is between mothers and fathers working full time, year round, it fails to reflect the reality of many mothers who lost jobs or who were forced into part-time work in 2020, as schools went remote and child care centers shuttered.”

The report comes in time for Mother’s Equal Pay Day (September 8), which observes how much mothers must work in the year to match what fathers made in the previous year alone.

US women workers on average are paid 83 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. This is already disparate, but the report dives even deeper into the financial chasm, pointing that mothers working full-time, year-round outside the home are paid only 74 cents for every dollar paid to fathers—and that gap equates to $1,417 a month and $17,000 annually in lost wages.  

Black mothers in particular, are at a deeper disadvantage, the report finds. NWLC said they are paid only 52 cents for every dollar as compared to white father. This adds up to $2, 825 each month and $33,900 over the course of a year. White, non-Hispanic mothers fare a bit better, earning about 58 cents on the dollar.

This is especially alarming since rising costs are adversely affecting households.

A 2015 USDA study found that it took $233,610/year to raise two children from birth to age 17 in middle-class two-parent households. To account for inflation over the last seven years, that figure jumped to $286,000 as of 2022.

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