Progress on the pay gap between male and female full-time workers in Minnesota

Minnesota’s full-time working women saw a nearly $1,500 bump in real earnings in 2016 over 2015. Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Minnesota’s full-time working women saw a nearly $1,500 bump in real earnings in 2016 over 2015. Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

By Andi Egbert, Sr. Research Associate

Progress on the pay gap between male and female full-time workers in Minnesota

Latest gains resulted from an improvement to women’s wallets, not a loss for men’s


For Minnesota, 2016 brought greater gender parity in worker earnings than any other year this decade or the last. Among full-time, year-round workers, women earned 83 cents for every dollar earned by men (median earnings). This is a nickel more than the scenario in 2010 and a dime’s worth of progress since 1999, when women made 73 cents for each dollar men made.

The gender pay gap in Minnesota has narrowed by a dime since 1999.

The gender pay gap in Minnesota has narrowed by a dime since 1999.


In the latest data, Minnesota’s full-time working women saw a nearly $1,500 bump in real earnings in 2016 over 2015, while the earnings of men working full-time schedules were unchanged. 

Full-time workers in Minnesota both earn more and see more gender parity than all U.S workers. Nationally, the pay gap was 20 cents in the latest data, compared to 17 cents in the North Star State.

In 2016, median take-home pay for Minnesota’s full-time working men was $53,200, while for similar women, $44,100. Over the course of a lifetime, that $9,100 annual difference—even without interest, compounding, or investment—would translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars pocketed by male workers over their female counterparts. Over a 45-year work horizon, the latest gap multiplies to a $409,500 chasm. 

Gender earnings gaps are the result of many factors, including differences among men and women in their occupational mix, breaks in work history (such as time away raising children), social connections that create opportunity or hostile environments that limit opportunities, and discrimination in hiring, pay, and advancement. These particular data cannot tell us the degree to which these factors contribute to the gender earnings gap, but interventions in any these areas may advance equity. 

One thing is certain: Every additional penny of progress on the male dollar to stitch up the earnings gap will result in gains for the present—and future—economic security of women and all those who rely on their paychecks.

-Andi (@DataANDInfo)


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Note: “Full-time, year-round” is defined as working 35 or more hours per week, and 50 or more weeks per year. These data are examined to eliminate differences in work schedules that alter earnings for workers.


Andi Egbert