Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



This November 2016 report, based on pre-recession and post-recession earnings data from the American Community Survey, demonstrates that while women’s overall earnings are now higher than pre-recession levels, other key indicators demonstrate a growing wage gap for many women—especially minorities and low-wage workers.

Minority women in New England who are employed full-time, year-round earned 62 percent as much as white men, both before and after the recession. While the gap between minority women’s and white women’s earnings decreased in Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island after the recession, it stayed the same in Massachusetts and widened in Connecticut and Vermont.

Also, the percentage of female workers earning less than $20,000 a year is on the rise. Thirty percent of female workers across the region fall into this category, and in every New England state except for Maine, the proportion of women with these low annual earnings increased in the post-recession period. Data on the low-wage, female-dominated occupations of retail and direct care show that annual earnings for female workers employed in these occupations have decreased in every New England state from the pre-recession period.


The report is based on research conducted by the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, in the McCormack Graduate School, and the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH. It was released at the Second Biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference held Friday at UMass Boston.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.



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