| Things to think about
Unequal pay builds a vicious circle, where
those of us with less income may also receive less education
and fewer opportunities and, as a result, be likely to earn
· The number of women and minorities working
in New Jersey has increased since 1990, and these two groups
now account for a greater share of total employment.
have worked hard to rid our society of many forms of discrimination.
Unfortunately, some discrimination is difficult to identify
and hard to prove. Not giving equal pay for equal work is one
of the ways in which our society can subtly put women and minorities
at a disadvantage. Between 1990 and 1998, wages for women and
minorities remained stagnant relative to those of their white
male counterparts. Not only are these differences unfair, but
they could inhibit our ability to work together as a society
to solve our problems and build a unified, cohesive future.
A free market
economy, when working well, should provide the same compensation
for the same work. Rewarding people fairly for hard work and
initiative is the drive behind the innovative and entrepreneurial
spirit that has made our economy and our country great. It is
this spirit that creates the desire to work and participate
productively in the economy for the betterment of all. Only
when a rising tide moves all boats will a majority of people
be motivated to participate in the economy.
often translates into political power, which can mean greater
environmental protection for some at the expense of others.
wages divide the state’s citizens. In this situation, any sense
of unity is difficult to achieve and the development of a cohesive
statewide community is hindered. Divisions in society hamper
our ability to cooperatively solve some of our most pressing
more minority groups, collected more consistently, are necessary.
Current data are inadequate for explaining the differences in
work within a particular job classification.
See the Technical Appendix for information on use of a different
data source than the source used in the 1999 Sustainable State
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics