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new jersey department of environmental protection  


Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000

Indicator 7

Additional  Equity Indicators

8 - Legislators

9 - Infant Mortality

Equal Pay

Median hourly wages by gender and race: Little change

  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 lower pay.

· 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.



We 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.


Economic power often translates into political power, which can mean greater environmental protection for some at the expense of others.


Unequal 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 problems.

Knowledge Gaps

Data for more minority groups, collected more consistently, are necessary. Current data are inadequate for explaining the differences in work within a particular job classification.

Note: See the Technical Appendix for information on use of a different data source than the source used in the 1999 Sustainable State Project Report.

Data Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 25, 2007

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