The ratio of men's to women's median weekly earnings last year in New Jersey were little changed from the previous year, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Federal Regional Economist Bruce Bergman says the state's men/women median wage ratio showed women earning 81.3% of men. That ratio was close to being the same as the national ratio for men and women.

The median means half of the group earned less than the median and half earned more.

"In fact, nationally, that ratio has not changed very much since 2004. It has been in the 80 to 83% range for that period of time," Bergman said.

Many factors contribute to the difference and it does not mean unfair discrimination in all cases.

Bergman says the men/women median ratio fluctuates in some occupations, with women physicians and saleswomen with a ratio below 70%.

"And actually, you see that there is a differential in the other direction if you look at fast food workers. We actually have a ratio where women have an advantage over men of about 10%."

The figures were specifically for full-time workers and did not include the self-employed.

Bergman says despite the gap in the men/women median wage, "New Jersey women were some of the best paid women in the nation."

In 2018, the median weekly earnings for New Jersey women were $933, compared to $1,148 for men.

The lowest paid women were in the South while the highest paid were in Massachusetts.

Women earned a median of at least $900 in just six states, including Minnesota, Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado.

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