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54% Say Men and Women Don’t Receive Equal Pay For Equal Work

Working Americans are more skeptical than ever that men and women are equally paid for comparable work, but there remains a wide difference of opinion between the sexes on the question.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 588 Working Adults finds that 38% believe men and women generally receive equal pay for equal work, but 54% disagree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Working Americans were more evenly divided on the question in October of last year: 43% said men and women receive equal pay, while 42% disagreed.  Fifty-one percent (51%) of workers felt the two earned equal pay back in July 2004. 

Only 20% of female workers say men and women receive equal pay, down six points from October, a view shared by 54% of men. Seventy-one percent (71%) of women say they don’t receive the same pay as their male counterparts for comparable work, but just 39% of men agree. Still, the latter figure is up 16 points from the previous survey.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of all working Americans say they know someone who has been denied a job, a promotion or a pay increase because of their gender. That's unchanged from October. Sixty-four percent (64%) do not know someone who has experienced such discrimination, down 10 points from the earlier survey. Twelve percent (12%) now are not sure.

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The survey of 588 Employed Adults was conducted on June 3-4, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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