Study: Essential-worker pay gap in R.I. among highest in nation

RHODE ISLAND had the fourth highest gap between average earnings for essential workers and the average state yearly wage in the U.S., according to a recent study. / COURTESY BUSINESS.ORG
RHODE ISLAND had the fourth highest gap between average earnings for essential workers and the average state yearly wage in the U.S., according to a recent study. / COURTESY BUSINESS.ORG

PROVIDENCE – Essential workers in Rhode Island earn 26% less than the average salary in the state, ranking as the No. 4 biggest difference in the nation, according to a recent study from Business.org.

The study looked at May 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data for retail salespersons, postal service mail carriers, light truck drivers, cashiers, janitors and cleaners against states’ average annual wage.

The essential-worker positions in Rhode Island earned an average salary of $32,668 per year, while the average salary in the state was $44,170.

In the U.S., the difference between essential-worker positions and the average salary was 18.4%, at $32,474 and $39,810, respectively.

- Advertisement -

Connecticut had the highest gap of all states in the study at 29.2%, with essential positions earning an average of $34,358, compared to an average yearly earning of $48,530.

Other New England essential-worker wages vs. average wage:

  • Massachusetts: 25.4% gap between $37,436 for essential workers and a $50,200 average wage for all workers
  • New Hampshire: 24.3% gap between essential-worker earnings of $31,398 and average state earnings of $41,490
  • Maine: 18.8% gap between essential earnings of $31,160 and average earnings of $38,370
  • Vermont: 18.8% gap between $33,244 for essential workers and an overall average of $40,920

Overall, Nevada had the lowest gap in the study of all states at 7.8%, between an essential employee earning of $32,474 and an overall average of $39,810.

Purchase NowWant to share this story? Click Here to purchase a link that allows anyone to read it on any device whether or not they are a subscriber.