Women in California's full-time workforce make 85 percent of what men do, putting it No. 5 on the study's list states with the narrowest wage gaps. In raw numbers, the median salary for women is $41,817, compared with $49,281 for men.
California's high ranking is partly because of the state's large service industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ranks the leisure and hospitality industry as one of the top sectors for women’s pay equity. That means California’s service industry somewhat outweighs the state’s high-tech industry, in which men often earn more than women. Another contributing industry is agriculture, which the BLS also ranks as a sector with high women’s pay equity.
But California's high unemployment rate is also a factor. Areas with high unemployment see narrow wage gaps, Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told Forbes magazine. California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation: 10.9 percent.