Published: Apr 17, 2012 11:01 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 17, 2012 11:17 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The average working woman in the U.S. would have to work from the start of 2011 until April 17, 2012 to earn what a man earned last year.

That's why President Obama declared it National Equal Pay Day.

While there's been progress in the fight for equal pay, some in Lee County say we still have a ways to go.

The National Partnership for Women and Families says women in Florida make about 80 cents for every dollar men earn. Nationally, it is 77 cents per dollar.

Linda Farmer works at the Franklin Shops in downtown Fort Myers, and is proud of her job and her paycheck. But she doesn't like to hear the latest numbers showing women still make less money than men.

She says, "I think it's something we need to tackle and find a solution for, definitely."

She adds, "there needs to be a solution to that problem because it's disheartening to hear that as a woman. I think we need to step up as a community and change that."

If the gap did not exist, women in Florida could afford another 2,000 gallons of gas per year, and another 73 weeks worth of food.

The average yearly pay for a woman in Florida is $32,762 and for a man, it's $40,731.

After hearing the statistics, Stephanie Marshman of Lee County says,"It is kinda sad that it is that way. I have a daughter in college and coming into the workforce and it's sad that she is going to have to work harder and get paid less than what I man doing the same job will be doing."

Her mother, Martha Rogers, agrees. "I remember when it was 50% so I see progress and I think it's good, and I think it needs to be equal."

Bill Swope is not surprised by the numbers, but he is disappointed. "I think most rational people believe equal pay for equal work. There shouldn't be a debate"

Linda Farmer says she grew up in a household where men and women were equal.

She says, "we have to be balanced, yin and yang, men and women. We need to work together and there should be equality to what we can bring to the table."

The biggest pay disparity is in Wyoming, where it amounts to 36 cents. The smallest is 9 cents in Washington, D.C.