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The Gender Wage Gap

August 25, 2015
The White House recently calculated that full-time workingwomen earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts make.[1] While numbers differ by occupation and state, among other factors, most women in America are paid less for the same work as men. Different studies have slightly different numbers, but all agree that there is a difference in how much men and women make for equal work. A recent study released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research predicted that the wage gap will not close nationally until at least 2058.[2]

By Kira Simon, C’15

According to this study, Florida will be the first state to close its wage gap, in 2038, but Wyoming will not reach pay parity until around 2159.[3] Another study done by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research examined pay differences for women and men nationally in 116 full-time occupations, and found that there was only one occupation in which women have exactly the same median weekly earnings as men, and one where women earn slightly more than men.[4] The occupation where women earn the same is health practitioner support technologists and technicians.[5] For the other 114 full-time occupations, the median weekly earnings of women were less than that of men.[6]

Women Only Earn 77 Cents for Every Dollar Men Earn.

The occupation where women and men had the largest gap was personal financial advisers.[7] Women personal financial advisers earned 61.3 percent of what men personal financial advisers made on a weekly basis.[8] The occupation in which women earned more than men was stock clerks and order fillers, where women earned 102.0 percent of what men earned.[9]

In 109 of the 116 occupations, the percent of women’s median weekly earnings to men’s was 95 or lower.[10] In 27 of the occupations, women made less than 75 percent of men’s median weekly earnings.[11] The median percent of weekly earnings in 2014 was 82.5 percent for women of what men were earning for full-time positions.[12]

The Average Woman Will Lose $431,000 Because of the Gender Wage Gap.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wage gap has been decreasing since 1979.[13] In 1979, the wage gap between men and women doing equal work was around 63 percent.[14] As of 2013, BLS calculated earnings of women working full-time jobs to be 82 percent.[15]

The wage gap can be further broken down by race and ethnicity, revealing more disparities. The total percent of full-time women earned 82 percent of what men made, and white women earned 82 percent of white men’s earnings for comparable work. While black women and Hispanic women both earned 91 percent of what their male counterparts made, earnings for Hispanic women and men were lowest overall, followed by earnings for black women and men. Asian women made 77 percent of what Asian men made, with Asian men and women making the most earnings overall.

Another study by the Pew Research Center looked at earnings for both full- and part-time earnings for men and women. When both types of work are included, they found that women are making 84 percent of what men make.[16] Although things seem to be getting better overall as the years go on, a study from June 2014 conducted by Wells Fargo found that millennial women are earning 73 percent of what millennial men are making.[17] Millennial men have a median household income of $77,000, but women have a median household income of $56,000. However, millennial women with a college degree have a median household income of $63,000, 76 percent of the income of their male peers who are making $83,000.

There are many factors that contribute to the gender wage gap. Women not negotiating their salary or not negotiating high enough, women taking maternity leave or other leave to care for loved ones, gender and racial discrimination, and the long-standing presence of a wage gap all contribute to the differences between what men and women make for equal work. There is no rational reason behind paying women less than men.

49,000,000 Children Depend on Women's Salaries.

In addition to being fair when it comes to pay, the gender wage gap is important because it affects families, child care, and retirement savings. Women are the sole or primary earners in 40 percent of households with children.[18] However, mothers make less than fathers in every state.[19] The difference fluctuates between states, with mothers making 10 cents less to the dollar in D.C. to 42 cents to the dollar in Louisiana.[20]

By closing the wage gap, women would better be able to support their families with more money for rent, groceries, child care, health care, and student loans. More women live in poverty and rely on public benefits like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance.[21] If the wage gap closed, more women would be able to move off of public benefits, saving money for the government.


  [1] Did You Know That Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men? The White House. 2015. Web. 10 Jul.

2015.

  [2] Status of Women in the States. Institute for Women’s Policy Research. 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Jul.

2015.

  [3] Status of Women in the States. Institute for Women’s Policy Research. 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Jul.

2015.

  [4] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [5] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [6] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [7] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [8] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [9] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [10] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [11] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [12] The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity. Institute for Women’s Policy

Research. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [13] Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dec. 2014. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [14] Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dec. 2014. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

   [15]Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dec. 2014. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [16] Patten, Eileen. On Equal Pay Day, key facts about the gender pay gap. Pew Research Center. 14 Apr.

2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [17] Davies, Madeleine. The Pay Gap Could Be Getting Worse for Millennial Women. Jezebel. 12 Jun.

2014. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [18] Schulman, Karen. Mother’s Contribution to Family Income is Essential. National Women’s Law

Center. 29 May. 2013. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [19] Gallagher Robbins, Katherine; Morrison, Anne. Mothers Make Less than Fathers in Every State.

National Women’s Law Center. 03 Jun. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [20] Gallagher Robbins, Katherine; Morrison, Anne. Mothers Make Less than Fathers in Every State.

National Women’s Law Center. 03 Jun. 2015. Web. 10 Jul. 2015.

  [21] How the Wage Gap Hurts Women and Families. National Women’s Law Center. 08 Jun. 2015. Web.

10 Jul. 2015.

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  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
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  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>