5 Fast Facts: The Gender Wage Gap


Median weekly earnings by sex and educational attainment. A bar chart shows that while average wages rise for men and women with education, men are paid more than women at every educational level.
On average, men are paid $1,219 per week and women $1,002. Earnings increase with education. With less than a high school diploma, men receive $745/week and women $594. With an advanced degree, men are paid $1,998 and women $1,546. 

By: Wendy Chun-Hoon

March 14 was Equal Pay Day. Here are five fast facts about the gender wage gap.

  1. Stats. Overall, women are not paid as much as men, even when working full time and year round. On average, women working full time, year round are paid 83.7% of what men are paid. This inequity is even greater for Black and Hispanic women.
  2. Causes. Women’s labor is undervalued. Most of the disparity in women and men’s pay cannot be explained by measurable differences between them. Out of the causes of the wage gap that we can measure, the main contributor is that women are more likely than men to work in low-paying jobs that offer fewer benefits.
  3. Education. Education is not enough to eliminate the gender wage gap. On average, women have more years of education and are more likely than men to have completed Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. Yet there is a significant gender wage gap at every level of education. Overall, women must complete one additional degree in order to be paid the same wages as a man with less education.
  4. Age. The gender wage gap does not resolve itself as women age and develop further in their careers. In fact, the wage gap for older women workers is larger than for younger women, and older Black and Hispanic women have the most extreme differences in pay.
  5. Occupations. The largest identifiable causes of the gender wage gap are differences in the occupations and industries where women and men are most likely to work. Women are 2 out of every 3 full-time workers in occupations that pay less than $30,000 per year, and fewer than 1 in 3 full-time workers in jobs paying an average of $100,000 or more. However, even within the same occupations, women earn less on average than men.

Learn more about equal pay in the United States.

Wendy Chun-Hoon is the director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. Follow the agency on Twitter: @WB_DOL.

SOURCE: https://blog.dol.gov/2023/03/14/5-fast-facts-the-gender-wage-gap

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