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September 20, 2010
Report: Little Progress in Closing Gender Earnings Gap
The latest Gender Wage Gap report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), finds that the gender earnings gap has gone virtually unchanged in the past few years. The new IWPR fact sheet based on US Census Bureau data, explains that in 2009, the ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings, was 77.0% for full-time, year-round workers, or $36,278 for women and $47,127 for men. This figure was down slightly from 2008 (77.1%) and from the peak of 77.8% in 2007.

Meanwhile, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly earnings for full-time workers was 80.2% in 2009 ($657 for women versus $819 for men) down from its peak of 81.0% in 2005, according to the fact sheet.

IWPR reports that “[p]rogress in closing the gender earnings gap has slowed considerably since the early 1990s.” The gender earnings ratio for full-time employees has increased only 3.1% since 1993. The ratio for full-time, full-year workers, has increased by just 5.5% in the same time frame..

The fact sheet noted that if part-time workers are included the ratios of women’s earnings “would be much lower, as women are more likely than men to work reduced schedules in order to manage childrearing and other caregiving work.” It further noted that the recession “has forced 4.5 million men and 1.3 million women into part-time or part-year employment, dragging down the median annual earnings of all men by 4.1 percent since 2007, and dropping women’s annual earnings by 2.8 percent over the same time period.”

In the fact sheet, IWPR also reports on the gender earnings gap on the basis of race, comparing the earnings of Asian, Hispanic or Latino, African-American and white women as a percentage of white males’ earnings. Asian women (82.3%) fared better than women of other races/ethnicities.

The fact sheet is available at http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/C350.pdf

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