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March 02, 2011
'Women in America' Report Highlights Earnings, Education

A recent report from the White House shows the relation between education and pay for both women and men. The report, entitled Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, is the first comprehensive federal report on women since the 1960’s.

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Overall the pay gap between women and men narrowed for most age groups, but still exists. According to the data, female full-time wage and salary workers' weekly earnings have increased from 62 percent of males' weekly pay in 1979, to 80 percent of males' weekly pay in 2009.

Different age groups have a different female to male earnings ratio. For example, 25- to 34-year-old females' earnings increased from 68 percent in 1979, to 89 percent in 2009. However, 45- to 54-year-old females have a slightly larger pay gap, increasing from 57 percent in 1979, to 74 percent in 2009.

The report indicates that earnings for both males and females increase with higher levels of education. While the pay gap still exists, full-time female workers saw a greater increase in earnings from 1979 to 2009. On average, female workers in this category saw earnings increase by 31 percent, compared to male counterparts who only saw a 2 percent increase. In the same time period, females with a college degree saw earnings rise 33 percent, 11 percent more than their male counterparts.

On the other hand, all workers with less than a high school diploma saw a decline in earnings since 1979. However, the decrease was less severe for women, at 9 percent, than men, at 28 percent.

The White House released the report on March 1, the kick off to Women’s History Month. Women in America focuses on five critical areas: people, families and income; education; employment; health; and crime and violence. The Administration will highlight a different section of the report every week.

The Office of Management and Budget, the Economics and Statistics Administration, and federal statistical agencies created the report.

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