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February 18, 2003
Pay Disparity Narrows
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t year women’s pay raises outpaced those attained by men, closing the gap in pay to the narrowest on record, the New York Times reports. But full-time female workers still made only 77.5 percent of what their male counterparts did, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During the previous year, men’s wages weren’t able to keep up with inflation, which was relatively low at 2 percent, according to the New York Times. The newspaper reports that the median full-time male worker earned a 1.3-percent raise in weekly pay last year. The median women’s pay rose 5-percent.

“The wage trends for men are unequivocally bad,” says Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute, a research group in Washington. “The fact that we’re deep into a jobless recovery and women’s wages are still growing is good news.”

The newspaper notes that millions of women are employed in two sectors that added workers last year – health care and government. More women also joined labor unions, which could have contributed to their rise in wages, economists tell the Times.

Meanwhile, a professional women’s group is calling on companies to develop compensation audits to ensure their firms pay women equitably, CBS MarketWatch reports. Business and Professional Women/USA says addressing disparity in wages is a top priority for women in the workplace, according to MarketWatch.


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