Breaking it down in chart form… lower wages are hitting both men and women hard, but in 2011, for the fourth straight year, the pay gap remained the same. Women still earn 77 cents for every dollar made by men in the US economy. These figures and the chart above are part of the recently released report by the Census Bureau: “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011.”
Stats like this and the accompanying discussion inevitably turn into accusations of misleading statistics, the argument being that women earn less because they work less, and at less valuable (!) jobs. I responded to this at length a while back, discussing the myriad ways in which the male/female wage gap in the United States can be analyzed, understood and broken down. Please read it. Here’s an excerpt:
The truth is that no matter how you nitpick at the methodologies of these studies, gender pay and employment gaps are revealed, for a variety of combined reasons. But they are not the result of statistical trickery. They are very real statistics that need to be accepted for very real reasons. Women are very much a part of the economy, and choosing to vote against their pay equality… is not a vote in support of the nation’s economy or businesses. In a country where forty percent of breadwinners are working mothers, it’s negligent and economically harmful to the nation as a whole to continue allowing women to lose an average of $431,000 dollars over the course of their lifetimes. The IWPR’s estimations (done last spring) say that at current rate of change, women will hit pay equality in 2056(!!), but there’s nothing to say that current rates won’t actually slow.
[Via Today and the Census Bureau]