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Earnings gap narrows between men and women

Women prospering in the new economy

David Kuack | October 5, 2010

USA Today reports that analysis of earnings data shows that during the 2nd quarter of 2010 women earned 82.8% of the median weekly wage of men. That is up from 76.1% for the same period a decade ago and the highest ever recorded.
The Census Bureau reports that in 2009, the earnings of women who worked full time, year-round were 77% of that for corresponding men, not statistically different from the 2008 ratio.
The real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round rose by 2% between 2008 and 2009, from $46,191 to $47,127. For women, the corresponding increase was 1.9%, from $35,609 to $36,278.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 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% since 2007, and dropping women’s annual earnings by 2.8% over the same time period. The earnings gap tends to become smaller during recessions. That pattern does not hold in this recession because the men who were able to hold onto full-time year-round jobs had, on average, higher-wage jobs than similarly situated women.
The Institute said Black and Hispanic workers of both sexes earn considerably less than white males. African American women earned on average 61.9 cents for every dollar earned by white men. Hispanic women earned 52.9 cents for each dollar earned by white men. The higher earnings of Asian Americans are related to historically higher education rates within this group, although there is still a gender gap (82.3 cents).

Pictured: The Census Bureau reports that in 2009, the earnings of women who worked full time, year-round were 77% of that for corresponding men.

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