ERIC Number: ED419098
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Earnings Differences between Women and Men. Facts on Working Women.
Women's Bureau (DOL), Washington, DC.
Although the gap between women's and men's wages differs slightly depending on how the gap is measured, no matter how they are measured, women's earnings are below those received by men in 97% of the occupations for which data are available. Since 1979, women's earnings have been climbing when compared with men's earnings, gaining steeply during the 1980s. Differences emerge when different age and racial groups are considered, however. After the recession in the early 1990s, however, women's labor force participation rate stalled for about 3 years. During that same period, the trend toward closing of the wage gap slowed. The reasons for the slowdown in the earnings ratio climb remain unclear. Research has identified a number of possible causes for differences in women's and men's earnings: women's continued clustering in certain occupations; young women's choice of school major and career; women's generally fewer years of participation in the work force and resultant lack of seniority; and sex discrimination. Some of these causes could be addressed by, for example, increasing women's time in the work force and providing child care benefits, flextime, and family leave policies by employers. Of particular interest to educators is Figure 5: "Earnings and Education by Sex/Race/Ethnic Type, 1997." This graph shows 1997 average weekly earnings data for full-time wage and salary workers by the level of education received, for different gender and race groups. The graph shows that as education increases, earnings also rise dramatically (particularly for young women), through the doctoral degree. (MN)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Women's Bureau (DOL), Washington, DC.