Economic Snapshot | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

The gap between men’s and women’s earnings

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for December 13, 2000.

The gap between men’s and women’s earnings

Gender earnings gap by race and gender, 1970-99

Between 1998 and 1999, the median earnings of full-time, full-year women workers decreased by $109, while earnings increased $350 for male workers. This lack of growth in real earnings for women has led to a widening of the gender earnings gap.

Overall, the earnings gap between men and women has decreased, on average, by a third of a penny annually from 1963 to 1999. The smallest gap between men and women’s earnings occurred in 1997, when, among full-time, full-year workers, women earned 74.2% of male earnings. Since then, however, the gender gap has grown: in 1999, women only made 72.2% of male earnings.

The gender pay gap differs among racial/ethnic groups. The earnings gap between white men and white women increased slightly in 1999 – white women’s earnings were 72.6% of white men’s earnings in 1998 but only 71.6% in 1999. However, the gap between African American women’s earnings and white men’s earnings decreased between 1998 and 1999.

Source: The National Committee on Pay Equity. 2000. “The Wage Gap Over Time: In Real Dollars, Women See a Widening Gap.”

This week’s Snapshot by EPI economist Heather Boushey.

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