To experience economic security, working adults must have enough income to meet their basic monthly expenses and save for emergencies and retirement. The Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST) Index provides a measure of how much income working adults of different family types need to be economically secure in each state.
This Fact Sheet presents findings from analysis of the Employment & Earnings Index and Poverty & Opportunity Index of The Status of Women in the States series, a comprehensive project that presents and analyzes data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the December employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) establishment survey finds that, over the last year (November 2016 - November 2017), women gained fewer jobs than men: women gained 985,000, while men gained 1,086,000 jobs.
In this post, we argue that the figure is an accurate measure of the inequality in earnings between women and men who work full-time, year-round in the labor market and reflects a number of different factors: discrimination in pay, recruitment, job assignment, and promotion; lower earnings in occupations mainly done by women; and women’s disproportionate share of time spent on family care, including that they—rather than fathers—still tend to be the ones to take more time off work when families have children.
Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower pay, less family income, and more poverty in families with a working woman, which is of no small consequence to working families.