A new Briefing Paper, The Workforce Investment Act and Women’s Progress: Does WIA Funded Training Reinforce Sex Segregation in the Labor Market and the Gender Wage Gap?, released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, shows that federally funded training may reinforce sex segregation and the gender wage gap.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is likely to come up for reauthorization this Congress. The Briefing Paper finds, based on data from the WIASRD Data Book, that:
• Women on average earn $1500 to $2000 less per quarter than men after federally funded career counseling or training. After completing services, women earn 79.5 percent of what men earn among adult participants and 74.1 percent of what men can earn among dislocated workers.
• The wage gap is not due to less training: on average women received more weeks of WIA-funded training than men.
• Fewer than 3 percent of WIA exiters received training for non-traditional occupations, occupations where the opposite sex accounts for at least 75 percent of workers.
WIA includes ‘self-sufficiency’ as a stated objective of training services. Unless greater attention is paid to the causes of the gender earnings gap after WIA services, that goal will remain elusive for many women and their families.
Click here to view the Briefing Paper.