Employment and Earnings2020-08-10T20:16:48-04:00

Employment and Earnings

Whether paid or unpaid, women’s work is crucial for their families’ economic security and well-being. Greater gender equality in paid and unpaid work will reduce poverty and improve economic growth and prosperity; persistent inequity in employment and family work is costing all of us. Women are held back by the undervaluation of historically female work, workplaces designed as if workers had no family responsibilities, and a broken-down work-family infrastructure.

IWPR’s Employment and Earnings program highlights the extent of pay inequalities, and the role played by stark occupational segregation in perpetuating unequal pay. We conduct research and analysis on women’s labor force participation and employment trends; workforce development, non-traditional employment, and apprenticeships; the impact of sex discrimination and harassment on women’s career advancement and mobility; the gender pay gap and pay inequity across race and ethnicity; work-family policies and employer practices; the and the impact of automation and technological advances on women workers.

We work with policymakers, employers, advocates, and practitioners to identify promising practices and policy solutions.

Building the Future
Build(ing) the Future: Bold Policies for a Gender-Equitable Recovery

This report, Build(ing) the Future: Bold Policies for a Gender-Equitable Recovery, provides a framework for shared prosperity and equitable economic recovery. It examines the impact of the economic crisis and recession on working women, their families, and communities. It provides a blueprint for a gender-equitable recovery that is not only about meeting the immediate economic needs of women and families, but lays out a long-term strategy for creating stronger systems and institutions that reflect the experiences and contributions of women.

Breadwinner Mothers
Holding Up Half the Sky: Mothers as Workers, Primary Caregivers, & Breadwinners During COVID-19

The loss of jobs in sectors dominated by women will have a devastating impact of families, especially those headed by single mothers or where women are the primary or co-breadwinner. One in two of more than 30 million families in the U.S. with children under the age of 18 have a breadwinner mother, who contributes at least 40 percent of the earnings to the household.

Gender Wage Gap
The Gender Wage Gap: 2019 Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity

The gender wage gap in weekly earnings for full-time workers in the United States narrowed marginally between 2018 and 2019. In 2019, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.5 percent, leaving a wage gap of 18.5 percent.

Future of Work
The Future of Care Work: Improving the Quality of America’s Fastest-Growing Jobs

Paid adult care work jobs are expected to increase substantially in the coming years, due to both an aging population and a comparatively low risk of automation for many of these jobs. These jobs, however, are among the lowest quality occupations in the U.S. labor market, with paid adult care workers facing low earnings, limited access to benefits, high rates of injury on the job, and scheduling unpredictability.

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Women and Men Share Stronger Job Gains in December—Women’s Unemployment Rate Is at 4.8 Percent; Men’s at 5.2 Percent

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the January employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that women gained 141,000 jobs and men gained 151,000 for a total of 292,000 jobs added in December.

By |January 8, 2016|

The Union Advantage for Women

This briefing paper presents an analysis of women’s union membership and the union wage and benefit advantage for women by state and by race/ethnicity. It is based on an analysis of the Current Population Survey. Wage and benefit data are for all workers covered by a union contract, irrespective of their membership in a union.

By |August 12, 2015|

Women in the Construction Trades: Earnings, Workplace Discrimination, and the Promise of Green Jobs

Based on the 2013 IWPR Tradeswomen Survey, an exploratory study of women working in construction trades, this report provides insights to working conditions for women in the construction industry, examines their earnings and employment experiences since the end of the Great Recession, and analyzes women’s motivations for pursuing green training and its impact on their employment.

By |April 13, 2015|

Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap: A Job Half Done

This report was prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) as a part of a series of Scholars’ Papers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of American Women: Report of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, 1963.

By |January 23, 2014|
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