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

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.

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.

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.

Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s, 1985-2018

Full-time, Year-Round Workers with Projections for Pay Equity, by Race/Ethnicity

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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The Gender Wage Gap: 2017 Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity

DOWNLOAD REPORT The gender wage gap in weekly earnings for full-time workers in the United States did not improve between 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.8 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage [...]

By |May 7, 2018|

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2017 and by Race and Ethnicity

DOWNLOAD REPORT The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2017 and by Race and Ethnicity Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a [...]

By |April 29, 2018|

The Union Advantage for Women

Labor unions deserve credit for many of the workplace policies that Americans now take for granted—a 40-hour work week, a minimum wage, pay for overtime, and protections from health and safety hazards—and the labor movement continues to champion state and local policies such as paid sick days and paid family leave, policies that are beneficial to all working women and families.

By |February 22, 2018|

Private Sector Workers Lack Pay Transparency: Pay Secrecy May Reduce Women’s Bargaining Power and Contribute to Gender Wage Gap

The IWPR/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security is the first to ask workers whether there are policies at their work places that discourage or prohibit sharing information about pay.

By |December 10, 2017|

The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy

DOWNLOAD REPORT Women make up almost half of the workforce, yet they continue to earn less than men on average in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio (Hegewisch [...]