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’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s, 1985-2018 (Full-time, Year-Round Workers) with Projections for Pay Equity, by Race/Ethnicity

Source: IWPR analysis of data from P-38 Historical Income Tables, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements. <http://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-income-people.html> (accessed November 4, 2019). Notes: Estimates presented for All Women are based on the earnings ratio for full-time, year-round workers between all [...]

By |November 5, 2019|

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave in the Trades: Good Practices for Apprentices

DOWNLOAD REPORT The physically strenuous work means that often it is not safe for pregnant women to work to the end of their pregnancy. While under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act it is illegal for employers to fire someone because she is pregnant, or [...]

By |October 15, 2019|

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.

By |September 23, 2019|

The Gender Wage Gap: 2018; Earnings Differences by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

DOWNLOAD REPORT The ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings was 81.6 percent for full-time, year-round workers in 2018, a statistically insignificant change from 2017 when it was 81.7 percent.[1] This ratio means that the gender wage gap for full-time, year-round workers [...]

By |September 11, 2019|

Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2018 (Full-Time, Year-Round Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2059

Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2018 (Full-Time, Year-Round Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2059

By |September 10, 2019|

Women, Automation, and the Future of Work (Executive Summary)

According to Women, Automation, and the Future of Work, an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) report, technological change will affect men and women differently in a number of ways. The first study of its kind in the United States, this report estimates the risk of automation across occupations by gender and presents a comprehensive picture of what we know—and what we don’t—about how the future of work will affect women workers.

By |May 13, 2019|
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