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, Automation, and the Future of Work

DOWNLOAD REPORT Read the full report Read the executive summary INTRODUCTION Why the Analysis of Technological Change Needs a Gender Perspective Automation, artificial intelligence, and other technological changes are already affecting the number and quality of jobs. The number of workers employed in [...]

By |May 13, 2019|

Women Gain Jobs in Construction Trades but Remain Underrepresented in the Field

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of women working in construction trades increased by 17.6 percent, rising to well over a quarter of a million women (276,000).[1] This is substantially higher than job growth of 3.7 percent in construction occupations overall.

By |March 28, 2019|

Retail Occupations: Few Signs of Employment Decline but Increasing Precarity

One in eleven U.S. workers work in retail jobs, close to 13 million workers in 2014-16. Occupations in the retail sector include Retail Salespersons, Cashiers, and Stock Clerks and Order Fillers, but also Advertising Agents, Telemarketers, and Models and Product Promoters.

By |March 13, 2019|

Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap

The commonly used figure to describe the gender wage ratio—that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—understates the pay inequality problem by leaving many women workers out of the picture. This report argues that a multi-year analysis provides a more comprehensive picture of the gender wage gap and presents a more accurate measure of the income women actually bring home to support themselves and their families.

By |November 26, 2018|
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