Washington, DC—A new fact sheet released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), based on data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, shows that in 2009 median annual earnings for employed women were $36,278, compared with $47,127 for men, a female- to- male- earnings ratio of 77.0 percent (making for a gender wage gap of 23 percent).

This gender wage gap deteriorated slightly in 2009, from a level of 77.1 percent in 2008, after peaking at 77.8 percent in 2007. For Americans employed full-time year-round, there is no evidence that men are doing worse in the recession than women earnings-wise.

The gender wage gap is stark for women of color. For full-time year-round employees, white women earned only 75 cents for each dollar earned by white men, but African American women only made 62 cents for every dollar earned by a white man, and Hispanic/ Latina women earned only 53 cents.

The Bureau of the Census also reported that fewer women – 2.4 million – and fewer men – 6.9 million – had full-time year-round jobs in 2009, compared to 2007, when the recession began.

“Families are more dependent than ever on the earnings of women, especially in communities of color, ” said Dr. Robert Drago, research director for IWPR. “Closing the gender wage gap would go far towards helping to restore the American middle class.”

The Bureau also reported that the United States added 360,000 female-headed households in 2009, compared to 2008.

“More effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs that pay decent wages regardless of gender or race is desperately needed,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, president of IWPR. “Women, especially those who support families on their own, would benefit from equal access to good jobs and equal pay.”

View the Fact Sheet released today here.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. The Institute works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and their families, and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research. IWPR’s work is supported by foundation grants, government grants and contracts, donations from individuals, and contributions from organizations and corporations. IWPR is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women’s studies and public policy programs at The George Washington University.