In year one of COVID-19, the gender wage gap narrowed slightly only for full-time, year-round workers, with women in low-paying jobs bearing the brunt of the crisis. For all workers, the gender gap widened slightly.

Highlights from this fact sheet include:

  •  The COVID-19 pandemic led to disproportionate job loss among the lowest-paid women. With fewer of the lowest-paid women in the count, the median annual earnings for full-time, year-round working women increased by 6.5 percent. The gender wage gap for full-time, year-round workers shrank slightly from 17.7 percent in 2019 to 17.0 percent in 2020, a gender earnings ratio of 83.0 percent. 

  • The median annual earnings of all women fell by 1.2 percent while men’s earnings did not change. The gender wage gap for all women and men workers with earnings widened from 26.5 to 27.4 percent (earnings ratio of 72.6 percent).

  •  Racial and gender wage gaps remain profound. The median annual earnings for full-time, year-round work for Hispanic or Latina women were just 57.3 percent of White non-Hispanic men’s, Black women’s were 63.9 percent, White non-Hispanic women’s 79.4 percent, and Asian women’s 101.2 percent. 

Based on trends in women’s and men’s earnings from 1960 onwards, it will take another 39 years (until 2059) for women’s earnings to reach the same level as men’s.