New Census Data Show that the Gender Wage Gap Is Not Closing

Press Release

With virtually no change in the gender wage gap in 2017, women will not see equal pay for 41 more years at the current rate

The gender wage gap widened between women of all racial and ethnic groups and White men

Washington, DC— A fact sheet by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) uses updated data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau to chart the gender earnings ratio since 1960 and analyzes changes in earnings during the last year by gender, race, and ethnicity. The gender wage ratio remained unchanged from 2016 at 80.5 percent.

If current trends continue, women will not receive equal pay until 2059, according to a related IWPR analysis of trends in earnings since 1960. This projection for equal pay remains unchanged for the last two years, indicating that the rate of progress has stalled.

Women of all major racial and ethnic groups saw the wage gap with White men widen in 2017, with especially large gaps facing Black and Hispanic women. Hispanic women made just 53 cents for every dollar earned by a White man (down from 54.4 cents in 2016) and Black women made just 60.8 cents (down from 62.5 cents in 2016). At $32,002 per year of full-time work, median earnings for Hispanic women are below the qualifying income threshold for eligibility for food stamps for a family of four.

“The economy is supposedly booming, but for whom? Recent economic policies have not actively addressed inequalities facing women in the labor market, so it’s not surprising that the gender wage gap remains stuck. Women of color are especially affected by the lack of policies that address women’s economic realities,” said economist and IWPR President Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.

“For the past several years, we have seen marginal or no progress on the gender wage gap and this is one instance where no news is bad news for the millions of families who rely on women’s earnings for their economic security. Maintaining the status quo where women have limited access to paid leave and affordable child care is a proven way to perpetuate gender pay inequality,” said IWPR Program Director on Employment & Earnings Ariane Hegewisch.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.

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