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 improved slightly from 76.5 percent in 2012 to 78.3 percent in 2013, which the Census Bureau reported was not statistically significant. Moreover, an IWPR analysis finds that, if current trends are projected forward, women will not receive equal pay
. This date is unchanged from last year, further indicating stalled progress in closing the gender wage gap.
“The gender wage gap has hovered around the same level for more than a decade,” said
IWPR President and economist Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.
“These statistically insignificant improvements in closing the wage gap do not do enough to improve the economic security of working women and the millions of families that rely on their earnings.”
Overall, women’s median annual earnings in 2013 were $39,157, compared with $50,033 for men. Real full-time year-round earnings for all women were 2.1 percent higher in 2013 than in 2012;
Hispanic women saw the largest increase in real wages
, as their earnings increased by 4.8 percent, while Asian women saw the largest decrease in real wages, with their earnings 6.5 percent lower than in the previous year. (Real earnings changed by less than 0.5 percent for white and black women.)
Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower lifetime earnings, less family income, and more poverty in families with a working woman. According to a recent regression
of federal data by IWPR, the poverty rate for working women would be
cut in half
if women were paid the same as comparable men. Nearly 60 percent (59.3 percent) of women would earn more if working women were paid the same as men of the same age with similar education and hours of work.
A lack of transparency about pay prevents many women from knowing that they are being paid less than their male counterparts. IWPR’s research has found that more than half of working women are either prohibited or strongly
discouraged from discussing their pay
with their colleagues. The gender wage gap in the federal government—with high levels of pay transparency—is only 11 percent, compared with 22 percent nationwide.
“Improved public policies—such as increasing the minimum wage, ensuring access to paid family leave and paid sick days for all workers, and improving pay transparency at work—would go a long way in accelerating progress for women and the families that rely on their earnings,”
said IWPR Vice President and Executive Director Barbara Gault, Ph.D.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)
is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.