By Jillian Berman

That’s the finding of a report released Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Traditionally, researchers and officials have estimated the gulf between men and women’s earnings by looking at how much women working year-round and full-time earn in a given year in comparison to their male counterparts.

The study, released Wednesday, takes a different approach to measuring the gender wage gap by comparing the earnings of both women and men with all kinds of working arrangements over a 15-year period. When measured this way, women earn just 49 cents for every dollar a man earns.

“What this study tries to accomplish is really to compare all women’s labor market experiences to all men’s,” said Stephen Rose a nonresident fellow at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank, and a co-author of the study.

By comparing earnings over a 15-year period, the study captures the experiences of women as they move through the labor market and illustrates how those experiences affect their economic status. The study covers people who have spent at least one year in the workforce. Among women workers, about 43% experienced at least one year with no earnings, compared to just 23% of men.

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