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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gender Wage Gap Persists in Almost All Occupations

Nearly Twice as Many Women as Men Work in Occupations with Poverty Wages

According to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women earn less than men in almost all of the 112 occupations for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes weekly full-time earnings data for both women and men.
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Apr 07, 2014

Washington, DC–According to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women earn less than men in almost all of the 112 occupations for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes weekly full-time earnings data for both women and men. In at least 101 of the 112 occupations, women made significantly less than men, and in 17 of these they made at least 25 cents less per dollar. Women also earn less than men in all twenty of most common occupations for women.

The occupations with the largest gender earnings gaps are in sales-related occupations. In ‘securities, commodities, and financial services sales,’ women’s median weekly earnings of $863 are 62.1 percent of men’s median weekly earnings of $1,389, an earnings gap of 37.9 percent. Women working as ‘retail sales persons,’ have median earnings of only $485, compared with men’s $719, a gender wage gap of 32.5 percent.

“Once again, sales occupations, which have great disparities in commissions, are the ones with the highest wage gap,” said Ariane Hegewisch, IWPR Study Director. “This is not about choice, but about inequality in access to the jobs with the highest earnings, and lack of transparency in who gets paid what.”

Twelve of the 20 most common occupations for women, compared with eight of the 20 most common occupations for men, have median weekly earnings that will leave a household of four at or near poverty. (The annual poverty threshold in 2013 translated into weekly income of $453.) Forty percent of Hispanic women work in service and other occupations with poverty wages, as well as 32 percent of black women and 14 percent of white women.

"As the country wrestles with policies that ensure better wages and improved economic security for workers, it is important to consider remaining barriers to entry to higher-paid occupations, the overrepresentation of women in low-paid occupations, and how we value different types of work," said IWPR President Heidi Hartmann.

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.

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