FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC–New research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that, at the current pace of progress, the wage gap between working men and women will not close until the year 2057. This updates previous research from IWPR showing that the wage gap would close in 2056 because slow progress in recent years moves the goal for equality one year further away
“We might be living in space by the time women earn the same as men,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., President of IWPR. “With women now nearly half the labor force and breadwinners in a large number of families, the wage gap should already be a relic of the past.”
While the wage gap has been closing since the 1960s, progress slowed in the 1990s. The last decade has seen very little progress on closing the wage gap.
Among full-time, year round workers in the United States, women earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2011 (the most recently available data). IWPR research has also found that men earn more than women in the most common occupations.
According to IWPR’s analysis of weekly earnings for full-time workers, the wage gap actually widened last year. The ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings (not including self-employed) was 80.9 percent in 2012, a decline of more than one percentage point since 2011 when the ratio was 82.2 percent. The wage gap grew in all major race and ethnic groups. Growth in lower paying jobs and loss of public sector jobs for women may have contributed to the most recent shift.
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.