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Latest Reports from IWPR

Five Ways to Win an Argument about the Gender Wage Gap
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Gina Chirillo, and Jennifer Clark (September 2016)

The 79.6 percent wage ratio figure, the most commonly used figure to measure the gender wage gap in the United States, is often derided as misleading, a myth, or worst of all, a lie. In this fact sheet, we argue that the figure is an accurate measure of the inequality in earnings between women and men who work full-time, year-round in the labor market and reflects a number of different factors: discrimination in pay, recruitment, job assignment, and promotion; lower earnings in occupations mainly done by women; and women’s disproportionate share of time spent on family care, including that they—rather than fathers—still tend to be the ones to take more time off work when families have children. Just because the explanation of the gender wage gap is multi-faceted does not make it a lie.

 

The Gender Wage Gap: 2015; Annual Earnings Differences by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch and Asha DuMonthier (September 2016)

The ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings was 79.6 percent for full-time/year-round workers in 2015. This means the gender wage gap for full-time/year-round workers is 20.4 percent. The ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings did not improve significantly during the last year, and has not seen a statistically significant annual increase since 2007. If the pace of change in the annual earnings ratio continues at the same rate as it has since 1960, it will take another 45 years, until 2059, for men and women to reach parity. Women’s median annual earnings in 2015 were $40,742 compared with $51,212 for men; both women’s and men’s full-time year-round earnings increased significantly between 2014 and 2015 (by 2.7 and 1.5 percent respectively).

 

Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2015 (Full-time, Year-round Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2059
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (September 2016)

 

Native American Women Saw the Largest Declines in Wages over the Last Decade among All Women
by Asha DuMonthier (September 2016)

Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of data from the American Community Survey finds that between 2004 and 2014, Native American women’s real median annual earnings for full-time, year-round work declined by 5.8 percent—more than three times as much as women’s earnings overall (Figure 1). Like Native American women, Black women and Hispanic women also saw their earnings fall substantially between 2004 and 2014, which includes the Great Recession and slow economic recovery (5.0 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively).

 

Breadwinner Mothers by Race/Ethnicity and State
by Julie Anderson (September 2016)

With the large majority of U.S. mothers in the labor force and a steady decline in the real earnings of all workers over recent decades, families are increasingly relying on mothers’ earnings for economic stability. In the United States, half of all households with children under 18 have a breadwinner mother, who is either a single mother who heads a household, irrespective of earnings, or a married mother who provides at least 40 percent of the couple’s joint earnings. At the same time, women are more likely than men to shoulder unpaid caregiving responsibilities and many women, especially women of color, are more likely to be balancing work and care alone. The lack of work-family supports in the United States, such as paid sick days and paid family leave, coupled with the high cost of child care, places an additional burden on low-income women and women of color, who are the least likely to have employer-provided paid leave.

 

Child Care for Parents in College: A State-by-State Assessment
by Ellie Eckerson, Lauren Talbourdet, Lindsey Reichlin, Mary Sykes, Elizabeth Noll Ph.D., and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (September 2016)

Child care is a crucial support for the 4.8 million parents in college, but it is difficult for students to find and afford. Balancing the responsibilities of school, family, and work, student parents with young children rely on affordable, reliable child care arrangements to manage the many demands on their time while pursuing a postsecondary credential. Student parents’ ability to find and pay for child care varies by state. Differences in the availability of child care on college campuses and in the restrictiveness of state eligibility rules for child care assistance means that many student parents have limited access to the services they need to complete school. This briefing paper analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education on the share of public institutions that provide campus child care, and reviews current state child care subsidy rules, to assess state variation in the challenges facing student parents’ access to affordable, quality child care.

 

Black Women Are Among Those Who Saw the Largest Declines in Wages over the Last Decade
by Asha DuMonthier (August 2016)

Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of data from the American Community Survey finds that between 2004 and 2014, Black women’s real median annual earnings for full-time, year-round work declined by 5.0 percent—more than three times as much as women’s earnings overall. Like Black women, Native American women and Hispanic women also saw their earnings fall substantially between 2004 and 2014, which includes the Great Recession and slow economic recovery (5.8 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively).

 

Strong Job Gains Continue with 255,000 Jobs Added in July
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (August 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the August employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that women gained 181,000 jobs and men gained 74,000 for a total of 255,000 jobs added in July, giving women 71 percent of job growth.

 

Student Parents’ Access to Campus Child Care Continued to Decline in 2015
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (July 2016)

The 4.8 million parents enrolled in college perform a complicated balancing act.1 According to new IWPR analysis, availability of campus child care continued to decline in 2015, with just under half of public four-year institutions providing campus child care services, down from a high of 55 percent in 2003-05 (Figure 1). At community colleges, where the largest share of parents are enrolled, only 44 percent report having an on-campus center, down from over half (53 percent) in 2003-04 (Figure 1).2 Given the importance of higher education to a family’s economic security and their children’s future success, ensuring that student parents have access to affordable, quality care must be a priority for educational institutions, higher education advocates, and policymakers.

 

The Gender Patenting Gap
by Jessica Milli, Barbara Gault, Emma Williams-Baron, Jenny Xia, and Meika Berlan (July 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reviewed and analyzed published data and literature on women and patenting, finding that women hold an extremely small share of patents, and that at the current rate of progress, gender equity is more than 75 years away. This briefing paper presents a snapshot of the data and related recommendations.

 

Paid Sick Days Benefit Employers, Workers, and the Economy
by Jessica Milli, Jenny Xia, and Jisun Min (July 2016)

Millions of workers have gained access to paid sick days in recent years through new laws in five states, 23 cities, and one county across the country. Yet millions more still would not be paid if they need to stay at home when they are sick or need to care for a family member who is ill. As of 2014, 51 million workers lacked access to paid sick days. Research has documented many benefits of paid sick days policies for workers, businesses, and communities as a whole. These benefits would multiply substantially if more workers gained access to paid sick days. This briefing paper summarizes research on the benefits of paid sick days and the effects of paid sick days policies in places that have them.

 

Women Continue Strong Recent Job Gains: 78 percent of Jobs Added in 2nd Quarter of 2016 Went to Women
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (July 2016)

July Jobs Report Confirms New Labor Market Normal: Smaller Gender Gap in Payroll Jobs following the Great Recession. Across the Recovery, Women Have Gained 45 Percent of Jobs Added Since June 2009, a Higher Share than They Lost in the Recession

 

Access to Paid Sick Time in Duluth, Minnesota
by Jenny Xia (May 2016)

Approximately 46 percent of workers in Duluth, Minnesota lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered. Access to paid sick time promotes safe and healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness and workplace injuries, reduces health care costs, and supports children and families by helping parents to care for their children’s health. This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick time in Duluth by sex, sector of employment, occupation, part/full-time employment status, and personal earnings through analysis of government data sources, including the 2012–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2012-2014 American Community Survey (ACS).

 

Mothers in College Have Declining Access to On-Campus Child Care
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2016)

As Mother’s Day approaches, the 3.4 million mothers in college are performing a complicated balancing act. According to new IWPR analysis, availability of on-campus child care continued to decline in 2014, with just half of public four-year institutions providing on-campus child care services, down from a high of 55 percent in 2003-05 (Figure 1). At community colleges, where the largest share of parents are enrolled, only 45 percent report having an on-campus center, down from over half (53 percent) in 2003-04 (Figure 1). Given the importance of a higher education to a family’s economic security and their children’s future success, ensuring that student mothers have access to affordable, quality care must be a priority for educational institutions, higher education advocates, and policymakers.

 
Preview not available

2015 Annual Report Newsletter
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2016)

 

Paid Sick Time Access in Michigan Varies by County of Residence
by Jessica Milli, Ph.D. (April 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that 56.3 percent of workers aged 18 years and older in Michigan have access to paid sick time (Figure 1), based on its analysis of data from the 2012–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), IWPR Nearly two million workers (43.7 percent) lack access. Residents of Isabella, Gratiot, and Clare counties are the least likely to have paid sick time with fewer than half of all workers having access.

 

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2015 and by Race and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch and Asha DuMonthier (April 2016)

Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. Data for both women’s and men’s median weekly earnings for full-time work are available for 119 occupations. Across occupations the gender earnings ratio of women’s median weekly earnings to men’s ranges from just 52.5 percent (women at the median making about half as much as men who are ‘securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents’ ) to 111.2 percent (women making more than men as ‘wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products’). There is only one occupation—‘bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks’–where women have the same median weekly earnings as men.

 

Women Gain 143,000 Jobs Out of 215,000 Jobs Added in March: Unemployment for Single Mothers Reduced by Nearly Half Since Its Recession Peak
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the April employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that women gained 143,000 jobs and men gained 72,000 for a total of 215,000 jobs added in March, giving women two-thirds of job growth. March is the 73rd month of uninterrupted job growth in the private sector. The overall unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.0 percent between February and March.

 

Pathways to Equity: Narrowing the Wage Gap by Improving Women’s Access to Good Middle-Skill Jobs
by Ariane Hegewisch Marc Bendick Jr., Ph.D. Barbara Gault, Ph.D. Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (March 2016)

This report addresses women’s access to well-paid, growing, middle-skill jobs (jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree). It documents sex segregation in middle-skill jobs, and discusses how gender integration of good jobs could both reduce skill-shortages and improve women’s economic security. The report focuses on middle-skilled “target” occupations in manufacturing, information technology, and transportation, distribution, and logistics that have high projected job openings and that typically employ few women. Using an innovative methodology based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net database, Marc Bendick, Ph.D., of Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, Inc, joined IWPR researchers Ariane Hegewisch, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. to identify lower paid predominantly female occupations that share many of the characteristics of the “target” occupations and can serve as “on-ramp” occupations to good middle-skill jobs for women seeking to improve their earnings, and employers looking to fill the vacancies. The report is part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s Pathways to Equity: Women and Good Jobs initiative, funded by a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation as part of its of its $250 million, five-year New Skills at Work initiative. For more information, visit www.womenandgoodjobs.org

 

The Gender Wage Gap: 2015; Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch and Asha DuMonthier (March 2016)

The gender wage gap for weekly full-time workers in the United States widened between 2014 and 2015. The median weekly earnings for full-time work increased for both women and men during 2015, but the increase was more substantial for men than women. In 2015, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.1 percent, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points since 2014, when the ratio was 82.5 percent. Women’s median weekly earnings for full-time work were $726 in 2015 compared with $895 for men. Controlling for inflation, women’s earnings increased by 0.9 percent, while men’s earnings increased by 2.6 percent since 2014.

 
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