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IWPR Publication

Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Long-Term Earnings Gap
by Stephen Rose , Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (February 2008)

This Research-in-Brief summarizes Still A Man’s Labor Market: The Long-Term Earnings Gap, a report by Stephen J. Rose, Rose Economic Consulting, and Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), published by IWPR in 2004. The report uses data from a 15-year longitudinal study (from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics) and shows that over that period women earned 62 percent less than men, or only 38 cents for every dollar men earned. This is less than half of the more conventional measure of the pay gap based on year-round earnings of full-time workers for a single year, which stands at 23 percent, or 77 cents for every male dollar earned. This new measure shows the costs over time for women and their families of the continued unequal division of family labor, with women having to make most of the adjustments of time in the labor market to perform family work. The report provides a detailed analysis of the gendered patterns in the labor market, showing that women are much more likely than men to have persistently low earnings; that women and especially men continue to work disproportionately in occupations where the majority of workers are of their own sex; that across the board men’s jobs involve longer working hours than women’s jobs, but that the pay premium for male jobs far exceeds the additional hours worked. The report also shows that over the period studied women were more likely to experience growth in earnings than men, but the earnings gap remained large.

 
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