IWPR’s Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.
Research Making the News
Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:
By Emily Deruy
April 5, 2013
Citing: At Current Pace of Progress, Wage Gap for Women Expected to Close in 2057 by Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“The wage gap between women and men isn't going away anytime soon. A new chart from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) estimates that, at the current pace, the gap in pay between men and women won't be closed until 2057. The chart, which looks at full-time, year-round workers in the United States, shows women's median earnings as a percent of men's median earnings. It uses actual data from 1960 through 2011, then projects forward through 2060.
In the 1960s, women's earnings were generally just shy of 60 percent of men's earnings. In 2012 that number had increased to more than 80 percent. That's a significant improvement, but still leaves a substantial pay gap between women and men. […] The chart might look dismal, but the real situation could actually be worse than it predicts.
According to Jeff Hayes, a study director with the think tank, the 2057 estimate is optimistic. […] To reach pay equity by 2057, the current rate of progress would have to remain steady, and that's looking less likely. He added that some of the acceleration in the '70s and '80s in fact had to do more with men's wages stagnating than women's wages improving. Pay won't truly be equal until "we make measurable changes," he said, such as passing policies aimed at ending occupational segregation, which results in a disproportionate concentration of men in high-paying, high-status jobs. Women are still more likely to gravitate toward lower paying jobs and to take time off after having a baby than men, which can sometimes slow their ascendance up the career ladder. […]”
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, At Current Pace of Progress, Wage Gap for Women Expected to Close in 2057, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.
By Lauren Hepler
Silicon Valley Business Journal
April 4, 2013
Citing: Quality Employment for Women in the Green Economy: Industry, Occupation, and State-by-State Job Estimates by Ariane Hegewisch, Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., Anlan Zhang, and Tonia Bui, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“Women in California hold just 30 percent of green jobs statewide, making the Golden State's industry gender gap No. 13 nationwide, according to a new report. The Washington-based nonprofit Institute for Women's Policy Research released the first-of-its-kind national report earlier this week, which ranked Washington D.C. as the nation's best state for women in green jobs and Maine as the worst. […]
[IWPR Study Director Ariane Hegewisch] said the lack of women in the field is especially important because green jobs pay better than those in other industries. In California, women's median annual earnings in all jobs are $40,511 (82 percent of what men make). In green jobs specifically, California women make a median $45,433 (87.6 percent of what men make), the report found.
Several of the most in-demand jobs in the field - those that hold the most promise to add jobs in the future - also have very low proportions of women. The most in-demand green jobs in California are construction managers, electricians, carpenters and HVAC technicians, according to IWPR. Women make up less than 3 percent of construction workers in California, and less than 2 percent of HVAC professionals nationwide. […]”
By Gabrielle Karol
Business Small Business Center
April 30, 2013
Citing: Access to Capital among Young Firms, Minority-owned Firms, Women-owned Firms, and High-tech Firms by Alicia Robb, Marin Consulting, LLC for the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy
“Are women and minorities seen as riskier when it comes to small business lending? Banks seem to think so, according to a study released Tuesday by the Small Business Administration (SBA). According to the findings, even when controlling for factors like industry and credit score, African American, Hispanic and women business owners were less likely than white male business owners to have their loan applications approved.
The research also found these minority business owners rely more on their own money – and less on outside capital – than companies run by white male business owners. And given these factors, firms run by African Americans, Hispanics and women end up operating on a much tighter budget. According to the findings, this is true both at the startup stage and several years down the line. […]”
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about Marin Consulting, LLC, visit their website. To learn more about the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, visit their website.
By Brad Plumer
WONKBLOG, a blog from the Washington Post
April 12, 2013
Citing: A Profile of the Working Poor, 2011, by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
“In 2011, some 46.2 million Americans lived below the official poverty line — 15 percent of the country. Of those, roughly 10.4 million counted as the “working poor,” people who either had jobs or were looking for at least half the year, but still fell below the line.[…]
Why is that? The BLS report drew a few broad conclusions:
· Part-time work was much more conducive to poverty than full-time work. Some 14.4 percent of part-time workers fell below the poverty line, compared with just 4.4 percent of full-time workers. [..]
· The largest group of working poor were in the service industry— 3.3 million, or 13.1 percent of all service workers. […]
· Education levels make a huge difference. Just 2.4 percent of college-educated workers fell below the poverty line. By contrast, 9.2 percent of high-school graduates in the labor force were classified as working poor, while 20.1 of those who never finished high school fell below the line.
· There are huge racial disparities. “13.3 percent of Blacks and 12.9 percent of Hispanics were among the working poor, compared with 6.1 percent of Whites.”
· There’s also this fact about children: “Among families with at least one member in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, those families with children under 18 years old were about 4 times more likely than those without children to live in poverty. […]”
By Karen Kaplan
The Los Angeles Times
April 4, 2013
Citing: First Premarital Cohabitation in the United States: 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth by Casey E. Copen, Ph.D., Kimberly Daniels, Ph.D., and William D. Mosher, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“Americans are increasingly saying “I do” to living together before marriage, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, cohabitation is now more common among younger women than living with a spouse or living alone. The report, released Thursday, is based on data from the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth. More than 12,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 took part in the survey between 2006 and 2010. […] Among the women, 48% told interviewers that they were living with their significant other but were not married to them. In 1995, only 35% of women were cohabiting with their partners, according to a previous edition of the survey. […]
Couples aren’t only cohabiting more often than in the past, they’re doing it much longer, the study found. The women in the most recent survey averaged 22 months for their first stint at living together (after which they either got married or broke up). Back in 1995, the average length of cohabitation was 13 months, the researchers reported. […]
For 40% of the women surveyed between 2006 and 2010, these live-in relationships led to marriages, according to the study. That conversion rate was higher for white women (44%), for Latinas who came to the U.S. from other countries (42%), and for women with a college degree (53%). […]
The cohabitation trend was pretty widespread, but some women were more likely to give it a try than others. Women who dropped out of high school were most likely to move in with a boyfriend—70% said they had done so, the study found. So did 65% of Latinas born in the U.S. and 57% of white women.
In fact, living together has become more common since 1995 for all ethnic and racial groups except Asians, the researchers reported. […]”
By Sam Roberts
New York Times
April 3, 2013
Citing: Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011 by
Lynda Laughlin, U.S. Census Bureau
“Child care costs have nearly doubled since the mid-1980s, but the portion of families paying for care has dropped, according to a new Census Bureau report.[…]
Despite the increased cost of paid child care for families who use it, the report found that the median wages of full-time child care workers remained flat. The median was $19,098 in 2011 compared with $19,680 (in constant dollars) in 1985.[…]
Families below the poverty line spent 30 percent of their monthly income on child care, compared with 8 percent among other families. […]
Five percent of children ages 5 to 11 and 27 percent ages 12 to 14 regularly cared for themselves, the census survey found. Among children ages 5 to 14, 23 percent spent more than 10 hours a week unsupervised. […]
Sixty-one percent of preschoolers were in a regular child care arrangement. Those whose mothers were employed spent about 36 hours a week in child care. Grandparents cared for 24 percent, fathers for 18 percent (typically while the mother worked) and another 10 percent were cared for by a sibling or other relative. Among children living only with their father, 30 percent were regularly cared for by their mother. About 3.5 percent of women who worked cared for their children themselves.
The report found that 13 percent of the children were in a day care center, 6 percent in nursery or preschool, a slightly smaller share in Head Start or kindergarten programs and about 11 percent were cared for by other nonrelatives.”
Each selection includes a short excerpt from the research and a link to the report.
Ariane Hegewisch and Maxwell Matite
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“[…] 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. During 2012, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers were $691, compared with $854 per week for men, a gender wage ratio of 80.9 percent. […] The gender wage gap and occupational segregation—men primarily working in occupations done by men, and women primarily working with other women—are persistent features of the U.S. labor market. Only four of the 20 most common occupations for men and the 20 most common occupations for women overlap. Four out of ten women (39.6 percent) work in traditionally female occupations and between four and five out of ten male workers (43.7 percent) work in traditionally male occupations; only 6.0 percent of women work in traditionally male occupations and only 4.8 percent of men in traditionally female occupations. […] The comparisons of earnings in broad occupational groups by race and ethnicity show that Latina women are particularly likely to be in the lowest paid jobs, even in the lower skilled occupations. Women and their families need enhanced efforts to ensure non-discriminatory hiring and pay practices, better training and career counseling, and work family supports. […]”
Claudia Williams, Jasmin Griffin, and Jeff Hayes, Ph.D.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“The briefing paper uses data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Vermont Department of Health, and the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate costs and benefits of Vermont’s H.208. It estimates how much time off Vermont workers would use under the proposed policy and the costs to employers for that sick time. This analysis also uses findings from previous peer-reviewed research to estimate cost-savings associated with the policy, through reduced turnover, reduced spread of contagious disease in the workplace, prevention of productivity losses from employees working while sick, minimized nursing-home stays, and reduced norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes. The study is one of a series of analyses by IWPR examining the effects of earned health care time policies.”
Cynthia Hess, Ph.D.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“The paper suggests that to improve the quality of in-home care jobs, address the industry’s anticipated labor shortage, and ensure that high-quality care is available in the United States, it is necessary to increase the value attributed to care work through critical changes in public policies and practices. These changes would benefit not only the women and men who are care workers or recipients, but also the nation overall. As a sector in which job growth is especially rapid, the care industry is integral to the U.S. economy; as a result, any changes that help to fill the gap in this industry and improve conditions for its workforce will strengthen the nation’s economy as a whole.”
Marla McDaniel and Christopher Lowenstein
“[…] Depression in parents—both fathers and mothers—can affect children, although research evidence on fathers is limited […]. This brief explores rates of treatment for major depression among low-income mothers with young children. We focus on mothers because of the high depression rates in women and the strong research evidence linking untreated depression in mothers to developmental risks in children. […] This brief provides a national look at rates of major depression and treatment in low-income mothers of young children. We define this population as mothers with household incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, where “mother” refers to any woman over 18 years of age with at least one biological child under age 6 living in her household. […] We combine three rounds of data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2008–2010, and examine both lifetime depression prevalence and major depression in the past year. We highlight the prevalence of major depression in mothers of young children, the extent to which the mothers receive treatment, how health insurance relates to treatment access and type, and how mothers rate the effectiveness of their treatment. […]”
Vanderbilt Law School
“Whether highly educated women are exiting the labor force to care for their children has generated a great deal of media attention, even though academic studies find little evidence of opting out. This paper shows that female graduates of elite institutions have lower labor market involvement than their counterparts from less selective institutions. Although elite graduates are more likely to earn advanced degrees, marry at later ages, and have higher expected earnings, there is little difference in labor market activity by college selectivity among women without children and women who are not married. But the presence of children is associated with far lower labor market activity among married elite graduates. […] The largest gap in labor market activity between graduates of elite institutions and less selective institutions is among MBAs, with married mothers who are graduates of elite institutions 30 percentage points less likely to be employed full-time than graduates of less selective institutions.”