Friday, May 8, 2009
I get a lot of keyword searches for male and female pay. Well, the BLS reports median weekly earnings by gender on a quarterly basis :
Women who usually worked full time had median earnings of $649 per week, orThe chart illustrates the annual average of quarterly real median weekly earnings for men and women 16 years and older roughly every 5 years since 1980. The real number extracts the effects of inflation on earnings. The eye-popping result is the wedge between male and female earnings, roughly 25% on average over the sample. Also, real median female earnings are growing on average, while male earnings are falling.
78.9 percent of the $823 median for men. The fe- male-to-male earnings ratios
were higher among blacks (93.9 per-cent) and Hispanics (88.4 percent) than among whites (77.9 per-cent) or Asians (81.3 percent).
Here is what the BLS says about the earnings gap:
This article sheds some light on reasons for the gender earnings gap, focusing on the role that the share of women in an occupation plays. We utilize the methodology employed by George Johnson and Gary Solon to identify the sources of the relationship between wages and the share of women in an occupation.3 Johnson and Solon used Current Population Survey (CPS) data to estimate the relationship between wages and the concentration of females within occupations. They found that the relationship was negative, even after controlling for worker and job characteristics. Industry was found to have the largest effect on the relationship, primarily because predominately male industries, such as construction and manufacturing, pay higher wages.I haven't read the paper, but this is how I read the conclusion: women hold a smaller share of jobs in the industries that pay more. Likewise, there is a big discrepancy between male and female executive pay, as documented by Fortune (with my take on it here).
I will leave it to you all to comment on the dichotomy of earnings across men and women. The earnings data are from the BLS' massive current population survey and exclude self-employment income.