Good News! The Sex Pay Gap Is Gone!

by Michael Haberman on September 9, 2010 · 0 comments


In a September 2, 2010 article in USA Today reported research done by Reach Advisors on 2008 Census data. This data compared the income data for single men and women ages 22-30 in major metropolitan areas. The results showed that single women in this age bracket when compared to single men in that age bracket out earned them by significant factor, in a range of 12% to 21%. Several factors where cited, but the prime reason was education. More women than men are going to college and they are 1.5 more likely to graduate. This trend is even more apparent in cities with higher minority populations. As an example single women in the study made 21% more than their male counterparts in Atlanta.

Women in their 20’s who are married and have children do not have the wage advantage their single “sisters” have. They are making just 90% of what married with children males make. Hmmmm… could that be due to the career interruption of having the child? Could it also be that women in that age bracket with children are also less likely to have college degrees?

Does this mean that sex discrimination in pay may not be the “great evil” it was once considered to be? Does this mean that legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act is unnecessary? Can the market actually take care of this, as many have postulated?

What do you think???

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie September 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Any discrimination is evil.

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Laurie September 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm

how bout this?

http://www.slate.com/id/2266148/

The new headlines claiming that women outearn men come from Reach Advisors, a marketing research firm, which did not publicly release the numbers behind its claim. But from the media reports, it's clear that the analysis compared the median earnings of women and men aged 22 to 30 working full-time who do not have children and who live in the largest cities in the United States. Reach Advisors did not address whether the men and women in the sample had similar skills or experience, or held the same kinds of jobs. They asked: If you're a young, childless woman, do you earn as much as a young, childless man? With the question framed this way, the answer was yes. In fact, Time reports, Reach Advisors found that "in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group."

But young women are earning more than young men because young women are acquiring more skills than the men are. Good for them. But this doesn't mean that they're being treated the same way in the workplace. When you do the apples-to-apples comparison that the AAUW did, young women still earn less than comparably skilled men. What has changed is that there are more women with higher levels of education. Among women aged 22 to 30, a third (34 percent) have some college education and a third (35 percent) have a college degree or more. Among men in that age group, less than a third (30 percent) spent some time in college, and just over a quarter (28 percent) have a college degree. If one group (women) has more workers with more education, then they should outearn the other group. That's what the Reach Advisors study shows—that because there are more young women with college degrees, women now outearn young men.

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