Thursday, August 19, 2010

Goodness wages, great balls of fire!

From the previous post, I began to do a little research into the gender wage gap, and was floored by what I discovered.
A woman, working full time, earns on average eighty three percent what a man working the same job does.
Don't get me wrong; we're bringing it back up from the dark ages of the '60s, which I had assumed stood for the 1960's, but now it appears it also stands for what percent women earned of men's salaries. (%60) Although constant improvment has been recorded since then, we have lost the tremendous growth we saw in the years 1990-1994, where the average jumped a full 7 percent before easing back down over the next few years.

This statistic is the median weekly earning from wage and salaried positions, which of course might mean there is a smaller group of men skewing the statistics by having exorbitant salaries, but when salaries of the highest educated professionals were compared (master's, Professional, and above) the percent fell to %66. This is what I can look forward to by earning a PhD. (Oh, and also that "fulfilling job" stuff, but that's not the point) When the highest decile (tenth percentile) for median weekly earning was compared , men topped out at 1,971, women at 1,498, with a difference of 10, 000 men in this percentile.

This study was controlled for things like overtime, but there are many unresolved factors. Benefits were not considered, time off, vacations, and also the complicating factor of the difference in sex's ability to ask for a raise. We can only hope that this disparity is due to the speed at which society accepts new developments (On a societal scale, women's suffrage is still shiny and smells like leather), which is slow, but eventually we can expect progress. The gap is predicted to close with the next twenty years, but I do find one thing strange; The gap between black men and black women, is only about 7%. Black women earn about 92% of what black men earn. Other non-white races typically follow the same pattern, men and women earning close to similar amounts, but not close to white male earnings.
It is possible, then, that what we are observing is not a loss of earning for women and non-white races, but an overinflation of white men's earnings, that once this is adressed and equalized, we'll all be on the same field.

1 comment:

Roots said...

Interesting research. I certainly wish I earned more then my non-white-male coworkers. Actually, I just wish I earned more. Does your research include the fact the most Jews are white? That may be a big enough factor to tip the scales unfavorably.

And yes, that's a joke. :)