Younger women aren’t seeing the same upward trend toward parity as their older counterparts
They’re leading the pack, but losing traction.
Millennial women aged 25 to 34 made just under 89 cents on their male counterparts’ dollar in 2016 — with median weekly earnings dipping from a 2011 high of 92 cents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And though young women still lead in parity — women overall made 82% of men’s full-time earnings in 2016 — older women continue to see an upward trend in closing the gap.
One factor in the recent fluctuation could be that men’s wages took a hit, then recovered, says Economic Policy Institute senior economist and former Department of Labor economist Heidi Shierholz. “Men just had been losing ground, and instead are doing better now,” she told Bloomberg.
Though women have entered the workforce in greater numbers and gained on men in educational attainment, those trends may not be cutting it. “While more education is a useful tool for increasing earnings, it is not effective against the gender pay gap,” the American Association of University Women pointed out in a report this year. “At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s median earnings, and in some cases, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education.”
What’s more, the AAUW said, “women typically earn about 90 percent of what men are paid until they hit 35.” “After that median earnings for women are typically 74-82 percent of what men are paid.”
The organization projects that if change in parity progresses at the rate it has since 2001, women won’t close the pay gap until 2152 — 135 years from now.
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