Fortunately, significant progress has been made over the last 21 years.
Between 1979 and 2010, the earnings gap between women and men narrowed for most age groups, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Additionally, women aged 25 years and older are experiencing better earnings growth than men of a similar age demographic.
The graph below outlines women’s earnings over time, as a percent of men’s earnings (100% would be equal).
While great strides of improvement have been made, the data shows that women are still not earning as much as their male counterparts. While this conclusion is ultimately distressing, the data suggests women’s earnings will continue trending upwards.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also compared men and women of different education levels to see which group was experiencing the most rapid changes in earnings.
“Although both women and men without a high school diploma have experienced declines in inflation-adjusted earnings from 1979 to 2010, the drop for women was significantly less than that for men: a 9-percent drop for women as opposed to a 31-percent drop for men.”
“From 1979 to 2010, on an inflation-adjusted basis, earnings for women with a college degree have increased by 33 percent, while those of male college graduates have risen by 20 percent.”
This data solidifies our estimates of positive future trending for women’s earnings. The next few years should bring encouraging figures – that will hopefully, one day, bridge our nation’s earnings gap.