The Gender Gap in Proper Context

Today is “Equal Pay Day”.

The statistic most often quoted to support the argument that women are still not paid wages equal to men in the United States is “women currently make $0.80 for every dollar paid to a man for the same work.” 

Is this true?  Let’s take a look. 

The Associated Press quotes this statistic and attributes it to “U.S. Government Data”.

A quick search of the Department of Labor website turns up a study that confirms this number.  But a closer look reveals the following contextual details:

The $0.80 number varies based on data used. (Median annual income versus weekly income versus hourly wages.)

The $0.80 number does not take years of experience into account. The average female has less years of experience due to lifestyle factors such as leaving the workforce to raise children. 

A comparison between single childless women and single childless men actually reveals a reversal of the gap. Women make more, specifically $1.08 for every dollar men work. 

So is the gender pay gap real?  Not when one is comparing apples to apples. Remember this the next time a politician or political analyst quotes the $0.80 statistic to you. 

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG


Associated Press

Department of Labor


Single Childless Men v Women