Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fair Pay Is Crucial for All Women



Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.[2] This gap in earnings translates into $10,876 less per year in median earnings, leaving women and their families shortchanged. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and civil rights laws has helped narrow the wage gap over time, addressing the significant pay disparities that remain is critical for women and their families.
Fair Pay Is Crucial for All Women
Women of color are paid less than white, non-Hispanic men.
§  African American women working full time, year round typically make only 64 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.  For Latinas this figure is only 56 cents.[3]
§   
Mothers are paid less than fathers.
§  Mothers who work full time, year round typically have lower earnings than fathers ($40,000 compared to $56,999), meaning mothers only make 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. [4]
§   
Lesbian women still earn less than men, regardless of their sexual orientation.[5]
§  Women in same-sex couples have a median personal income of $38,000, compared to $47,000 for men in same-sex couples and $48,000 for men in different-sex couples.[6]
§  Lesbian women are far more likely than gay men to support children – 49 percent of lesbian and bisexual women report having a child compared to 19 percent of gay and bisexual men.[7]
§   
Women with disabilities have a wider wage gap than the wage gap between women and men overall.
§  Women with disabilities working full time, year round are typically paid just 69.5 percent of what men without disabilities working full time, year round are typically paid. [8]
§  Women with disabilities working full time, year round are typically paid just 80.8 percent of what their male counterparts with disabilities are paid.
§   
Women are affected by the wage gap as soon as they enter the labor force.
§  The wage gap is smaller for younger women than older women, but it begins right when women enter the labor force.  Women 15-24 working full time, year round are typically paid just 91.1 percent of what their male counterparts are paid. Among older women, the gap is even larger.  Women 45-64 working full time, year round are typically paid just 73.6 percent of what their male counterparts are paid. For women still working at age 65 and older the figure is 76.4 percent.[9]
§   
Older women also experience a wage gap in retirement income, due in large part to the wage gap they experienced during their working years.
§  Based on today’s wage gap, a woman who worked full time, year round would typically lose $435,049 in a 40-year period due to the wage gap.[10] This woman would have to work more than eleven years longer to make up this gap.  A typical woman working full time, year round who starts, but does not finish high school would lose $332,704 over a 40-year period, [11] an enormous amount of money for women who are typically paid $22,248 a year.  This woman would have to work nearly fifteen years longer to make up this gap. These lost wages severely reduce women’s ability to save for retirement. 
§  As a result of lower lifetime earnings and different work patterns, the average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older was about $13,466 per year, compared to $17,598 for men of the same age in 2013.[12]
§  In 2010, women 50 and older received only 56 cents for every dollar received by men in income from pensions and annuities.[13] One study found that the typical woman worker near retirement with a defined contribution plan or individual retirement account had accumulated $34,000 in savings, while her male counterpart held $70,000—more than twice as much.[14]




[1] National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) calculations for each item based on the following sources: Groceries - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels, U.S. Average, June 2013 (2013), available at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPlansCostofFood (last visited April 8 2015). Calculation is based on the USDA thrifty food plan for a family of four (two adults 19-50 and children 6-8 and 9-11) estimated at $632.30 per month. Child Care - Child Care Aware of America, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Update (Nov. 4, 2013), Appendix 1, available athttp://www.naccrra.org/about-child-care/cost-of-child-care.  Average costs for child care in a center in Nebraska for a four-year-old ($7,800 annually in 2013 or $650.00 per month). Nebraska cost for this type of child care falls at the median of all state averages (including the District of Columbia).  Rent and Utilities - U.S. Census Bureau, American Housing Survey: 2013, Table C-10-AO. Housing Costs—All Occupied Units,available at http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs/  (last visited April 8, 2015). Median housing costs for renters ($850 per month in 2013).  Health Insurance Premiums - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: 2013. Table II.D.2 (2013) Average total employee contribution (in dollars) per enrolled employee for family coverage at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2013, available athttp://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/summ_tables/insr/state/series_2/2013/tiid2.htm.  Average monthly employee contribution for employer-based family coverage ($4,421 annually or $368 per month).  Loan Payments - The Project of Student Debt, Student Debt and the Class of 2013 (Nov. 2014), available athttp://ticas.org/sites/default/files/legacy/fckfiles/pub/classof2013.pdf. Average monthly payment for a class of 2013 bachelor’s degree graduate with the average student debt of $28,400 for students who had loans. Calculation assumes ten-year standard repayment plan and all debt in the form of direct unsubsidized loans and single taxpayer status (6.8 percent interest). Initial monthly payment of $327 calculated using the Department of Education’s loan repayment calculator available athttps://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimato.... Tanks of Gas - Calculations based on average tank of gas in 2013 and about a 17-gallon gas tank. Gas prices from U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices, available athttp://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_gnd_dcus_nus_w.htm (last visited April 10, 2015). Average cost of all grades of gasoline in 2013 rounded to $3.58 per gallon.
[2] NWLC calculations from U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2014 Annual Social and Economic Supplement [hereinafter CPS, 2014 ASEC], Table PINC-05: Work Experience in 2013 – People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Money Earnings in 2013, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex, available at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032014/perinc/toc.htm (last visited Sept. 29, 2014). Women working full time, year round had median annual earnings of $39,157 in 2013. Men working full time, year round had median annual earnings of $50,033 in 2013.
[3] Id. White, non-Hispanic women make 77 cents for every dollar made by their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
[4] NWLC calculations based on CPS, 2014ASEC using Miriam King et al, “IPUMS, Current Population Survey: Version 3.0)”, available at https://cps.ipums.org/cps/index.shtml. Mothers and fathers have at least one related child under 18 at home. Figures are median annual earnings for 2013.
[5] M.V. Lee Badgett, Holning Lau, Brad Sears, Deborah Ho, The Williams Institute, Bias in the Workplace: Consistent Evidence of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination (Jun. 2007)http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Badgett-Sears-Lau-Ho-Bias-in-the-Workplace-Jun-2007.pdf at 14. 
[6] Gary J. Gates, The Williams Institute, Same-sex and Different-sex Couples in the American Community Survey 2005-2011 (Feb. 2013) http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/ACS-2013.pdf.  Figures only include people in labor force.  Due to data limitations, they do not include lesbian or gay individuals who are not part of a couple.  These figures are median annual personal income for all workers in the labor force – these figures differ from the median annual earnings for full-time, year-round workers reported for the wage gap and are not directly comparable.
[7] Gary J. Gates, The Williams Institute, Family formation and raising children among same-sex couples, National Council on Family Relations, Family Focus on LGBT Families Issue FF51 (Dec. 2011), http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gates-Badgett-NCFR-LGBT-Families-December-2011.pdf.
[8] NWLC calculations from CPS, 2014 ASEC using CPS Table Creator, available athttp://www.census.gov/cps/data/cpstablecreator.html (last visited Sept. 30, 2014). Ratio of median person earnings for men and women working full time, year round, with and without a disability.
[9] Supra note 2.
[10] Id. These calculations were not adjusted for inflation and assume a constant wage gap overtime. Assumes a constant gap of $10,876 annually, calculated by subtracting women’s median earnings ($39,157) from that of men ($50,033).
[11] NWLC calculations from CPS, 2014 ASEC, Table PINC-03: Educational Attainment— People 25 Years Old and Over, by Total Money Earnings in 2013, Work Experience in 2013, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex, available at  http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032014/perinc/toc.htm (last visited Sept. 30, 2014). This compares median earnings for men and women with some high school who did not graduate or receive a G.E.D, who are 25 and older, and who worked full time, year round.  Men in this group had median earnings of $30,565 while women in this group had median earnings of $22,248 for a gap of $8,318 annually. This calculation assumes a constant gap and is not adjusted for inflation.
[12] NWLC calculations based on U.S. Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, 2014 (Feb. 2014), Table 5.A16-Number and average monthly benefit for adult beneficiaries, by sex, type of benefit, and age, December 2013, available athttp://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2014/5a.html#table5.a16.  The average monthly benefit for all female beneficiaries 65 and older was $1,122.20, or about $13,466 per year as of December 2013, compared to $1,466.49 per month, or $17,598 per year for all male beneficiaries 65 and older.  Benefits are slightly higher for both women and men receiving benefits as retired workers. 
[13] Employee Benefit Research Institute, EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits, Tables 8.1 and 8.2 Retirement Annuity and/or Employment-Based Pension Income Recipiency,  Males and Females (Sept. 2011), available at http://www.ebri.org/pdf/publications/books/databook/DB.Chapter%2008.pdf (last visited Dec. 30, 2013).  Based on annual figures for pensions and annuities, ($8,400 for women versus $15,000 for men).
[14] Leslie E. Papke, Lina Walker, & Michael Dworsky, Retirement Security for Women: Progress to Date and Policies for Tomorrow (2008), available at http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/projects/retirementsecurity/03_retirement_women.pdf f.
[15] Supra note 2.



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