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The Wage Gap Over Time

77 cents.

That’s what the typical woman working full time, year round makes for every dollar paid to her male counterpart.

Just a few weeks ago, we “celebrated” Equal Pay Day – the day that represents how much longer the typical woman working full time, year round would have to work to be paid as much as the comparable man makes in one year. For the typical woman who makes just short of $37,000 a year, that means working three and a half months longer.

Three and a half months is a lot of extra work. Sadly, it used to be even longer.  In 1963, the year the Equal Pay Act was passed, the typical woman working full time, year round made 59 cents for every dollar paid to her male counterpart. By 1973, the wage gap reached its widest point since the Census Bureau began tracking earnings – the typical woman working full time, year round made less than 57 cents for every dollar made by her male counterpart. Now we’ve been stuck at 77 cents for about a decade. So while the wage gap has shrunk since the Equal Pay Act became law in 1963, it hasn’t come anywhere close to disappearing. 

The Wage Gap over Time: Ratio of Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers

In addition to tracking the overall wage gap over time, we’ve also tracked the wage gaps for women of color for the past two decades. The story here is worse – the gaps for women of color are wider than for women overall. In 1967, the earliest year for which data are available, the typical black woman working full time, year round made only 43 cents for every dollar paid to her white, non-Hispanic male counterpart. By 2010, that gap had narrowed by 19 cents. In 1974, the earliest year for which data are available, the typical Hispanic woman working full time, year round made only 49 cents for every dollar paid to her white, non-Hispanic male counterpart. By 2010, this gap had narrowed by only five cents – much less than it narrowed for women overall. 

The Wage Gap over Time: Ratio of Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers

Check out the handy tables below for the overall wage gap, the wage gap for black women, and the wage gap for Hispanic women to see what this looks like over time:

The Overall Wage Gap over Time

 

The Wage Gap for Black Women over Time

 

The Wage Gap for Hispanic Women over Time

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