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Gender pay gap continues: bill to create equal pay blocked in Senate

U.S. President Barack Obama is flanked by Lilly Ledbetter (L) and other women while signing an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees during an event in the East Room of the White House in honor of 'Equal Pay Day' o
U.S. President Barack Obama is flanked by Lilly Ledbetter (L) and other women while signing an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees during an event in the East Room of the White House in honor of 'Equal Pay Day' oPhoto by Mark Wilson

Currently on the docket for the Obama administration is the pay gap between males and females.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its first quarter findings recently that woman working full-time make about 82.6 percent of what their male counterparts make. This, however, is more of a projection. The U.S. Census Bureau says that number is closer to 77 percent.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order at the beginning of the month to help women working for federal contractors to find out if they are being adequately compensated for their work.

He made comments that Republicans have been “gumming up the works” on legislation that would make workplaces fairer.

The directives also included an order making it illegal for federal contractors to retaliate against workers who make their compensation public knowledge.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will now have salary data by gender and race for federal contractors.

"This is about Republicans seemingly opposing any efforts to even the playing field for working families," Obama said.

Some of the most recent comprehensive data regarding the pay gap transformation over the last 33 years can be seen in the images.

On April 9, Senate Republicans blocked a bill set to straighten out the pay gap citing women’s choices to work in lower paying fields as the reason for the pay gap.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada said, “Senate Republicans don’t seem to be interested in closing wage gaps for working women,” in a floor speech.

 Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s 1979 to 2012
Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s 1979 to 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s 1979 to 2012

Data relates to annual averages of median usual weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers. The gap can be seen getting smaller as women go to college and earn undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2012 annual averages
Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2012 annual averages U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2012 annual averages

 Note: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.
Source
:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In this graph, it can be seen that gender pay gaps can be seen in all measured races.

 

Distribution of full-time wage and salary employment, by sex and major occupational group, 2012 annual averages
Distribution of full-time wage and salary employment, by sex and major occupational group, 2012 annual averages U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Distribution of full-time wage and salary employment, by sex and major occupational group, 2012 annual averages

This graph shows that more women work in professional offices, while more men work in construction and transportation. 

"Compared with men, relatively few women work in construction, production, or transportation occupations, and women are far more concentrated in administrative support jobs," said the report that accompanied this graph.

 

Percent change in constant-dollar median usual weekly earnings, by educational attainment and sex, 1979–2012
Percent change in constant-dollar median usual weekly earnings, by educational attainment and sex, 1979–2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Percent change in constant-dollar median usual weekly earnings, by educational attainment and sex, 1979–2012

This graph only measures male and female works ages 25-years-old and older, because it is a measure of whether education helps a worker make more. Obviously, according to the graph it does. It seems that women, however, pursue education in more instances than men do.

 

 Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s 2004 to 2014
Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s 2004 to 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s 2004 to 2014

In this graph, men are actually earning less than they had in previous years. This can skew the gap, and make it appear smaller than it might be.