A Widening Gender Pay Gap?
As a few other outlets have noted, new Labor Department data suggest that the gender pay gap has widened this year. The gap is typically measured by dividing the median wage of full-time employed women by the same wage for men.
This gap isn't proof of discrimination by itself — it doesn't take into account a host of factors, including the occupations men and women choose, the hours different full-time workers put in, etc. But it is, of course, one way of measuring women's progress in the workforce, more broadly defined.
To show a longer-term view, I downloaded weekly earnings going back to 1979, adjusted for inflation and seasonal variation. Here they are (note Y axis starts at $200):
And here are women's earnings as a percentage of men's:
Basically: Yes, the gap has widened a little over the past few quarters, but this is a mere blip in terms of long-term trends.
(The Labor Department data series I used for this post are LES1252881900 and LES1252882800.)
Robert VerBruggen is editor of RealClearPolicy. Twitter: @RAVerBruggen