Nature

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom


Wage growth for American women is increasing at a faster rate than for men, a dramatic change from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Women’s wages rose 4.4% in February from a year earlier, compared with a 4.1% increase in men’s wages, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s wage tracker. This marks the sixth month in a row that women’s wage growth has exceeded that of men. Wage gains for women outpaced men’s gains by 0.5 percentage points in December, the widest margin for records dating back to 1997.

Median hourly wages, change from previous year

Wage gains of women get ahead

men’s earnings by the greatest

difference dating back to 1997

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Wage gains of women get ahead

men’s earnings by the greatest

difference dating back to 1997

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Wage gains of women

get ahead men’s earnings

by the biggest difference

dates back to 1997

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Wage gains of women get ahead

men’s earnings by the greatest

difference dating back to 1997

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Wage gains of women get ahead

men’s earnings by the greatest

difference dating back to 1997

These wage gains are helping women regain ground in the labor market after suffering big setbacks at the start of the pandemic. Women make up a disproportionate share of low-wage service-sector jobs in personal care, food preparation and healthcare support, which saw deep cuts when the pandemic hit. Businesses in these industries largely reopened last year. Since then, many have struggled to find employees, raising wages for workers who typically face greater barriers to employment.

“This group of workers who have seen the worst disruption during the pandemic are now also experiencing the fastest recovery in terms of earnings and employment,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at job site ZipRecruiter..

“It’s kind of sad that we only see these reversals and any type of narrowing gaps when the labor market is extraordinarily, exceptionally tight. But that’s usually the pattern.

Women who change jobs also benefit from large salary increases. About 31% of women who changed jobs during the pandemic achieved overall compensation, including salary and bonuses, that was more than 30% higher than in their previous position. That’s slightly higher than the 28% of men who reported such a pay rise, according to the Conference Board, a private research group.

The gender pay gap has narrowed slightly over the past two decades as more women have entered higher-paying white-collar occupations. But there remains a wide pay gap between men and women. Last year, the median weekly earnings of full-time female workers were 83.1% of male earnings.

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Women’s annual average weekly earnings as a percentage of men’s

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Women’s annual average weekly earnings as a percentage of men’s

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Women’s annual average weekly earnings as a percentage of men’s

One of the factors behind the gender pay gap: women tend to work in lower-paying jobs, on average. Women make up more than 75% of workers in eight of the 20 occupations with the lowest median weekly earnings, according to a March Labor Department report. This includes professions such as hostess, housekeeper and hairdresser.

Women are more likely than men to work part-time, accounting for 62% of part-time workers in February, the Labor Department said. These jobs are also often lower-paying positions in industries such as retail, according to a report by Department of Labor researchers.

Women accounted for more than half of all workers in education and health services, recreation and hospitality, and financial activities. Wages and employment in these sectors have grown rapidly.

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Median hourly wages, change from previous year

finance and

business services

Education and

health services

Cumulative change in jobs since December 2019

Up to 593,000

jobs in

February

professional and

business services

Education and

health services

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Median hourly wages, change from previous year

Cumulative change in

jobs since Dec. 2019

Up to 593,000

jobs in

February

Women get biggest pay rises in US job boom

Median hourly wages, change from previous year

Cumulative change of

jobs since Dec. 2019

Up to 593,000

jobs in

February

Mothers are often absent from the labor market, which can also lead to lower wages. Many women left the workforce when the pandemic hit to care for children as schools and daycares closed.

Several factors are converging to push women back, including higher wages, a waning pandemic, and fewer interruptions to childcare. The labor force participation rate for prime-age women — or the proportion of women aged 25 to 54 working or looking for work — jumped to 75.8% in February, from 74.9% a year earlier. early.

Despite steady gains in female labor force participation, there are still fewer women aged 16 and older in the labor force than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, male labor force participation levels have fully recovered.

According to a survey by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the majority of women considering returning to the workforce say they strongly desire good pay, health insurance, and job security. However, many female employees say they do not receive these types of benefits. In other words, there’s a big gap between what women say they need and what employers provide, said IWPR President Nicole Mason.

“I think being able to bridge that gap will be critical in terms of women’s participation in the labor market,” she said.

Write to Sarah Chaney Cambon at [email protected] and Ana Rivas at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


Wj

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button