Working women have made great strides since the 1970s: More women work full-time and year-round than ever before, they're more educated, and more mothers are working.

And while they've made substantial gains in earnings, they still make less than men. Too much less. And I'm not just saying that because I'm unemployed and home with our daughter while my wife works full-time. I want her to earn more, and I also want my daughter to earn as much as any man when she goes to work many years from now.


According to a report done in January 2008 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women's earnings as a proportion of men's have grown from 62% of what men earned in 1979 to 80% in 2007. That's a big jump, but still leaves a 20% pay gap.

According to the recently released 101-page report , women working full-time had median usually weekly earnings of $614 in 2007, or 80% of men's median weekly earnings of $766. The ratios were higher for black women, 89%, and Hispanic women, 91%.

Asian and white women made substantially more than other women. Asian women made $731 median each week, and white women earned $626, way ahead of the $533 for black and $473 for Hispanic women.

Women accounted for more than half of all workers in several industries: financial activities, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services. But they were underrepresented in agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, and transportation and utilities.

While the percentage of women in the labor force has remained stable over the past few years, at 59% in 2007, the study found that when women lose their jobs, they're twice as likely as men to leave the labor force -- 20% for women to 11% for men. In other words, when women are laid off, the odds double that they won't return to the workforce. The study doesn't say why, and it's an issue worth studying to improve the job pool.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job hunt at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com

Men Vs. Women

Who has a higher chance of dying from heart disease?

  • Men
  • Women

Who's more likely to visit the dentist?

  • Men
  • Women

Which group has a slightly higher percentage of obesity?

  • Men
  • Women

Who has a higher life expectancy rate?

  • Men
  • Women

Who's more likely to die in a car accident?

  • Men
  • Women

Which group, in the age range of 15 to 44, is more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection, not including HIV?

  • Men
  • Women

Which group has a slightly higher occurrence of use of pain relievers for non-medical purposes?

  • Men
  • Women

Who is more likely to suffer from depression?

  • Men
  • Women

Who is at a higher risk for suicide?

  • Men
  • Women

Which group is more likely to be heavy alcohol users?

  • Men
  • Women

Who's more likely to participate in leisure-time physical activity?

  • Men
  • Women

Who's more likely to have an anxiety disoder?

  • Men
  • Women

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