Sorry to Say, Women: The Gender Pay Gap is Widening

As men's earnings grow at twice the pace of women's, analysts parse the data and try to explain why. Here are some of the theories.

Sorry to Say, Women: The Gender Pay Gap is Widening Photo (cc) by Cory M. Grenier

The gap between what men and women earn in the United States isn’t getting any smaller.

In fact, the latest Labor Department data on full-time workers’ earnings indicates the gender pay gap in the country is growing.

According to the data, full-time working men earned an average of $899 a week in the third quarter — a 2.2 percent increase over a year earlier. During the same period, full-time female workers’ median weekly earnings increased just 0.8 percent to $721.

This is the third straight quarter that male earnings increased by at least double that of female workers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

As a result, women who work full time earned 81.1 cents for every dollar a man earned from July through September. That’s down more than a penny from a year earlier.

According to Fortune, the latest Labor Department data suggests that the salaries of lawyers, engineers and other high-earning professionals may be partially to blame for the yawning gender pay gap.

“In those jobs, men’s median weekly pay increased by 7.4 percent since last year, while women’s pay increased by just 2.2 percent,” Fortune said.

Harvard economist Claudia Goldin said the gender pay gap in high-earning professional jobs is oftentimes fueled by employers’ tendency to disproportionately reward employees who put in long, fixed hours at work. More often than not, those workers end up being men.

It’s a trend that is unlikely to turn around anytime soon.

“Given the Labor Department’s latest numbers, it seems fair to assume that as long as that practice continues, the wage gap will continue to grow,” Fortune said.

Check out these “10 Jobs With the Biggest Pay Gap Between Men and Women.”

Have you experienced gender wage inequality? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

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