Florida tied for second among states in the U.S. for the smallest wage gap between women and men, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census’ Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2015, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings that were 81 percent of those of male full-time wage and salary workers. In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women’s earnings were 62 percent of men’s. Since 2004, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has ranged from 80 to 83 percent. (See chart 1 and tables 1 and 12.)
This report presents earnings data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of 60,000 eligible households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The weekly and hourly earnings estimates in Highlights of Women’s Earnings reflect information collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample and averaged for the calendar year. These data are distinct from the annual earnings estimates for full-time, year-round workers collected separately in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the CPS and published by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The earnings comparisons in this report are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences, such as job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization. See the accompanying technical notes section for more information, including a description of the source of the data and an explanation of the concepts and definitions used in this report.
Earnings of full-time workers
Below are data highlights for women and men who usually work full time (35 hours or more per week) in wage and salary jobs, with sections focusing on characteristics such as age, race and ethnicity, education, occupation, and more.
Earnings by age group
In 2015, median weekly earnings were $726 for all women age 16 and older. For men 16 and older, median weekly earnings were $895. Women’s median weekly earnings were highest for those between the ages of 35 and 64, with relatively little difference in the earnings of 35- to 44-year-olds ($804), 45- to 54-year-olds ($799), and 55- to 64-year-olds ($784). For men, earnings were highest for 45- to 54-year-olds ($1,040) and 55- to 64-year-olds ($1,064). Young women and men age 16 to 24 had the lowest earnings ($450 and $510, respectively). (See chart 2 and table 1.)
In 2015, women’s earnings ranged from 74 to 82 percent of men’s among workers age 35 and older. For those under age 35, the earnings differences between women and men were smaller, with women earning about 88 to 90 percent of what men did. (See table 1.)
Between 1979 and 2015, women’s-to-men’s earnings ratios rose for most age groups, particularly in the prime working ages from 25 to 54. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, the ratio increased from 68 percent in 1979 to 90 percent in 2015; the ratio for 35- to 44-year-olds rose from 58 to 82 percent; and the ratio for 45- to 54-year-olds, from 57 to 77 percent. For workers age 55 to 64, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio rose from 61 to 74 percent over this period. For young workers age 16 to 24, the earnings ratio increased from 79 to 88 percent between 1979 and 2015, with the gains occurring primarily in the 1980s. (See table 12.)
Earnings by race and ethnicity
Asian women and men earned more than their White, Black, and Hispanic counterparts in 2015. Among women, Whites ($743) earned 85 percent as much as Asians ($877), Blacks ($615) earned 70 percent, and Hispanics ($566) earned 65 percent. In comparison, White men ($920) earned 81 percent as much as Asian men ($1,129), Black men ($680) earned 60 percent as much, and Hispanic men ($631), 56 percent. (See chart 3 and table 1.)
Earnings differences between women and men were the most pronounced for Asians and for Whites. Asian women earned 78 percent as much as Asian men in 2015, and White women earned 81 percent as much as their male counterparts. In comparison, Black and Hispanic women had median earnings that were 90 percent of those of their male counterparts. (See table 1.)
Women’s earnings have increased considerably among the major race and Hispanic ethnicity groups since 1979 (the first year for which comparable data are available), with White women experiencing the greatest earnings growth. From 1979 to 2015, inflation-adjusted earnings (also called constant-dollar earnings) have increased by 32 percent for White women, by 19 percent for Black women, and by 18 percent for Hispanic women. In recent years, however, earnings growth appears to have plateaued for White, Black, and Hispanic women. (See table 18.)
The long-term trend in men’s earnings has been quite different than that for women. Inflation-adjusted earnings for White and Black men declined during the 1980s and the first part of the 1990s, followed by a period of growth, before tapering off. For Hispanic men, earnings also dropped until the mid-1990s, but then began to trend upward. Over the full period, 1979 through 2015, inflation-adjusted earnings for White and Black men have changed little on net (+1 percent and -2 percent, respectively), while those for Hispanic men have shown a small net decline (-6 percent). (See table 18.)
Comparable earnings data for Asians are available only back to 2003. Between 2003 and 2015, inflation-adjusted earnings grew by 14 percent for Asian women and by 13 percent for Asian men. (See table 18.)
Earnings by educational attainment
Median weekly earnings vary significantly by educational attainment. Among all workers age 25 and older, the weekly earnings of those without a high school diploma ($493) were 40 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher ($1,230) in 2015. For workers with a high school diploma who had not attended college, median earnings ($678) were 55 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Those with some college or an associate’s degree ($762) made 62 percent of what workers with a bachelor’s degree or more made. (See table 1.)
In each educational attainment category, the long-term trend in inflation-adjusted earnings has been more favorable for women than for men. Although both women and men without a high school diploma have experienced declines in inflation-adjusted earnings since 1979, the drop for women was much smaller than that for men: a 10-percent decrease for women, compared with a 32-percent decline for men. On an inflation-adjusted basis, earnings for women with a bachelor’s degree or higher have increased by 32 percent since 1979. Earnings for men with a bachelor’s degree or higher have risen by 18 percent. (Data refer to workers age 25 and older.) (See chart 4 and table 19.)
Earnings by occupation
Women and men working full time in management, business, and financial operations occupations had higher median weekly earnings than workers in any other major occupational category in 2015 ($1,073 for women and $1,436 for men). Within management, business, and financial operations occupations, women and men who were chief executives had the highest median weekly earnings in 2015 ($1,836 and $2,251, respectively). (See table 2.)
The second-highest paying occupational category for women and men was professional and related occupations ($963 for women and $1,343 for men). Women who were pharmacists ($1,811) and lawyers ($1,717) had the highest earnings in this category. For men, those who were pharmacists ($2,117), physicians and surgeons ($1,915), and lawyers ($1,914) earned the most. (See table 2.)
The occupational distributions of female and male full-time workers differ considerably. Compared with men, relatively few women work in construction, production, or transportation occupations, and women are far more concentrated in office and administrative support jobs. Women also are more likely than men to work in professional and related occupations. In 2015, 30 percent of women worked in professional and related occupations, compared with 19 percent of men. Within this occupational category, though, the proportion of women employed in the higher paying job groups is much smaller than the proportion of men employed in them. In 2015, 9 percent of women in professional and related occupations were employed in the relatively high-paying computer and engineering fields, compared with 45 percent of men. Women in professional and related occupations were more likely to work in education and healthcare jobs, which generally pay less than computer and engineering jobs. Sixty-eight percent of women in professional occupations worked in education and healthcare jobs in 2015, compared with 30 percent of men. (See chart 5 and table 2.)
Earnings for those with and without children under 18
In 2015, a little more than one-third of full-time wage and salary workers were parents of children under age 18. (“Children” refers to “own” children and includes sons, daughters, stepchildren, and adopted children under age 18 who live in the household.) Median weekly earnings for mothers of children under age 18 ($727) were essentially the same as earnings for women without children under 18 ($726). Earnings for fathers with children under 18 were $985, compared with $844 for men without children under 18. (See table 7.)
Earnings by state of residence
Median weekly earnings and women’s-to-men’s earnings ratios vary by state of residence. (In this report, “state” refers to the 50 states and the District of Columbia.) The differences among the states reflect, in part, variation in the occupations and industries found in each state and differences in the demographic composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, the sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national estimates. Thus, earnings comparisons between states should be made with caution. Readers also should note that the state estimates are based on workers’ state of residence; their reported earnings are not necessarily from a job located in the same state. (See table 3.)
Weekly work hours of full-time workers
Among full-time workers (that is, those usually working at a job 35 hours or more per week), men are more likely than women to have a longer workweek. In 2015, 26 percent of men who usually work full time worked 41 or more hours per week, compared with 15 percent of women. Women were more likely than men to work 35 to 39 hours per week: 11 percent of women worked such hours in 2015, while 5 percent of men did. A majority of both male and female full-time workers had a 40-hour workweek. Among these workers, women earned 88 percent as much as men. (This analysis excludes people who usually work 35 or more hours per week but whose hours vary.) (See table 5.)
Earnings of part-time workers
Women are more likely than men to work part time—that is, less than 35 hours per week on a sole or main job. Women who worked part time made up 25 percent of all female wage and salary workers in 2015. In comparison, 12 percent of men in wage and salary jobs worked part time. (See tables 4 and 5.)
Median weekly earnings for female part-timers were $251 in 2015, slightly higher than the $238 median for men. (See table 4.)
Part-time workers are more likely to be under age 25 than full-time workers. Among part-timers in 2015, 30 percent of women and 45 percent of men were under age 25. Among full-time workers, 9 percent of women and 9 percent of men were under age 25. (See tables 1 and 4.)
Earnings of workers paid by the hour
In 2015, 61 percent of women and 56 percent of men in wage and salary jobs were paid by the hour. Women who were paid hourly rates had median hourly earnings of $12.56, which were 86 percent of the median hourly earnings of men ($14.67). (See tables 8 and 11.)
Among both women and men, hourly paid workers age 16 to 19 were the most likely to have earnings at or below the minimum wage. Eleven percent of teenage workers who were paid hourly rates earned the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in 2015, compared with just 2 percent of hourly paid workers age 25 and older. Six percent of workers age 20 to 24 had earnings at or below the federal minimum wage. (See table 10.) See the technical notes section for information about BLS estimates of the number of minimum wage workers.