All Articles Tagged "wage gap"
During President Obama’s State of the Union address, he announced that he will raise the minimum wage for federally contracted workers through an executive order that will bring the hourly pay up to $10.10 from $7.25. According to the AP, the raise will only affect 10 percent of the total 2.2 million contracted workers and might not be renewed with those contracts come up for renewal. Nonetheless, security guards, housekeepers, and other low-wage workers can, and probably would, fight to hang on to and increase that amount.
This effort to raise wages is part of what President Obama called the “year of action.” Socioeconomic inequality will be a big focus.
“Those at the top have never done better,” the President said during his speech. “But average wages have barely budged. Inequality had deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”
The President joins 10 states, including Arizona, Ohio, and Rhode Island, that have raised the minimum wage while Congress debates back and forth on the issue.
“That said, raising the minimum wage in and of itself can drastically raise the number of people affected. If the federal minimum wage grew to $10.10, suddenly not only the current minimum wage-earners (at $7.25 per hour) would be affected, but all of the $8 and $9 per hour workers likewise would slip below that bar and would need a raise,” according to US News. “According to the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive economic think tank, 30 million Americans would get raises in this circumstances.”
The Economic Policy Institute has a petition on its website that has been signed, according to the site, by 600 economists, advocating for a $10.10 minimum wage.
“The vast majority of employees who would benefit are adults in working families, disproportionately women, who work at least 20 hours a week and depend on these earnings to make ends meet. At a time when persistent high unemployment is putting enormous downward pressure on wages, such a minimum-wage increase would provide a much-needed boost to the earnings of low-wage workers,” the petition says.
Still, there’s debate over the impact of this increase.
“It’s important to understand who’s earning the minimum wage. Very few people are raising families on the minimum wage alone—for instance, just nine percent of employees affected by the $10.10 number that Congress is discussing are single parents. By contrast, 60 percent of affected employees are either living at home with family and relatives or they’re a second- or third- earner,” Michael Saltsman, research director at The Employment Policies Institute, a nonprofit organization that researches issues surrounding entry-level employment, told us via email.
Support for minimum wage hikes is growing, but the debate over who will benefit — and who will benefit most — continues. This Washington Post story has a series of charts that break down the impact that a $10.10 increase would have on various demographics.
“But there’s no question that a large share of the American workforce earns wages well below $10.10 and would be directly affected as long as their jobs aren’t lost,” the article says.
You may think that with work experience your salary will just keep getting bigger and bigger. Not so. There are actually salary peaks — and a woman’s salary peaks before she hits 40!
An analysis from PayScale found that women’s pay peaks at age 39, and, depending on their median data, at around $60,000. While you may have increases after this, the pay jumps will hardly ever outpace inflation, which means you’ll earn what really amount to $60,000 for the remainder of your professional career.
Here’s evidence of the wage gap: Men’s salaries don’t peak until age 48, topping out at a median of $95,000.
Both men and women will see salary growth of about 60 percent by age 30, according to the PayScale study.
By the time the typical woman reaches age 39, her salary has grown by less than 20 percent when compared to when she was 30. Then after 39 the growth pretty much comes to a halt.
Men however have a steady salary growth rate after age 30. Yet by age 48 most men see that their income has grown by about 45 percent, compared to when they were 30.
Don’t get too disappointed, a lot of this depends on your career profession and choices. But there are things you can that will positively affect your salary growth.
In Your 20s: Since you are fresh out of college you might be eager to take the first job you’re offered. Have a plan before you jump into the professional pool.Take a look at the industry you have chosen. Does it have frequent annual pay increases? Careers in engineering, computer science, management positions (usually dominated by men) all of which have a healthy growth rate.
Also during this period, look for ways to move up. If a position becomes available, go for it. It is also a good time in your career to begin your savings strategy as your responsibilities should be at a minimum.
In Your 30s: Be on the lookout for new opportunities. Go on interviews regularly. According to Kathy Caprino, president of career and leadership coaching company Ellia Communications, “Literally, you should be interviewing two or three times a year.” A new job usually means a pay bump.
Volunteer to take on new projects or more work. With more responsibility comes more money. And even is you are hope raising kids, try to do some part-time or freelance work to stay in the pipeline and maintain your contacts.
Cut down your debt and start saving money for retirement. You should be putting away at least 15 percent of your income.
In your 40s and 50s: Stop overspending and put your retirement savings needs first. At this stage of life, you should ideally be saving 25 percent of your income for retirement.
Pay off the mortgage. It’s not a good idea to enter into retirement still having to worry about carrying a mortgage. Sugar Savvy has a good suggestion on how to pay down the loan: “Make half a mortgage payment every two weeks — you’ll end up making one full extra payment every year, which will slightly accelerate your payoff schedule.”
What people earn is a touchy subject. Everyone has an opinion about what certain professions should make. Well, a new Business Insider/SurveyMonkey Audience poll, shows the mean income for about 50 occupations as well as what people think these jobs salaries should be. Some 400 respondents were asked to rate which jobs were very overpaid, somewhat overpaid, paid about right, somewhat underpaid, or very underpaid.
And you probably won’t be shocked by the findings. Wall Street types were considered very overpaid. Financial managers, for example, have a mean income of $123,260 and 77.3 percent of people said they were very or somewhat overpaid. Count CEOs, financial analysts, real estate brokers, and lawyers in this slot as well.
Agricultural workers, with a mean income of $21,920, were thought of as very or somewhat underpaid by 89.9 percent of the respondents as were positions in childcare, restaurants, factories, and schools, reports Business Insider. Just over 68 percent believed high school teachers, who take home $57,770, were underpaid.
The country’s wage gap is a hot button political issue, with minimum wage rates changing across the country. New Jersey increased its minimum wage this year to $8.25. And the state wasn’t alone in doing so.”On Jan. 1, 13 states raised their minimum wage (by varying degrees), and on July 1, California will increase its by $1 an hour,” reports CNN.
The city of Los Angeles might go even further. New proposals may give it the highest minimum wage in the country. Three city council members are expected to introduce a motion to up the minimum wage to $15.37 an hour for hotel workers in the city. This would be about double the California’s $8 hourly minimum and the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. And, reports The Huffington Post, the proposal’s authors have said they’d like the new wage increase to apply to all workers citywide.
An interesting trend has emerged in states that have already increased their minimum wages. Small businesses aren’t just increasing the pay for their low-wage employees but for the rest of their staff as well. Because of this, the Economic Policy Institute expects about 4.6 million workers will have their salaries boosted. Breaking it down, 2.6 million of those workers are directly affected as the new minimum wage mandates and the other 2 million will reap reward from the ripple effect.
The minimum wage increase may sweep across America. “Congressional Democrats and President Obama are pushing to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2015,” reports CNN.
But as more and more states are considering upping their minimum wages, the Senate just killed hopes of bring back unemployment insurance for over a million long-term unemployed Americans.
Both sides of the aisle could not agree and the Democrats accused the Republicans of filibustering over amends they wanted to make to the legislation.
On December 28, unemployment benefits ended for 1.3 million people. And each week since, an additional 70,000 of the unemployed reach the end of their state benefits, reports The Huffington Post.
Republican and Democratic senators can’t agree on how to pay for the aid. They also disagree on the period of time the federal government should pay the benefits.
But there is still hope of a compromise says Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). When asked if the unemployment insurance extension bill was dead in the Senate, he said ”no” but, “I think it will get worked out.”
It is a fact that African-American women make less than white men, but it is glaringly obvious in Louisiana. That state has the widest gap in earnings between black women and white men of any state in the country, according to an analysis done by the National Women’s Law Center, reports The New Orleans Times-Picaynne.
African-American women earned 48.8 cents for every dollar earned by white men in 2012 in Louisiana which a much wider gap than anywhere else in the country. Nationwide, African-American women made 64 cents for every dollar earned by white men in 2012.
“A few other states in the Deep South also made the list of states with the widest wage gap between African American women and white men. Mississippi has the third largest gap and Alabama has the fifth largest gap,” notes the newspaper.
And it is not just black women who earn less than white men in Louisiana. “The state ranks second in the country, behind Wyoming, for having the largest overall wage gap between women and men,” reports The Times-Picaynne.
Louisiana is trying to close this gap. The Louisiana State Legislature took a step last spring toward attempting to close that wage gap. Legislation was passed that ensured female state employees would be paid as much as male employees if they are in the same position. But the state could have done more — the legislature didn’t pass a broader measure that would have called for equal pay for women in the private sector as well.
“We hope that having an understanding of this data will prompt more action on the public policy front,” said Fatima Goss Graves, vice president for education and employment at the National Women’s Law Center.
Many are asking where are the black chefs and the women chefs after viewing the 2013 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. And the lack of diversity is not just in the kitchen but across every aspect of the restaurant industry, according to news site RH Reality Check (via The Huffington Post).
“We tend not to realize that diversity is not the same as equity — that simply seeing a lot of restaurant workers from different backgrounds doesn’t mean that restaurant workers have equal opportunities to advance to jobs that will allow them support themselves and their families,” says Saru Jayaraman, director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) in her book Behind the Kitchen Door, published earlier this year.
And minorities who are in the business receive lower pay than their white counterparts. “There’s a wage gap of four dollars between white workers and workers of color in the restaurant industry,” Jayaraman explained in an interview with ROC. “We’ve done studies to show that the best-paying jobs in the industry — and there are some good-paying jobs — are held almost exclusively by white workers.”
Women too are overlooked—and are paid less. A 2010 report called “Waiting on Equality: The Role and Impact of Gender in the New York City Restaurant Industry” conducted by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United revealed that women of color are largely segregated by segment in the restaurant industry with 38.5 percent of black women, 33.3 percent of Asian women, and 44.1 percent of Latina women surveyed working in the low-paying quick service sector. Men held 67 percent of Tier I front-of-the-house positions; women held only 32 percent, according to the report. Women of color earn just 70 cents for every dollar paid to men and just 64 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.
“Women of color are hard hit by a kind of perfect –- and perfectly devastating –- storm caused by discrimination, a struggling economy and the country’s failure to adopt family friendly workplace policies,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, in a release. The Partnership is working to close the wage gap.
Almost Every Woman Working A Full-Time Job In The US Is Getting Paid Less Than Their Male Counterparts
Hot on the heels of Equal Pay Day, the Center for American Progress revealed data that shows 97 percent of American women are working full-time jobs that men are typically getting paid more money for.
The analysis is based on figures from 2011, and show that of the 534 professions listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women only earn more than men in seven of them. The number of women working those professions is 1.5 million, The Huffington Post says, or three percent of full-time women workers. “And even here, in the seven occupations that women do earn more, the wage difference is quite small,” the article continues.
The seven occupations where women are making more money than men are respiratory therapist ($62 per week), computer support specialist ($55), operations research analyst ($68), stock clerks and order fillers ($13), medical scientist ($25), bookkeeping/accounting/auditing clerks ($2), and packers ($1).
One expert from the Center for American Progress says the discrepancy is due, in part, to women not negotiating their salaries when they enter the working world.
So ladies, let’s start teaching the next generation of women to ask and negotiate right out of the gate.
Do you feel a little more equal today?
There has been much data about the gender wage gap, but a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau stats breaks down the gap by the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas in all 50 states—and includes an analysis of the wage gap for African-American women and Latinas in the 20 states where they are the majority. The analysis is being released for Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the new year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid the year before. It was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Here are some the disheartening findings: The cities with the largest gender-based, cents-on-the-dollar pay differences are the Seattle, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Detroit. And, the states with the largest cents-on-the-dollar differences are Wyoming, Louisiana, Utah, and West Virginia.
The report also found that nationally, women who hold full-time jobs are only paid the oft-quoted 77 cents for every dollar paid to men who hold full-time jobs. African-American women and Latinas fare worse, paid 64 cents and 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. This wage gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a cent per year since passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, said the report. This means that if things continue at this rate, women will not be paid equally for more than 40 years.
The findings looked at what the wage gap in each state and locality means in terms of women’s spending power, particularly on food, housing, and gas. This doesn’t bode well for the more than 15.1 million U.S. households headed by women, 31 percent of which fall below the poverty line, according to a press release.
While the study is enlightening, it is also staggeringly shocking. Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families agrees. “It is terribly disappointing that not a single state or metropolitan area has eliminated the wage gap that punishes women and their families. This new analysis illustrates how pervasive the gender-based wage gap is, and what it costs families,” said Ness in a press statement. “With most women serving as essential breadwinners for their families, the loss of this critical income has devastating consequences. Local, state and federal lawmakers should make ending gender discrimination in pay and promotions a much higher priority.”
Many are still pinning their hopes on the ability for the Paycheck Fairness Act to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, which is meant to help break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and establish stronger workplace protections for women. The bill, which has President Obama’s support, was reintroduced in Congress in January. But more is needed, say advocates. The National Partnership and other advocates are calling on the president to issue an executive order on fair pay, which would set an example for the nation’s employers and help ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to support discriminatory pay practices.
As we’ve mentioned (more than once, BTW) women still aren’t getting a fair shake when it comes to what they earn. The hourly pay of young, female college graduates dropped 8.5 percent between 2000 and 2011, compared to 1.6 percent for men. So it’s great that Forbes conducted analysis of data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out which jobs actually pay women the most.
It turns out jobs in healthcare, business, and computer science pay women the best. According to the study, pharmacist is the top paying job for women earning most a median salary of $98,000 per year. It is also the most equal paying job with most women making 100 percent as much as men; actual on par, equal pay. Other high paying healthcare jobs are nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, and medical and health services managers.
Next on the list of highest paying job is chief executive which has a median salary of about $90,000 per year and makes sense. Want better pay, pay yourself. However, there are very few instances where women are earning as much as men with the wage gap in this space earning women only 76 percent as much as men with the same title. Women are expected to see this gap at large companies and might want to seek out smaller or nonprofit companies to get the best pay.
Although women are underrepresented in computer engineering, it’s another place where we can expect great pay. As we’ve also said before, STEM careers are the thing.
Other notable jobs are lawyer, human resource manager, and psychologists. The worst paying jobs for women (and men, to be sure) are food preparation workers, laundry and dry-cleaning workers, cashiers, child-care workers, and maids and housekeepers, which earn less than $400 a week.
Jennifer Hudson got millions. Jessica Simpson is reportedly earning $4 million. Weight Watchers shells out mega bucks to it celebrity spokespersons, despite a 15.6 percent decline in earnings last year. But according to a New York Times article, women who actually work for the weight loss company are complaining about incredibly low pay.
“Some employees at Weight Watchers expressed irritation at being paid the minimum wage while the company lavishes millions of dollars on celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson to advertise its weight-loss program,” writes the newspaper.
Weight Watchers meeting leaders, who go out into the community to encourage followers to continue with their regimen, have an $18 base rate, and it has not increased in more than a decade. And the workers say they are not reimbursed for mileage on the first 40 miles driven each day. An added insult, some complain, is that the overwhelming majority of its employees are women.
“We are not working for a charity or a nonprofit corp,” one Weight Watchers leader posted on the Web site. “This is a multimillion-dollar company with enough cash to advertise relentlessly on TV, and pay celebrities tons of money to lose weight.”
According to the article, Weight Watchers executives have hinted they will increase compensation for their low-wage earners in order to address the frustration.
This isn’t the first time Weight Watchers employees have been upset over low wages. Two years ago Weight Watchers reached a $6.2-million settlement to end a class-action lawsuit in California in which employees complained about minimum wage violations, off-the-clock work and receiving paychecks that did not explain how wages were calculated.
It is not just Weight Watchers short-changing their largely female workers. There seems to be a trend of low pay complaints and companies that are primarily staffed by and targeted to women. “The restlessness over low pay extends across the weight-loss industry to Weight Watchers’ rivals, including Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem,” reports The Times.
The is lawsuit pending aging Jenny Craig in which employees in New York State claim they typically work through their lunch hour, but are not paid for that time. The company denies this.
Mary Kay, too, came under scrutiny last year. According to Forbes, the company has several legal actions against the concerning earnings by its sales representatives. We even reported this morning that nursing, an area that has always been heavily female, pays its female nurses less than the men.
As if we needed it, here’s more proof that women need to be more vocal about pay and getting what they deserve. If we aren’t we’ll get shortchanged.
Where you live can affect your pocketbook in more ways than one. As we recently reported, where you live can affect your job opportunities. This is especially true for women, who on average earn only 77 percent as much as men in the U.S. but are the majority of breadwinners for their families. Forbes has put together a list of the best-paying cities for women in 2014. The magazine examined the 2011 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census (the latest data available), supplied by financial literacy website NerdWallet.
Here are the top five cities where women can earn the most:
1) Our nation’s capital. “In the Washington, D.C. metro area women working full-time earn a median income of $57,128. That’s nearly triple the salary in the worst-paying city for women. In Opelousas, L.A., women earn just $21,658 a year,” reports Forbes. D.C. attracts highly educated professionals who work in high-paying fields, such as politics and law. Still, even here, women earn only 81 percent as much men, who earn a median salary of $70,758.
2) Do you know the way to San Jose? The second top-paying city for women is San Jose, CA. Women living here earn a median salary of $56,499. In fact, seven metro areas in California made the top 20 list. “California cities like San Jose and San Francisco have become hotbeds of innovation and recruit talent with backgrounds in engineering and computer science, among the best-paying fields,” writes the magazine.
3) New England calls: The Bridgeport, CT woman’s median salary is $54,844, which is good, but still just 73 percent of what men make in the city. Urban centers in the East feature a high concentration of top-rated universities and highly-skilled, professional jobs, which pushes up earnings, according to Forbes.
4) Golden Gate perks: The median salary in San Francisco is $54,376 for female workers. Women take home 84 percent of what men earn.
5) Jersey Girl: In the Trenton, NJ metro area, a woman’s median salary is $52,319, which is 81 percent of a man’s.
The bottom of the list included cities in Texas, Florida and Missouri, where median salaries for women is less than $28,000.
The data also further highlighted the gender wage gap. “In fact, out of all the cities tracked, there are only four in which women earn equal to or more than men: Key West, Fla; Madera, Calif.; Fort Payne, Ala.; and Sebring, Fla, ” reports Forbes. All the more reason many women’s organizations are backing the Fairness Pay Act.
Would you relocate for better pay?