Saturday, June 05, 2004

Calling All Women Voters: New Study Shows “Still A Man’s Labor Market”
As a woman, single mother and small business owner, I was very disparaged to read about this study in the news today. One of main reasons I became involved in the Kerry campaign was because of John Kerry’s strong support of Women’s Issues.

Single women, it is said do not vote because they feel as though their issues are not addressed. So, I offer a view of this study to all the single women out there who feel the economic pinch even harder right now, as a call to arms to get out and volunteer for John Kerry! He will fight to Expand Economic Opportunity for Women and Close the Pay Gap.

Women, in their prime earnings years, make only 38 cents for every dollar that men earn. In a groundbreaking new study, economists Heidi Hartmann of the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) and Stephen Rose of ORC Macro have teamed up to provide new estimates of the long- term gender earnings gap showing that women earn 62 percent less than men earn over a 15-year period. “The typical prime age working woman earned only $273,592 between 1983 and 1998 while the typical working man earned $722,693 (in 1999 dollars). This gap of 62 percent is more than twice as large as the 23 percent gap commonly reported (based on the federal Current Population Survey).”

The conventional method of measuring the wage gap compares the annual earnings of women and men who work full-time, full-year in a given year. According to Dr. Hartmann, President of IWPR and coauthor of the report, "This measure is misleading because it ignores the labor market experiences of over half of working women, who either work part-time or take time out of the labor force for family care. The long-term gender earnings gap measures not only women's earnings losses in a given year, but also the cumulative effect on women's earnings of balancing family and work responsibilities."

According to Dr. Barbara Gault, director of research at IWPR, "The persistent and large gender gap in earnings points to the importance of strengthening enforcement of existing equal opportunity laws, increasing women's access to education and training in high paying fields, and providing necessary work supports for families such as flexible hours and job-guaranteed and paid leaves of absence for sickness and family care." Dr. Hartmann states that "New legislation to address the lack of comparable worth, the tendency for female-dominated jobs to be paid less than comparable male-dominated jobs, is also needed."

This report will be available online June 4 at


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