Women make gains, but pay gap still exists, Census Bureau says

Despite gains in median earnings and decreases in poverty rates, the wage gap between men and women remained static in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report indicated women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men among full-time, year-round workers in 2018, about the same as the previous year.

Other findings included:

  • The number of female workers with earnings increased by approximately 1.1 million, while the number of male workers did not change.
  • The number of women working full-time, year-round increased by 1.6 million, while the number of men increased by about 700,000 between 2017 and 2018.
  • Median earnings for women were $45,097, while median earnings for men were $55,291 in 2018, an increase of 3.3% for women and 3.4% for men from the prior year.
  • The poverty rate for men was 10.6% in 2018, unchanged from the previous year. The rate for women was 12.9% in 2018, down from 13.6 percent in 2017.
  • Poverty rates were down for white, black and Hispanic women.

The gender pay cap is one area of focus for the Pennsylvania Commission for Women which formed by executive order of Gov. Tom Wolf in October 2017.

The commission will hold a series of salary negotiation workshops for women across the commonwealth, an initiative made possible through a partnership with the American Association of University Women and its “Work Smart” program.

“It is unacceptable that women in Pennsylvania are still making just 80 cents on the dollar compared to what a man makes,” Wolf said in a press release. “And there are far too many employers who refuse to even acknowledge the gender pay gap, much less work to eliminate it.”

The next workshop will be held Oct. 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Harrisburg University, 326 Market Street.

Workshops will also be held on Nov. 6 in York, Nov. 19 in Scranton, Dec. 2 in Pittsburgh and Jan. 13 in Philadelphia.