Women who managed to stay in the workforce during last year’s pandemic recession experienced a drop in income and little improvement in gender pay gap, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau of USA.
In 2020, women who worked full time earned 83 cents for every dollar men took, compared to 82.3 cents the previous year. Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center found that the pay gap remained unchanged from last year when including part-time workers. The non-white women have even bigger pay gaps.
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According to the Census Bureau’s report on income and poverty, women also experienced a 1.2% drop in median earnings compared to the previous year. The variation for male workers was not statistically significant.
Much of the gender pay gap is due to the underrepresentation of women in the highest paying jobs and fields. The slight narrowing of the gap in 2020 was not due to women earning more, but rather to the fact that women women working in low-wage sectorsLike retail and hospitality, they lost their jobs disproportionately, said Emily Martin, vice president of the National Women’s Law Center, an advocacy group based in Washington, DC.
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“The pay gap appeared to be closing artificially,” Martin said in an emailed statement. “But the pay gaps by race and gender remain robbing women tens of thousands of dollars year”.
Overall, the median household income of American households decreased 2.9% last year compared to 2019. The official poverty rate increased 1 percentage point.
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