The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today. The Census Bureau estimates that women make approximately 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, creating a marked difference in economic security between men and women.
The figure above shows the percentage of men and women who live above and WOW’s BEST Index. More information on the methodology can be found in the Living Below the Line Report. While it is discouraging to see the different in economic security between men and women, it is not surprising. The figure below, however, demonstrates the difference in economic security in one occupation. Retail sales is a common vocation for both men and women- in the top five employers of both genders. Looking at the gap in economic security in just one occupation eliminates the influence occupational segregation has on women’s overall economic security. As shown, 54% of men who work as a retail salesperson attain economic security, but only 21% of women do. The gap is apparent even looking at simple wage data, the median weekly wage for full-time retail salesperson in 2011 was $620 for men and $466 for women: giving men 25% more every week.
The Paycheck Fairness Act will give women vital tools against wage discrimination, including the simple, commonsense measure of allowing workers to talk about and compare salaries. Call your senator to support Paycheck Fairness.
Posted by Jessica Horning on June 5, 2012
Education, especially college education, is key to social and economic success in the current economy. A college degree or certification is a required credential for many well-paying jobs in today’s economy. In 2011, the unemployment rate among those with bachelor’s degrees was 4.9%, almost half the 9.4% unemployment rate for those with high school diplomas.
Posted by Jessica Horning on May 30, 2012
As shown in the figure, national job growth through 2020 for those without 4-year degrees is expected to come largely from the health care industry, from service-related low-skill occupations, and from construction and professional and business services. In fact, nearly one-third of growth in jobs not requiring a 4-year degree will be care-related (nurses, health aides, child care providers and others). Approximately one-third of these jobs, those of health care practitioners and technicians (e.g., nurses, x-ray technicians), will be well paying. The remaining two-thirds are currently low-paying jobs. (more…)
Posted by Jessica Horning on May 1, 2012
The figure at left uses US BEST incomes to evaluate the average wages of projected jobs resulting from job growth through 2020 (rather than jobs resulting from replacing workers who quit, retire or are fired). A small majority of new jobs available to workers without 4-year degrees will pay economic security wages. Approximately 56% of new jobs will pay economic security wages for a single, childless worker. However, fewer than 41% of the new jobs will pay economic security wages for 2 workers raising a preschooler and a schoolchild. Approximately 12% of these new jobs will provide economic security to a single parent raising two or more children. The number of future jobs paying security wages will be even smaller if in the coming decade, as in the prior decade, prices of basic needs increase and wages stagnate.
Posted by Jessica Horning on March 30, 2012
The figure above compares some of the nation’s faster growing occupations which do not require 4-year college degrees to selected US BEST incomes (for workers with employment-based benefits) by family type. Through 2020, openings due to growth will be greatest among registered nurses, retail sales persons, home health aides and customer service representations. Such occupations represent the diversity of wages the country will see in coming years if anticipated economic development trends are realized. Nationwide, registered nurses earned an average of $32.56 per hour in 2010; retail sales persons earned just over a third of that, $12.02 per hour on average. Home health aides earned an average of $10.46 per hour.
Posted by Jessica Horning on March 7, 2012
The high cost of quality child care is the greatest threat to many families’ security, and in many places across the country, the cost of child care threatens a second parent’s ability to work and increase family income. The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) documents this problem in their annual report, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care. Their research found that the average cost of center-based care for an infant exceeded the average cost of tuition and fees at a public four-year college.
Posted by Jessica Horning on February 29, 2012