Women in US closing the pay gap with men, at least when newly hired

Hourly wages for female hires jumped 45 per cent between 1980 and 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Women in the United States are starting to be paid almost as much as men, a report released on Sept 2 shows.

Progress in closing the wage gap is more apparent when focusing on employees accepting new positions, according to the New Hires Quality Index from the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan. The data - which measures earnings of people taking new jobs each month - indicates that newly hired women earned about 96 per cent of what men did as at July.

Data from Brad Hershbein, an economist at the Upjohn Institute, largely supports a research paper from Rakesh Kochhar at Pew Research Center earlier this year which showed average hourly wages for females jumped 45 per cent between 1980 and 2018, compared with 14 per cent for males.

Employers seeking strong social skills are going after females, Dr Kockhar found, while Dr Hershbein attributed the wage gains by women partly to educational attainment. About 23 per cent of male new hires this year had a college degree compared with more than 29 per cent for females.

Looked at another way, men now account for 51 per cent of the total wage bill compared with 55 per cent a decade ago.

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