Category Archives: Working Women

Single Mothers’ EITC Receipt Dynamics

Source: Bradley Heim, Ithai Lurie, Indiana University, Bloomington School of Public & Environmental Affairs Research Paper No. 2546072, June 11, 2014

From the abstract:
This paper uses a 1987-2006 panel of tax returns to examine how EITC claiming behavior among single mothers changed following the 1990s EITC expansions and the passage of welfare reform. We find that the continuation rate of being a claimant increased, while exits to non-primary-filer status decreased (particularly among longer-term claimants). Entrants from non-primary-filer status increased as well. We find that the increase in the EITC maximum helps to explain much of the increase in continuation rates, while the reduction in AFDC/TANF maximum benefits and the increase in maximum EITC amounts help to explain the decrease in exits to non-primary-filer.

Union Membership is Critical for Women’s Wage Equality

Source: Katherine Gallagher Robbins and Anne Morrison, National Women’s Law Center, February 2015

From the abstract:
Union membership boosts wages for all workers—but women see especially large advantages from being in a union. The wage gap among union members is 40 percent smaller than the wage gap among non-union workers and female union members earn over $200 per week more than women who are not represented by unions—a larger union premium than men receive. To promote equal pay for women, workers’ rights to organize must be strengthened.

Women and Social Security

Source: Joan Entmacher and Katherine Gallagher Robbins, National Women’s Law Center, Fact Sheet, February 2015

Social Security benefits are especially important to women—and women’s average benefits are just $13,500 per year. The proposed cuts to Social Security are cuts that women and families cannot afford. Check out this this fact sheet to learn more key facts on the impact of Social Security on women and their families.

How the Gender Wage Gap Differs by Occupation

Source: Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress, April 14, 2015

….Some argue that the wage gap is purely due to “women’s choices,” but such a characterization hides the cultural and social factors that go into women’s decisions to enter or stay in a particular job. Moreover, even when women choose the same jobs as men, the wage gap persists. For example, male surgeons earn 37.76 percent more per week than their female counterparts. In real terms, this means that a female surgeon earns $756 less per week than her male colleague, which adds up to nearly $40,000 over the course of one year. And this does not apply only to high-paying, male-dominated careers: Women are 94.6 percent of all secretaries and administrative assistants, yet they earn 84.5 percent of what their male counterparts earn per week—a weekly difference of $126.

It is also important to note that differences in women’s education do not help explain the gender wage gap. In fact, education has helped shrink the gap—but has not been nearly enough to close it. Women complete college and graduate school at higher rates than men; they earned 47 percent of all law degrees in 2011 and 47 percent of all medical degrees in 2014. All except one of the occupations with the smallest wage gaps do not require education beyond high school, while almost all of the occupations with the largest wage gaps require a college or professional degree. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that, going forward, jobs that require advanced degrees will grow faster than those that do not; they will also continue to have higher entry-level wages than jobs that require less education. Since women are pursuing advanced degrees at the same or slightly higher levels than their male counterparts, it is clear that helping women stay in the labor force and excel in well-paying jobs after completingtheir education needs to be a societal and a policy priority….
What Occupational Data Show About the Causes of the Gender Wage Gap by Emily Baxter
Women of Color and the Gender Wage Gap by Milia Fisher
Video: The Gender Pay Gap Explained by Sarah Jane Glynn, Sara Langhinrichs, and Andrew Satter

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity

Source: Ariane Hegewisch, Emily Ellis, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Fact Sheet, IWPR #C431, April 2015

From the abstract:
Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. Data for both women’s and men’s median weekly earnings for full-time work are available for 116 occupations; these include only one occupation—‘health practitioner support technologists and technicians’—in which women have exactly the same median weekly earnings as men, and one—‘stock clerks and order fillers’—where women earn slightly more than men. The occupation with the widest gap in earnings is ‘personal financial advisers,’ with a gender earnings ratio of just 61.3 percent. In 109 of the 116 occupations, the gender earnings ratio of women’s median weekly earnings to men’s is 0.95 or lower (that is, a wage gap of at least 5 cents per dollar earned by men); in 27 of these occupations the gender earnings ratio is lower than 0.75 (that is, a wage gap of more than 25 cents per dollar earned by men).

Is Hobby Lobby Worse for Religious Liberty than Smith?

Source: Andrew Koppelman, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Northwestern University Public Law Research Paper No. 15-13, March 12, 2015

From the abstract:
Imagine a world where religious people are a kind of aristocratic elite who are entitled to injure nonadherents with impunity – a world which would “permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” Employment Division v. Smith held that “courting anarchy” in this manner was a conclusive reason to hold that there is no constitutional right to religious exemptions from laws of general applicability. The Hobby Lobby decision (by some of the same judges!) threatens to bring that world into being.

If government refusals to accommodate are viewed with the kind of skepticism that the Court displays in Hobby Lobby, then claims of accommodation will always be supported by some imaginable less restrictive means, even if its enactment is politically impossible. The consequence in practice will be an interpretation of religious liberty in which adherents get to harm nonadherents. Religious liberty here means the right to impose your religion on other people who don’t share your views.

One of the principal attractions of the idea of religious liberty has always been that the exercise of one person’s religion doesn’t hurt anyone else. In Thomas Jefferson’s classic formulation: “it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” But paying for contraceptives that should be covered by insurance is exactly like having one’s pocket picked, while involuntary pregnancy is worse than a broken leg. If this is the official meaning of religious liberty, then the broad acceptance of religious liberty will quickly fade.

Job Patterns for Minorities and Women in State and Local Government (EEO-4)

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2015

As part of its mandate under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires periodic reports from public and private employers, and unions and labor organizations which indicate the composition for their work forces by sex and by race/ethnic category.
EEOC collects labor force data from state and local governments with 100 or more employees within 50 U.S. states and District of Columbia. The reporting agencies provide information on their employment totals, employees’ job category and salary by sex and race/ethnic groups as of June 30 of the survey year. Since 1993 the EEO4 survey is conducted biennially in every odd-numbered year.
The confidentiality provision which governs release of these data (section 709 (e) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972) prohibits release of individual identifiable information. However data in aggregated format for major geographic areas and by government types and functions for state and local governments are available as shown below.1
2013 Tables
2011 Tables
2009 Tables
2007 Tables
2005 Tables

Census Bureau Releases New Median Earnings by Detailed Occupations

Source: Census Bureau, Press Release, CB15-TPS.22, March 16, 2015

From the summary:
In honor of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Census Bureau released today a new table showing median earnings by detailed occupation from the 2013 American Community Survey. The table includes ratios indicating the percentage of women in an occupation, as well as the male-to-female earnings ratio in the occupation for full-time, year round workers in the past twelve months.

Table Packages
2000 to Present
Full-Time, Year-Round Workers and Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months by Sex and Detailed Occupation: 2013 [XLSX – 111K]
Employment Statistics of College Graduates
Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin by Field of Degree for the First Listed Bachelor’s Degree: 2012 [XLSX – 19K]
Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin by Occupation: 2012 [XLSX – 20K]
Percent Unemployed by Field of Degree, Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 2012 [XLSX – 21K]
Median Earnings of College Graduates by Field of Bachelor’s Degree and Occupation: 2012 [XLSX – 21K]
Employment in STEM Occupations by Field of Degree for the First Listed Bachelor’s Degree: 2012 [XLSX – 21K]
College Graduate Employment in STEM Occupations by State: 2012 [XLSX – 23K]
Current Population Survey (CPS) Historical Income Tables P-44 to P-52
Census 2000 PHC-T-33. Earnings Distribution of U.S.Year-Round Full-Time Workers by Occupation: 1999

A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Difference

Source: Jane LaTour in consultation with Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa, Cornell University Workers Institute, January 2015

In the early history of unionization, unions and other organizations limited the participation of women or organized them into separate unions. Such restrictions are not the case today, but the fact remains that genuine, systemic equality for women at the workplace, in unions, and within the labor movement is still unrealized.

A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees builds on the findings of the Women’s Committees in Worker Organizations report to provide step-by-step instruction for forming women’s committees in unions and worker-centered organizations. Union and worker center members can use this Guide to plan and implement women’s committees at their organizations.

The Guide was written by consultant, journalist, and author, Jane LaTour, in consultation with Cornell University Workers Institute faculty Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa. It was produced with funding and support from the Berger-Marks Foundation.

Salary Differences Between Male and Female Registered Nurses in the United States

Source: Ulrike Muench, Jody Sindelar, Susan H. Busch, Peter I. Buerhaus, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, Research Letter, Vol 313 No. 12, March 24/31 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act, the male-female salary gap has narrowed in many occupations. Yet pay inequality persists for certain occupations, including medicine and nursing. Studies have documented salary differences across clinical settings for diverse cohorts of physicians and higher salaries for male registered nurses (RNs). In nursing, analyses have not considered employment factors that could explain salary differences, have been cross-sectional and have not been based on recent data. The objective of this study was to examine salaries of males and females in nursing over time and to include a more recent sample.