Gradual advance in women’s earnings vis-a-vis men from 1979 to 1999

April 24, 2001

Between 1979 and 1999, earnings for women aged 35-44 and 45-54 grew closer to their male counterparts’ earnings, but the timing and extent of the gains varied by age group.

Women's earnings as a percentage of men's 1979-1999
[Chart data—TXT]

The median weekly earnings of women aged 35-44 as a percentage of men’s increased from 58.3 percent to 73.0 percent from 1979 to 1993, a rise of 14.7 percentage points. Changes in the ratio were modest from 1993 until 1999, when the women to men’s earnings ratio dipped from 73.5 percent to 71.7.

There also was an increase in the female-to-male earnings ratio among those aged 45 to 54 from 1979 to 1993, from 56.9 percent to 69.4 percent, or 12.5 percentage points. After 1993, however, the earnings ratio for this group continued to rise consistently for five more years before edging down slightly in 1999.

These data on earnings are produced by the Current Population Survey. More information can be found in "Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 1999," BLS Report 943 (PDF 253K).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Gradual advance in women’s earnings vis-a-vis men from 1979 to 1999 on the Internet at (visited September 29, 2016).


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