Women's earnings 83 percent of men's, but vary by occupation

January 15, 2016

In 2014, women who worked full time in wage and salary jobs had median usual weekly earnings of $719, which was 83 percent of men's median weekly earnings ($871). Women's earnings as a percentage of men's varied by occupation. Women's median usual weekly earnings in construction and extraction occupations ($691) were 91 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts.

Women's earnings as a percentage of men's and women's median usual weekly earnings (full-time wage and salary workers), by occupation, 2014
Occupation Women's earnings as a percentage of men's Women's median usual weekly earnings

Total, women, full-time wage and salary workers

82.5 $719

Construction and extraction

91.3 691

Office and administrative support

90.9 637

Food preparation and serving related

90.5 419

Community and social service

88.2 824

Installation, maintenance, and repair

88.0 725

Healthcare support

87.9 492

Life, physical, and social science

85.2 1,062

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

85.0 870

Farming, fishing, and forestry

82.1 375

Architecture and engineering

82.0 1,158

Computer and mathematical

81.2 1,165

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

79.9 413

Education, training, and library

78.6 897

Healthcare practitioners and technical

78.3 983

Management

77.5 1,127

Transportation and material moving

76.8 510

Business and financial operations

75.0 982

Personal care and service

75.0 455

Production

70.6 502

Protective service

69.6 617

Sales and related

67.8 570

Legal

56.7 1,001

Women's median usual weekly earnings in office and administrative support occupations ($637), and food preparation and serving related occupations ($419) were also each over 90 percent of men's earnings.

In contrast, women's earnings in protective service ($617), sales and related ($570), and legal occupations ($1,001) were 70 percent, or less, of men's earnings in 2014.

Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers varied by occupation. Occupational groups with the highest median weekly earnings for women included computer and mathematical ($1,165), architecture and engineering ($1,158), and management occupations ($1,127). Occupation groups with the lowest median weekly earnings for women included farming, fishing, and forestry ($375), building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($413), and food preparation and serving related occupations ($419).

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see Women’s Earnings in 2014 and Women in the labor force: a databook (2015 Edition). These comparisons of earnings are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that may be important in explaining earnings differences. Only 0.3 percent of women in full-time wage and salary jobs worked in construction and extraction occupations in 2014. Given the relatively small number of women in this occupational group, the sampling error for women’s earnings in construction and extraction occupations is considerably larger than for occupational groups with greater numbers of women.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Women's earnings 83 percent of men's, but vary by occupation on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/womens-earnings-83-percent-of-mens-but-vary-by-occupation.htm (visited December 09, 2016).

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