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.
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.