August 16, 2001
At all levels of education, women fared better than men with respect to earnings growth between 1979 and 2000.
Although both women and men without a high school diploma have experienced a decline in inflation-adjusted earnings since 1979, women's earnings fell significantly less—a drop of 9.8 percent, compared with a 26.7-percent drop for men.
Inflation-adjusted earnings for women with a high school diploma advanced 2.9 percent between 1979 and 2000, while earnings for male high school graduates fell 12.9 percent. Among those with some college or an associate degree, women's earnings were up 8.2 percent, while men's were down 4.1 percent.
Earnings for women with college degrees have increased by 30.4 percent since 1979 on an inflation-adjusted basis, while those of male college graduates rose by only 16.7 percent.
These data on earnings are produced by the Current Population Survey. Earnings data in this article are median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in constant (2000) dollars. More information can be found in "Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2000," BLS Report 952 (PDF 193K).