Women's earnings compared to men's earnings in 2014

November 30, 2015

In 2014, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $719. Women’s median earnings were 83 percent of those of male full-time wage and salary workers ($871).

Median weekly earnings for women were highest between the ages of 35 and 64. In 2014, there was little or no difference in the earnings of 35- to 44-year-olds ($781), 45- to 54-year-olds ($780), and 55- to 64-year-olds ($780). For men, earnings peaked between the ages of 45 and 64, with 45- to 54-year-olds ($1,011) and 55- to 64-year-olds ($1,021) having similar earnings. Young women and men ages 16 to 24 had the lowest earnings ($451 and $493, respectively).

Median usual weekly earnings of women and men who are full-time wage and salary workers, by age, 2014 annual averages
Age Women Men

16 to 24

$451 $493

25 to 34

679 755

35 to 44

781 964

45 to 54

780 1,011

55 to 64

780 1,021

65 and older

740 942

At each education level, the long-term trend in inflation-adjusted earnings has been more favorable for women than for men. Both women and men without a high school diploma experienced declines in inflation-adjusted earnings since 1979. The drop for women (−11 percent) was much smaller than the drop for men (−33 percent). 

Percentage change in inflation-adjusted median usual weekly earnings of women and men who are full-time wage and salary workers, by educational attainment, 1979–2014
Educational attainment Women Men
1979 2014 Percent change 1979 2014 Percent change

Total, 25 years and older

$593 $752 26.8% $954 $922 -3.4%

Less than a high school diploma

462 409 -11.5 766 517 -32.5

High school graduates, no college

562 578 2.8 936 751 -19.8

Some college or associate's degree

641 661 3.1 1,000 872 -12.8

Bachelor's degree and higher

802 1,049 30.8 1,204 1,385 15.0

On an inflation-adjusted basis, earnings for women with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 31 percent since 1979. Earnings for men with a bachelor’s degree or higher rose by 15 percent.

These data are from the Current Population Survey (CPS). For more information, see “Highlights of women’s earnings in 2014” (PDF) and the CPS demographics page on women. Educational data refer to workers age 25 and older. Earnings comparisons are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences, such as job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Women's earnings compared to men's earnings in 2014 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/womens-earnings-compared-to-mens-earnings-in-2014.htm (visited June 28, 2017).

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