Women’s median earnings 82 percent of men’s in 2016

March 08, 2017

In 2016, the median weekly earnings for women ($749) were 82 percent of the median weekly earnings for men ($915). Women accounted for 44 percent of full-time wage and salary workers. Of the 120 occupations for which both male and female median weekly earnings data are available, women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s were highest for four occupations: Sewing machine operators ($452 women; $407 men); combined food preparation and serving workers, fast food ($402 women; $381 men); teacher assistants ($525 women; $501 men); and counselors ($907 women; $892 men).

Occupations in which women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s median earnings are the highest, 2016
Occupation Women's earnings compared to men's

Sewing machine operators

111%

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

106

Teacher assistants

105

Counselors

102

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

100

Stock clerks and order fillers

99

Physical therapists

97

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

97

Receptionists and information clerks

97

Advertising sales agents

97

Personal financial advisors had the greatest percentage difference in median weekly earnings between men ($1,714) and women ($953), followed by insurance sales agents ($676 women; $1,166 men); physicians and surgeons ($1,476 women; $2,343 men); real estate brokers and sales agents ($780 women; $1,222 men); and securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents ($951 women; $1,458 men).

Occupations in which women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s median earnings are the lowest, 2016
Occupation Women's earnings compared to men's

Personal financial advisors

56%

Insurance sales agents

58

Physicians and surgeons

63

Real estate brokers and sales agents

64

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents

65

Marketing and sales managers

65

Administrative services managers

68

Sales representatives, services, all other

69

Other teachers and instructors

69

Financial managers

69

These data are from the Current Population Survey. All occupations are not included in this analysis. Median weekly earnings data were not published for data that did not meet publication criteria (values not published where base is less than 50,000 workers). Only occupations in which both sexes meet the publication criteria were included. These occupational earnings comparisons are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences, such as age, educational attainment, job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Women’s median earnings 82 percent of men’s in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/womens-median-earnings-82-percent-of-mens-in-2016.htm (visited June 28, 2017).

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