Women’s Wages Are Getting Closer to Men’s, But Not For the Right Reason

There’s been a little confusion on Twitter about the meaning of the chart I posted yesterday that compared working-class men’s and women’s hourly wages. I showed women’s wages increasing as a percentage of men’s wages, but what does that mean about actual women’s wages? To get at that you have to look at absolute dollar wages. The only non-confusing way to do this is with a separate chart for each age group, so here you go:

Keep in mind that these are hourly wages only for workers who are paid by the hour, which accounts for about half of all workers. These charts show several things clearly:

  • Men’s and women’s wages are converging. That’s the good news.
  • The bad news is that the main reason for the convergence is that men’s wages have declined. For the youngest age group, the decline of men’s wages is responsible for 100 percent of the convergence. The decline of men’s wages remains responsible for the bulk of the convergence until you get to the very oldest age group, where the increase in women’s wages is responsible for most of the convergence.
  • The absolute difference in wages widens as workers get older. As before, I assume that this is due to women being cumulatively more likely to have children as they get older.

Aside from this I don’t have any special comment to make. I just wanted to provide some of the detail behind yesterday’s chart.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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