Chicago Tribune: Equal Pay Day in the spotlight this year

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by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

A flurry of surveys and reports have come out on the topic in recent months to mark Equal Pay Day and Women’s History Month, which was March.

•A woman’s median annual salary for full-time work is $10,800 less per year than a man’s — a disparity that can add up to nearly $500,000 over the course of a career, according to a report from the Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff. That hurts retirement income, with women aged 65 and older receiving 44 percent less annually than men.

•Once you account for a person’s age, education, years of experience, job title, employer and location, the pay gap between men and women shrinks from 24.1 percent to 5.4 percent, according to job review site Glassdoor, which examined 505,000 salaries that U.S. workers shared on its site. The gap varies widely depending on the job.

•Women hold only a third of what are known as middle-skill jobs, a growing segment of the labor force that is considered a pathway out of poverty because the jobs require less than a bachelor’s degree but are relatively well-paying at $35,000 to $102,000 per year, according to a study released last month by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and supported by JPMorgan Chase.

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Narrow the Wage Gap through Access to Good Jobs

Half of the gender wage gap is due to women working in different occupations and sectors than men. Improving women’s access to good middle-skill jobs can help close the wage gap and improve women’s economic security.

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