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Do women earn only .77 cents of every dollar a man earns?

Welcome to VoteFacts.   Over at MSNBC, commentator Mika Brzenzki told viewers that,

"Of course, women get paid .77 cents for every dollar men earn for the same exact job."

(Watch entire clip by dragging start button backward)

The president has also voiced concern that, on average, women earn only .77 cents of every dollar a man earns.  As with most political talking points, there is probably more to know here.  So let's take some time to research  deeper into this subject and focus on facts.   We will start the research with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Here we go:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Women who were paid hourly rates had median hourly earnings of $11.99, which was 86 percent of the median for men paid by the hour ($13.88). 

Women and men who worked part time had similar median earnings. Median weekly earnings for female part-timers were $236 in 2012, just slightly above the $226 median for their male counterparts.

Among full-time workers (that is, those working at a job 35 hours or more per week), men are more likely than women to have a longer workweek. Twenty-six percent of men worked 41 or more hours per week in 2012, compared with 14 percent of women who did so. Women were more likely than men to work 35 to 39 hours per week: 12 percent of women worked those hours in 2012, while 5 percent of men did. A large majority of both male and female full-time workers had a 40-hour workweek; among these workers, women earned 88 percent as much as men earned. (People who usually work 35 or more hours per week but whose hours vary were excluded from this analysis.)  

The earnings of women have fared better than that of men's

At each level of education, women have fared better than men with respect to earnings growth. Although both women and men without a high school diploma have experienced declines in inflation-adjusted earnings since 1979, the drop for women was significantly less than that for men: a 14-percent decrease for women as opposed to a 32-percent decline for men.  On an inflation-adjusted basis, earnings for women with a college degree have increased by 28 percent since 1979, while those of male college graduates have risen by 17 percent. (Data pertain to workers age 25 and older.)  

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The earning gap between genders has been closing for most of the past 3 plus decades 

In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691.  On average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($854) .  In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of what men earned.  

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Interestingly, there has been a slight increase in the gender earning gap in the past few years, something our president may be uncomfortable discussing.  But let's hear from you, go ahead and cast your vote.

Resource Links

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report

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Fact = 100% - 92% True
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