Gender pay gap set to close in 39 years

The projected deadline for equitable pay between men and women remains the same as it has for the past four years — 2059 — meaning the rate of progress toward closing the gender pay gap did not accelerate in 2019, according to The Institute for Women's Policy Research

Working women can be prepared to say "maybe next year" 39 times — "maybe" because the forecast of 2059 is no sure thing. It assumes the rate of change in the annual earnings ratio will continue at the same rate as it has since 1960.

Working women earned 73.5 cents for every dollar a working man earned in 2019, including part-time and part-year workers. Full-time, year-round working women earned a median of 82.3 cents for every dollar that a full-time, year-round working man earned. 

Gender pay gaps are even more pronounced between the earnings of women of color and white men. On average, Hispanic women earned 55.4 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and Black women earned just 63 percent of white men's median annual earnings. These 2019 disparities are aligned with those that all women faced through the 1960s and 1970s, when the earnings ratio hovered between 57 to 61 cents to the dollar of male earnings, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median annual earnings of white women were 78.7 percent of white men's in 2019 and Asian women's were 87.1 percent. 

The Institute for Women's Policy Research notes that persistent earnings inequality by gender, race and ethnicity affects not just the current generation of workers, but their children and the next generation. "Closing the wage gap is not a zero-sum game — gains for one gender do not require losses for the other," the nonprofit notes in its fact sheet.

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