Real-Life Gender Pay Gap Far Bigger Than Thought, U.S. Economists Say

We've long known about the gender pay gap—the difference between what men and women are paid for comparable work—but new research that takes into account the added family and social burdens on women suggests that the gap might be much larger than previously thought. The information is being termed the "real life" gender pay gap, and learning more about it may lead to policies that could help narrow the gap as well as empower both men and women to embrace central roles at home and at work. Click through for the full story by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights and climate change.

By Ellen Wulfhorst

The pay gap between men and women in the United States is realistically far wider than the most commonly used figures, according to new research showing women earning less than half of men’s incomes.

The yawning gap reflects the reality that women step out of the paid labor force to care for families more often than men do, said the economic study released by the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The commonly cited gender pay gap, calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed women last year who worked full-time year-round earned 80 percent of what men earned.

The new research found women earned 49 cents for every man’s dollar in the years spanning 2001 to 2015 by factoring in women who leave and return to the paid work force, co-author Stephen Rose said on Thursday.

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