“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”
Another story here about gender pay gap differences across states
On average, women made an average of 80.9 cents for every dollar a male earned in 2012, according to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But from state to state, the numbers vary dramatically. Female workers in Wyoming, for example, earn just 65.5 percent of what men earn, worst of any state. In the nation's capital, women fared best and are nearly at parity, making 94.8 cents on the male-earned dollar.
There are many areas where pop-economists give insight that is different from what's actually occurring. One of these areas is with the gender wage gap.
First, let's mention a few things that the statement of "women made an average of 80.9 cents for every dollar a male earned in 2012", is not saying:
1. This is not saying that women in the same job as men are being paid differently.
2. This is not saying that firms are discriminating against women.
3. This is not saying that men and women in the labor force have the same work experience.
4. This is not saying that men and women in the labor force have the same jobs.
All that statement is saying is that the average salary for all women is, on average, 81% of the average salary for all men. But differences in job choice, education choices, and time to raise children explain just about all of this gap. Firms are not paying women less than men for the same work.
New research by myself and Nicole Caviris (under review now) shows that women should expect to earn about 5% less than men annually solely because of their college major choice. That doesn't factor in work experience, time off of work to raise children, or other factors and we still find a quarter of the current gap is explained by these factors.