New government data released in mid-September offered some good news: the largest recorded narrowing of the gender wage gap in the U.S. in a decade. Women in 2016 made 80.5% of what men did on average—up from about 80% in 2015, and from less than 60% in the 1970s.
But the progress isn’t universal. The wage gap is a far more complicated phenomenon than can be communicated in a single statistic. The gap has narrowed partly because men’s wages hit a wall. And the story for women doesn’t look nearly as rosy when you consider when you consider that Hispanic and African American women’s wages have not risen as quickly as white women’s.
Then there are the disparities between professions. Traditionally male (and traditionally higher-paid) industries still tend to pay women less. Personal finance advisors who are women tend to make only 58% of what men in the industry make. While women in female-dominated fields are more likely to make as much as men, or more. For example, women who operate sewing machine operators make 111% of what men in that profession make, according to BLS data.
See chart for more numbers on which jobs have salaries that approach parity. Some jobs, as they say, are more equal than others.
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