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The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. We are the leading think tank in the United States applying quantitative and qualitative analysis of public policy through a gendered lens.
IWPR advances women’s status through social science research, policy analysis, and public education. We develop new policy ideas, encourage enlightened public debate, and promote sound policy and program development. Our work also helps to change minds and improve the practices of institutions. IWPR operates on the principle that knowledge is power and that social science evidence based on strong data and analysis, compellingly presented and systematically disseminated, makes a difference in moving public policy.
The gender wage gap in weekly earnings for full-time workers in the United States did not improve between 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.8 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points since 2016, when the ratio was 81.9 percent, leaving a wage gap of 18.2 percentage points, nearly the same as the 18.1 percentage points in 2016. Women’s median weekly earnings for full-time work were $770 in 2017 compared with $941 for men. Adjusting for inflation, women’s and men’s earnings increased by the same amount, 0.7 percent, since 2016.
Another measure of the wage gap, the ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings for full-time, year-round workers, was 80.5 percent in 2016 (data for 2017 are not yet available). An earnings ratio of 80.5 percent means that the gender wage gap for full-time, year-round workers is 19.5 percent.
The gender earnings ratio for full-time, year-round workers, which includes self-employed workers, tends to be slightly lower than the ratio for weekly earnings (which excludes the self-employed and earnings from annual bonuses, and includes full-time workers who work only part of the year). Both earnings ratios are for full-time workers only; if part-time workers were included, the ratios of women’s to men’s earnings would be even lower, as women are more likely than men to work reduced schedules, often in order to manage childbearing and other care giving work.