Monday, April 3, 2023
The New York Department of Labor released a report titled The Gender Pay Gap in the Pandemic Era. The Executive Summary states:
Women in New York earned 88.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2021, a significantly smaller gap than the national average of 81.5 cents. The gender pay gap continues to be substantially larger for women of color compared to non-Hispanic White men in New York and nationally. Black or African American women in New York were paid 67.8 cents on the dollar while Hispanic and Latina women were paid only 62.9 cents on the dollar.
The gender pay gap in New York narrowed between 2019 and 2021, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic-induced economic recession had a major impact on women in the labor force. From 2019 to 2021, the unemployment rate for women nearly doubled from 4.2% to 8.2%. In 2021, over 405,000 women were unemployed, a significant increase from 207,000 in 2019.
Women earn less than men at every wage level and across most industries and occupations. Moreover, low-wage, gender-segregated occupations, such as child care, are dominated by women, who comprise 90% of that industry’s workforce. Women also encounter a “motherhood penalty” since they are more likely to temporarily exit the workforce or work part-time to raise children. This reduction in earnings can have significant long-term financial implications.
Although there has been improvement in the gender wage gap over time, economic inequality persists. Women’s work is still undervalued, underpaid, and unpaid.
The report includes various policy recommendations.