January 24, 2000 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Gender pay gap largest in sales, lowest in farm occupations

In 1998, women’s weekly earnings were lower than men’s for full-time employees across all broad occupational categories. The widest gap was the 40.2 percent found in sales occupations. About one in ten women workers were employed in sales jobs.

Women's weekly earnings as a percent of men's, by occupational group, 1998 annual averages
[Chart data—TXT]

The narrowest gap—11.4 percent—was found in the farming, forestry, and fishing occupations. About one-half of one percent of women employees were in these job categories.

More than a quarter of women workers were employed in administrative support occupations. The earnings differential in that occupational group was 19.3 percent. Overall, women’s median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers were 76.3 percent of the median earnings for men in such employment.

These earnings data are a product of the Current Population Survey. The earnings data here are the median usual weekly earnings of persons who usually work full time. For more information, see "Women’s earnings: an overview," by Mary Bowler in the December 1999 issue of Monthly Labor Review.

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