Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Working Women Have Cumulatively Lost $61 Trillion in Wages Since 1967, New CAP Analysis Finds
Press Release

RELEASE: Working Women Have Cumulatively Lost $61 Trillion in Wages Since 1967, New CAP Analysis Finds

Washington, D.C. — June 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, which enshrined workers protections from discrimination, including pay discrimination, on the basis of sex. While women’s economic security has vastly improved, a new Center for American Progress analysis finds that working women have collectively lost $61 trillion in wages since 1967.  

After 60 years of the Equal Pay Act, this new analysis finds that while women have made significant gains in the economy and the gender wage gap has been shrinking, there’s more to do to guarantee equal pay parity with men.

Some key findings from the analysis include: 

  • The amount of lost wages all working women have accrued since 1967 is $61 trillion—nearly double the current U.S. government debt.
  • Full-time, year-round working women will not achieve pay parity with men until 2056. This will be even longer for many women workers of color.
  • The gender wage gap heavily affects Latinas and Black women, who typically earn 57 cents and 67 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts. 
  • In 2021, full-time, year-round working women typically earned $9,954 less than their male counterparts, equating to slightly more than what the average household spends on food in a year. 

“Women cannot afford another 30 years of suffering the negative economic consequences of the wage gap,” said Rose Khattar, director of economic analysis and co-author of the article. “Policymakers must take action to finally close the gender wage gap, including by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

“The gender wage gap isn’t costing women a couple cents here and there; it’s costing women thousands of dollars,” said Sara Estep, associate director of the Women’s Initiative and co-author of the article. “These lost wages add up over the years and have a detrimental impact on women’s economic security. Pay equity is not a foregone conclusion, and it’s up to policymakers to step up and take action to pass legislation that will help close the gender wage gap.”

Read the article: “What To Know About the Gender Wage Gap as the Equal Pay Act Turns 60” by Rose Khattar and Sara Estep 

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected]

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