RELEASE: As the Senate Refuses to Act, New Analysis Shows That Women Have Earned $159 Billion Less Than Men in the First 100 Days Since Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new column that looks at how much less women working full time have earned in comparison to their male counterparts in the 100 days following the bipartisan passage of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Paycheck Fairness Act would improve worker protections to limit pay secrecy; promote employer accountability; and strengthen the investigatory tools that enforcement agencies can use to uncover pay disparities. The analysis relies on labor force and median weekly earnings data from the U.S. Department of Labor and includes both comprehensive estimates as well as estimates disaggregated by women of different races. Key findings from the analysis include:

  • The 55 million women working full time in the United States have earned $159 billion less than their male counterparts in the 100 days following passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
  • During this same time period, a woman working full time earned, on average, $2,828.57 less than a man working full time.
  • On average, an African American woman earned $4,628.57 less than a white man working full time; a white woman earned $2,957.14 less; and a Hispanic woman earned $5,742.86 less. While the analysis shows an Asian woman earned $228.57 less, the author’s calculations may vastly underestimate the losses for a woman belonging to certain ethnic Asian subgroups.
  • If H.R. 7 had become law the same day as the House passage and reduced the male-female earnings gap by 38 percent—the estimated portion that is unexplained and potentially attributed to discrimination—women would have earned an additional $60 billion in the first 100 days.

“This analysis shows that the Senate’s refusal to bring up equal pay legislation is coming at a tremendous cost to working women and their families—and that women of color are hurt most by this apathy,” said Jocelyn Frye, senior fellow at CAP. “It’s past time for the Senate to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act up for a vote.”

“Women across America are tired of hearing politicians promise that they will fight for them if elected only to ignore the gender pay gap once in office,” said Robin Bleiweis, research assistant for women’s economic security at CAP. “You can’t value the dignity of work if you refuse to take action to curb pay discrimination.”

Related resources:

Please click here to read Senate Inaction on Paycheck Fairness Harms Women by Robin Bleiweis, Jocelyn Frye, and Sarah Jane Glynn.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.