Pay disparity between the sexes persists

WASHINGTON - Women earned an average of 76.5 cents on the dollar last year compared with men doing the same full-time work.

The pay gap between the sexes was little changed from 1998, when women took home an average of 76.3 cents for every dollar earned by men, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a report released Friday.

Since 1979, when the agency started keeping track, women have closed the gap by 14 cents. Some ground was lost in the mid-1990s, however, and women have still not regained it to reach the high of 77.1 percent of men's earnings they took home in 1993.

''Wage discrimination remains an unfortunate reality for many women,'' said Labor Secretary Alexis Herman.

In 1999, black and Hispanic women earned 64.1 and 54.5 cents respectively for every dollar earned by white men, also little changed. Among blacks, women earned 83.7 percent of what men earned and Hispanic women made 85.7 percent of Hispanic men's earnings. Among whites, women made 75.7 percent of what men did.

Women's employment in typically higher-paying jobs is growing. The percentage of women in managerial and professional jobs grew to 49.4 in 1999 from 40.9 in 1983, the first year the statistics were kept.

However, the pay disparities between the sexes in many of these jobs are higher than average. In 1999, women financial mangers, for example, made 60.9 cents for every dollar their male counterparts did. Female doctors made 62.4 cents.

On the Net: Bureau of Labor Statistics report: Go to and click on ''Highlights of Women's Earnings in 1999'' under ''Publications and Other Documentation''


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