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Women Snapping Up Government Salaries


On Sept. 3, USA Today published an article on women’s soon-to-be majority in America’s workforce, “Women Gain in Historic Job Shift.” Rosie the Riveter may have her day.

Due to the significant job loss suffered by men in the manufacturing and construction industries over the last year, compared with the job security found in health-care and government where women dominate, women may soon be the steadier breadwinners for the first time in America’s history. The question is, how well are they faring, compared to men, in their health care and government salaries?

According to a study published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in April of 2009 “The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation,” the 2008 median weekly earnings of full-time female workers were 79 percent of men’s. That means an extra 21 cents in a man’s pocket for every hour of work on average. A lot of factors play into this figure – for example the number of full-time versus part-time workers is higher overall for men – but the statistic still points out a significant difference in earnings.

Let’s take a look at some of PayScale’s median pay-by-gender charts in health-care, government, construction and manufacturing to see what sort of patterns we can discover. The graphs tell only a portion of the story but provide insights to ponder.

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Manager, Government Programs
At the program manager level, men are dominating the numbers and the salary according to this chart.

Government Affairs Supervisor
Women in this government position appear to be out-earning the men, though the number of survey results is relatively small. More entries would be interesting to see.

Medical / Clinical Laboratory Technician
Women dominate the numbers in this job position, as well as edge ahead a bit in salary.

Registered Nurse, Emergency Room
Men are earning just ahead of women in the position of emergency room RN, but there are over 3.5 women for every man in this survey result.

Construction Worker
It looks like women may earn more than men overall as construction workers, but they make up only two percent of respondents to this survey so it’s hard to say.

Production Supervisor, Manufacturing
Men are ahead on earnings here, but you can see that they make up nearly six times the number of people in this survey result.

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