White House exaggerates male-female wage gap, statistics show

Stephanie Wang Contributor
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America’s “wage gap” between men and women may be more paper-thin than Democrats are letting on, and it’s non-existent among those with a college degree.

President Obama and Senate Democrats have recently taken to repeating Census Bureau numbers showing that U.S. women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, but that figure may not be the best representation of the facts. At the least, it’s not the only representation.

The Census Bureau report is based on workers who earn an annual wage, so it doesn’t take into account professions like school teachers who don’t necessarily work year-round, the Washington Post reports.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics looked at weekly wages instead of annual salaries, and determined that women earn 81 percent what men earn. That gap narrows to 86 cents on the dollar when hourly wages are examined.

And hourly wages among those with college degrees are at parity: The BLS figures show there is no gap between men and women.

Wage comparisons across broad population groups can be significantly flawed, too. When female workers are compared to male workers with similar characteristics, the hourly wage difference is only 5 cents.

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