The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Equal Pay for Equal Work - Different Hours, Different Pay

Again, in order for the "equal pay for equal work" slogan to correctly apply, the work needs to be equal as well as the pay. Do women do equal work as men? Or, in other words, do women work as long and as many hours as men?

Anthony Kang noted: "Generally, women value relationships more than their careers or money, enter and leave the work force at a much higher rate, work part-time at a much higher rate....Wage gap statistics also do not account for time commitment. On average, women work far less than men because they choose to have much more balance in their lives. A study by the Center for Policy Alternatives and Lifetime Television found that nearly 85 percent of women took advantage of flexible work arrangements offered by their employers. And a decade after graduating college, 39 percent of women leave the work force or work part-time, versus 3 percent of men. Aside from the obvious benefits of working longer, workers who average 44 or more hours per week earn approximately 100 percent more than workers who average 40 hours." (See HERE)

Government statistics back this up. First, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) in 2012, "Among full-time workers (that is, those working at a job 35 hours or more per week), men are more likely than women to have a longer workweek. Twenty-six percent of men worked 41 or more hours per week in 2012, compared with 14 percent of women who did so." (See HERE. p.6, see also HERE p.7 and HERE p.17 and  HERE)

This accounts for at least some of the wage difference noted in studies of full-time workers. The more overtime hours worked by full-time men, rationally equals more weekly and annual pay than women.

Second, "Women are more likely than men to work part time—that is, less than 35 hours per week on a sole, or principal, job. Women who worked part time made up 26 percent of all female wage and salary workers in 2012. In contrast, 13 percent of men in wage and salary jobs worked part time." (ibid.)

Said another way, about twice as many women (16 million) worked part time as compared to men (less than 7.5 million men--ibid., p. 38), which amounts to about 35% of women who worked part time as compared with 18% of men. (ibid. p.50).

This difference in part time work is much greater among parents with children at home. According to Joann Wiener: "...fathers are more likely to work full-time than mothers. Nearly 40 percent of mothers worked part-time or not at all compared with 3 percent of fathers, according to a study by the American Association of University Women." (See  HERE)

As best I can tell, women average around 37 hours a week compared with 41 hours for men, which means that women average around 208 less hours of work a year than men. (ibid., p.40) At $16 and hour, plus overtime, this amounts to about $3,700 less in pay per year for women than men, or a difference of about 11%. Again, the more hours worked by men rationally equals more weekly and annual pay.

Third, women typically work for shorter periods of time throughout their lives than men. Females tend to enter the labor force later than males, leave the labor force to raise children (opt out), and retire earlier than males (see HERE and HERE--Table 1, and HERE p. 8 and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), and since there is a large disparity in wages between young and old workers (as much as 60 % in 2012--see ibid)--in large part because of disparity in work experience and tenure, one may rightly expect that on average females would earn less than males.

Wiener explains:  "Women who leave the labor force don’t gain much work experience so that when they return to work, they’re likely to make less than another person, male or female, with the same qualifications who has an unbroken career record. Again, the data support this assertion. Judith Warner recently wrote for the New York Times Magazine about the cost to mothers when they leave their careers to spend more time with their families. Warner found that the women she interviewed who had returned to the work force a decade after leaving their jobs to take care of their kids were generally in lower paying, less prestigious jobs than the ones they left. A separate study found that women who returned to work after an extended time off were paid 16 percent less than before they left the work force, while another study Warner cites found that only one-quarter of women who returned to the work force took a traditional hard-driving job, such as banking, compared with the two-thirds of women who were employed in such jobs before taking time off." (See HERE)

As further substantiation, the General Accounting Office (GOA). the independent audit and evaluation and investigative arm of the United States Congress (see HERE), indicated as recently as 2003: "Of the many factors that account for differences in earnings between men and women, our model indicated that work patterns are key. Specifically, women have fewer years of work experience, work fewer hours per year, are less likely to work a full-time schedule, and leave the labor force for longer periods of time than men." (See HERE)

According to the Maryland State Commission on Equal Pay: "The GAO study found that women on average have fewer years of work experience than men (men have 16 years of experience, while women have 12), work fewer hours per year (men work 2147, while women work 1675 - a difference of 472 hours per year), are less likely to work a full-time schedule, and leave the labor force for longer periods of time than men" (See HERE)

In short, on average women have about about 75% as much work experience or time on the job as men, and yet they still manage to earn between 77% and 82% as much as men. Thus, women make slightly more than men based on experience, which is exactly the opposite perception from what the "equal pay for equal work" slogan was intended to convey.

So, women don't work equal to men, and the wage gap isn't primarily because of prejudice and injustice against women, but a product of women freely choosing to work less hours, or more flexible hours, or "opt out" for a time, and generally work less years than men.

As such, the Leftist-LUNC here is that in order for liberals to decrease income inequality using their preferred method of government intervention, they would have to force women to work more hours and more years and disallow flexibility and opting out. They would have to violate women's right to choose how much time to put in at work and take away from their families.

Do liberals really want to go there?

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

No comments:

Post a Comment