S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Women at work: EU vs USA

'Western Women's earnings - It has been my practice to visit news from the European Union on a sporadic basis. And I recently blogged about "gutsy women." This post combines the two focusing on women's work, in particular measuring the earnings of men and women. My research found that European women earn 85% of what men earn on average. In the United states women do not do as well, earning 77% of the average of male salaries.

Here is a recent interesting Europa story from the European Commission's 2/24/06 press release on the status of women. To quote,
Women earn 15% less than men in the EU and are still finding work/ life balance difficult - Commission report women in the EU earn 15% less than men and progress has been slow in closing gender gaps with men, according to a new European Commission's report. The 'Report on equality between women and men 2006' calls on EU countries to provide better ways to help women deal with home and work pressures. It will be submitted to the European leaders at the Spring European Council on 23/4 March.
Limits on women - The report found that difficulty in managing a work/life balance means that many women leave the labour market. Their employment rate, at 55.7%, is 15% lower than men's. Women who do work are often confined to a limited number of sectors – more than 40% work in education, health or public administration, compared to less than 20% of men. Part time work accounts for over 32% of women's jobs, but just over 7% for men. Women earn 15% less than men partly because they are concentrated in lower paid professions. And women still fill relatively few top posts. On the positive side, the report found more than 75% of new jobs created in the EU in the last five years have been filled by women. . .
EU advances - The EU made advances in promoting gender equality in 2005 with its proposal for new European Institute for Gender Equality last year, which will raise awareness of gender issues while more EU gender equality legislation also came into force last year leading to the creation of new national gender equality bodies.
The European Commission will present on March 3 a 'Roadmap for equality between men and women' Communication in the coming days, which will set out concrete actions designed to help bridge the gender gap. The launch of the roadmap will lead up to this year’s International women's day on March 8.

Women in the United States - Department of Labor Women's Bureau homepage has a link to the following table (sub-headings are mine):
Women in the Labor Force in 2004Of the 116 million women age 16 years and over in the United States, 68 million were labor force participants—working or looking for work. With a labor force participation rate of 59.2 percent, women represented 46 percent of the total United States labor force.
Race - Labor force participation rates for women, by race, were: black, 61.5 percent; white, 58.9 percent; Asian, 57.6 percent; and Hispanic, 56.1 percent.
Totals - Women are projected to comprise 47 percent of the total labor force in 2012 as they did in 2003. They will also account for 55 percent of the increase in total labor force growth from 2002-2012.
Education - The higher a person’s educational attainment, the more likely they will be a labor force participant. Here are the labor force participation rates for women age 25 years and over by educational attainment: with less than a high school diploma—32.5 percent; with a high school diploma—54.1 percent; some college, no degree—64.3 percent; associate degree—71.5; and bachelor’s degree and higher—72.8 percent. Greater educational attainment usually results in lower unemployment rates: women with less than a high school diploma—10.0 percent; with a high school diploma—4.9 percent; some college, no degree—4.7 percent; and bachelor’s degree and higher—2.7 percent.
Participation - There were 64.7 million employed women in the U.S. in 2004. Seventy-four percent worked full time, while the remaining 26 percent worked part time.
Job types - The largest percentage of employed women (38 percent) worked in management, professional, and related occupations, while 35 percent worked in sales and office occupations. Smaller percentages worked in service occupations, 20 percent; 6 percent worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 1 percent worked natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations. Approximately 4 million women were self-employed in nonagricultural industries. These self-employed women represented nearly 6 percent of all employed women.
Pay - The seven occupations with the highest median weekly earnings among women who worked full-time in 2004 were pharmacists, $1,432; chief executives, $1,310; lawyers, $1,255; computer and information systems managers, $1,288; computer software engineers, $1,149; computer programmers, $1,006; physicians and surgeons, $978; and human resource managers, $958.
Souce: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the United States in 2000 women earned 76% of what men earned, also according to the Labor Department.
The U.S. Census bureau comparison figures were a bit more recent (August 2005).
A one per cent increase occurred since the year 2000:
Real median earnings of men age 15 and older who worked full-time, year-round declined 2.3 percent between 2003 and 2004, to $40,798. Women with similar work experience saw their earnings decline by 1.0 percent, to $31,223. Reflecting the larger fall in the earnings of men, the ratio of female-to-male earnings for full-time, year-round workers was 77 cents on the dollar, up from 76 cents in 2003.

Visit the homepage of "International Women's Day 2006." And put March 8 as International Women's Day on your calendars. There will be activities all around the world.
In Washington D.C. there will be a peace march at noon organized by United for Peace.
CODEPINK March/Rally to Deliver Global Call for Peace PetitionWednesday, March 8th 2006 12pm. Join CODEPINK to deliver 100,000 signatures on the "Global Call for Peace" petition; march begins at the Iraqi Embassy and continues to the White House.
My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about sailing.

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