DOLLARS AND SENSE

08.30.135:10 PM ET

Breaking Down the ‘77-Cent’ Myth

Journalist says it’s not accurate.

Women are paid 77 cents to every man’s dollar, right? Wrong, says Slates Hanna Rosin. Women actually earn 77 percent of the average male salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and she says that’s different. Since men work more hours than women, wages vary greatly by race, and both sexes tend to dominate various professions, this much-heralded statistic is only skimming the surface. Rosin says this is a much more complicated issue: “The point here is not that there is no wage inequality. But by focusing our outrage into a tidy, misleading statistic we’ve missed the actual challenges.” We’d get a better picture if the U.S. calculated weekly wages, she says.

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