Pay equity?

There has been a long standing observation that there is pay inequity in the workforce by gender. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report says that “In 2009, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of $657, or about 80 percent of the $819 median for their male counterparts.” Carpe Diem takes a look at this and wonders about the use of the term “counterparts” and asks Would 2,000 Female Deaths Be Worth It for Pay Equity?

The point made is that, in 2009, fatal occupational injuries showed that “there were more than 13 job-related deaths for men in 2009 for woman who died in a job-related accident.”

The huge male-female occupational death gap, which has persisted over many decades, has surprisingly received very little attention as one important factor that could explain some of the 80% female-male pay gap. To achieve greater female-male pay equity there would most likely have to be an increase in the number of women in higher-paying, but higher-risk occupations. That outcome will certainly reduce the gender pay gap, but it would come at a cost—significantly more fatal occupational deaths and injuries for women.

There is a gender bias in the workforce. Average pay is only one indicator. Occupational deaths are another. Those who look at the issue will find many more factors at play. It is the market at work. Those who do not like market results have been choosing just one factor that supports their desires to try to support governmental action to try to force the market into their preferences. That is likely not an honest approach towards opinion.

Comments are closed.