Reviews current data on older women in low-wage jobs, providing policy recommendations for closing the wage gap.
“This analysis focuses on the role of gender in the low-wage workforce, using data on worker characteristics from the Current Population Survey and American Community Survey and data on median hourly wages for occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics. It reveals a stark reality: regardless of their education level, age, marital or parental status, race, ethnicity, or national origin, women make up larger shares of the low-wage workforce than do their male counterparts…. This report also provides a profile of the women who work in low-wage jobs. Nearly half are women of color. Half work full time—and nearly one in five is poor. Nearly one-third are mothers—and 40 percent of mothers in the low-wage workforce have family incomes below $25,000. More than one-quarter of the women working in low-wage jobs are age 50 and older; they make up nearly the same share of the female low-wage workforce as women age 16 to 24.” (p.3). (Abstractor: Author)