Congressional Report – Women and the Economy 2010

The report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee Women and the Economy 2010: 25 Years of Progress But Challenges Remain was released this week.  It contains data from 1984 to 2009, an overview of the past 25 years and discusses the remaining challenges.

Here are a few hightlights:

  • Women’s labor force participation rose from 53.6% in 1984 to 59.25 in 2009
  • Women’s share of payroll was 44% in 1984 to 49.8 in 2009
  • Number of women in workforce has grown 44.2% over the 25 years, but the distribution of PT/FT has remained constant
  • Women’s share of the employment by industry has varied
  • Women have outpaced men in educational attainment
  • Women’s average FT weekly wage was 80% of men’s in 2009, up from 68% in 1984
  • Wives’ income was 29% of total family income in 1983, 36% by 2008
  • Female heads of households 20% in 1983 up to 25% in 2009
  • Working mothers as sole breadwinner in 2009 was 34%, working mothers as dual-earner households was 66%

These statistics are the basis for the comments made by Director Shiu at the NILG conference earlier this month and she reiterates this in the DOL’s Blog today entitled Esprit de Corps.  Pay equity is major initiative for the OFCCP, they are planning to rescind the current compensation guidelines released in 2006 so stay tuned for what is next.

In the meantime, blog post OFCCP PLANS TO RESCIND COMPENSATION STANDARDS from DCI Consulting is a good primer on where we are, how the OFCCP can and cannot enforce pay equity issues and what you as a federal contractor should do in the midst of all of this.