(The Hill) — Women with full-time, year-round work will not achieve pay parity with men until 2056, if trends continue as they have since 1967, according to a new report out Thursday from the Center for American Progress (CAP).
In anticipation of the 60-year anniversary of the 1963 Equal Pay Act becoming law, CAP — a left-leaning think tank in Washington, D.C., — published an analysis seeking to measure the law’s impact by tracking trends in employment and wages since its passage. The law sought to protect workers from pay discrimination based on sex.
In 1963, full-time, year-round working women earned 59 cents to a man’s dollar. When accounting for all working women that year, including those working fewer hours or weeks, women earned 37 cents to a man’s dollar.
The gender pay gap has steadily shrunk in the years since, and CAP has attributed it to passage of the Equal Pay Act, and to subsequent legislation building on its policies.
In 2021, full-time, year-round working women earned 84 cents to a man’s dollar; all working women, regardless of hours or weeks earned, earned 77 cents to a man’s dollar, according to the data. The pay disparity is even more acute for Black and Latina women.
The CAP analysis — which is based on census data from 1967, the earliest year available — suggests the trend at which the pay gap is closing would mean full-time, year-round working women will make as much as men in 2056, and all working women will make as much as men in 2052. The analysis emphasizes that this gap will take longer to close for women of color.
The cumulative cost of the pay gap to women, according to the new analysis, is $61 trillion since 1967.
While there are numerous factors that contribute to the gender pay gap, CAP argued that certain policies would increase the speed at which the gap closes, including higher minimum wages, paid family medical leave and improving postsecondary education pipelines for women, among other proposals.
“Despite substantive progress, the 60-year anniversary of the Equal Pay Act is an important reminder that pay equity is not a foregone conclusion — nor is its path necessarily linear — but that significant progress can occur with the intentional actions of policymakers,” the group wrote in the analysis.