The Shocking Trend in Income Inequality (and How it Affects Women)

Income Inequality is Getting Worse – Way Worse.

This is the conclusion of the research undertaken by Economist Emanuel Saez at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, which findings were published on July 1, 2016. Based upon this report:

  • The top 1% earned $1,360,000 in 2015, up from $990,000 in 2009. This represents an astonishing 37% increase in income over the past 6 years.
  • The bottom 99% only saw incomes increase by 7.6%, from $45,300 to $48,800, during this same period.
  • The vastly different increases in gains represents a continuation of a longer trend that began in 1980.

As most people “of a certain” age in the lower 99% appreciate, the last several decades have not been kind.  In general, we’re all working much harder, while we have far less (or no) job security.  Real income for most people has remained constant or has been decreasing for years, especially when, on average, employees are working weeks longer per year than in the 1980’s.  With pension loss, shrinking real salaries, and frequent job loss (often resulting in a depletion of retirement savings), the result is that the bottom 99% are working longer, harder, and, typically, having a highly uncertain retirement.

What Does this Mean for Women?

In all likelihood, the impact of these statistics hits women even harder, primarily because, on average, their earnings are approximately 77% of the earnings of men.  Thus while most of those in the 99% are having to work harder and longer and seeing very little (if any) real increase in income, women are not only experiencing this same impact, but they are making much less than men.

This is wrong.

While the potential economic changes and policies that could be implemented are complex and controversial, the discrepancies in pay differential between women and men should be simple: employers should pay men and women the same when the backgrounds and experience are equal.

If you’re a woman and not receiving pay equal to a similarly-situated male counterpart, this is discrimination, which is both wrong and illegal.  Please call our firm to learn about your rights.