There’s more bad news for women about the gender pay gap. Although more women are graduating from American colleges and universities than ever before, they are still being paid less than their male counterparts when they enter the workforce, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) indicated in a new report Thursday.
The study published by the Washington-based think tank affiliated with the U.S. labor movement found that the gender wage gap has continued to grow among college graduates since 2000 and that black and Hispanic students have higher unemployment rates than their white peers.
“Young male college graduates earned 8.1 percent more in 2016 than in 2000, while young female college graduates earned 6.8 percent less than in 2000,” the report said. “These gender wage discrepancies are likely driven by men at the top of the wage distribution earning more than ever before and driving up the average male wage.”
The gap amounts to about $8,000 a year, Elise Gould, author of the report and senior economist at the EPI, told the Guardian in the U.K.
“If you just look at their [hourly] wages in 2016, on average young men who are college graduates are making $20.94 compared to $16.58 for women. That’s a difference of more than $4. Over the year, that’s more than $8,000,” Gould said.
The pay gap continues to widen for women as they move up the work ladder, the report suggested. While critics have argued that women tend to embark on lower-paying careers in fields such as nursing and teaching when compared with men, Gould contended that even in the same professions, women are still earning less than men. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau found women’s earnings were 78 percent of men’s earnings in 2013.
With the American economy continuing to recover from the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, graduates in the class of 2016 have better job prospects compared with graduates in the classes of 2009-2015. Despite the recovery, young black and Hispanic graduates are experiencing higher unemployment rates than their white non-Hispanic peers, the study found.
“Young black college graduates currently have an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent — higher than the peak unemployment rate for young white college graduates during the recession (9.0 percent),” the report said.