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Survey Finds Few Jobs Where Women Earn More Than Men

June 04, 2004|From Associated Press

If a woman wants to make more money than a man, her job options are severely limited. She could clean up hazardous waste. Or install telecommunications lines.

But not much else.

The Census Bureau compiled statistics on hundreds of job categories from its 2000 headcount and found just five where women typically earn at least as much as men.

Among hazardous material removal workers, women earn $1.09 for every dollar earned by men. It's slightly more than a dollar for telecommunications line installer and repairers, and dollar-for-dollar in three areas: meeting and convention planners; dining room or cafeteria workers; and construction trade helpers. Each of these employs predominantly men, except for meeting planning.

Myra Strober, a Stanford University economics professor, said the report showed, "If you are a young woman and want to go into an occupation to earn more money, you'll want to do that in an occupation dominated by men."

Indeed, in the field with the highest proportion of female workers -- kindergarten and preschool teachers, nearly 98% women -- men had median earnings of $22,000, $5,000 more than for women.

Among registered nurses, 91% were women, but their median income was $42,000. Men made $45,000, according to the Census Bureau's study.

Carol Cooke, spokeswoman for the American Nurses Assn., said that might be partly because of more men choosing higher-paying nursing fields, such as anesthesiology.

The report was based on 2000 census results that tracked 1999 income data for 505 job categories. However, the rankings of median earnings for women and men were based on a subset of about 400 fields that employed at least 10,000 full-time, year-round workers, including at least 1,000 men and 1,000 women.

Nationally, the median income for a woman working full-time was about $28,000, compared with $38,000 for a man. That means a woman earned less than 74 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

That's better than the early 1960s, when women earned about 59 cents for every dollar men earned. Data from a separate census survey that did not look at detailed occupations showed women earning 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2002.

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