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Eugene McElroy mcelroy at
Tue Apr 27 10:14:33 EDT 2010

Joint Economic Committee

Unites States Congress

*The Earnings Penalty for Part-Time Work: An Obstacle to Equal Pay* [20
April 2010]

[full-text, 4 pages]

JEC Release: *Equal Pay Day Report Outlines the Part-Time Earnings Penalty*

Apr 20 2010

*Equal Pay Day Report Outlines the Part-Time Earnings Penalty*

Washington, D.C. – An Equal Pay Day report released today by the Joint
Economic Committee shows that the pay gap between part-time and full-time
workers is a key factor driving the continued pay gap between men and women.

The report titled, “The Earnings Penalty for Part-Time Work: An Obstacle to
Equal Pay,” shows that part-time workers earn significantly less than their
full-time counterparts and that women make up close to two-thirds of
part-time workers.  The JEC report can be viewed here.

The JEC report reveals that:

    * In 2009, over 17 million women worked part time. Out of the pool of
individuals who work part time, nearly two-thirds are women.

    * In many of the occupations with large shares of part-time workers,
employment is dominated by women:

          o Women make up over half (56 percent) of the employees working in
food preparation and serving related jobs, where 49 percent of workers are
employed part time.

          o Over three-quarters (77 percent) of personal care and service
positions are held by women – an occupation where 43 percent of employees
work part time.

    * Part-time workers across a spectrum of occupations earn hourly wages
below those of full-time workers, which contributes to the wage gap between
men and women.

    * Evidence shows that part of the long-run earnings gap between men and
women may be explained by the longer time that women, relative to men, spend
working part time.

    * The part-time earnings penalty has had a particularly large impact on
families during the Great Recession since the number of part-time workers
who would like full-time work has increased by 4.4 million workers since the
recession began in December 2007.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Chair of the JEC, stated, “It is inexcusable
that 47 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women
continue to be paid less than their male counterparts.  As this report
shows, the part-time earnings penalty plays a part in the wage gap and it’s
the families women support who are paying the price.”

Maloney continued, “I am proud that Congress passed legislation that
President Obama signed into law strengthening the rights of women and other
workers to challenge unfair pay.  In our ongoing efforts to achieve paycheck
fairness for women, we need to also look for ways to eliminate the part-time

Stuart Basefsky
Director, IWS News Bureau
Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell/ILR School
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Telephone: (607) 255-2703
Fax: (607) 255-9641
E-mail: smb6 at
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