Wage growth for American women is increasing at a faster rate than for men.
According to the Atlanta Federal Reserve Wage Tracker, female wages were up 4.4% in February 2022 from a year earlier. By comparison, American men’s wages were up 4.1% for the same time period. This marks the sixth straight month that women’s wage growth outpaced men’s.
These gains are helping women regain ground in the labor market after they endured deep setbacks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early days of the pandemic, many women experienced barriers to remaining in or growing in their careers, likely due in part to women performing unpaid caregiving roles as children were sent home from daycare and in-person learning.
Women in the U.S. also bore the brunt of COVID-induced layoffs back in 2020, losing over 5 million jobs, nearly 1 million more than men, according to a National Women’s Law Center report.
But, in recent months, we see the tides shifting. According to the Wall Street Journal, women make up a large portion of lower-wage service-sector jobs in personal care, food preparation and healthcare support industries – all of which suffered in the pandemic. As these businesses have reopened and grown, many have increased salaries in order to attract employees.
Women who switch jobs are also reaping big pay increases: About 31% of women who changed jobs during the pandemic got a compensation package – including salary and bonus – that was more than 30% higher than in their previous role. That slightly exceeds the 28% of men who reported pay increases.
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