A new Census Bureau report reveals that while more education leads to higher earnings, the gender pay gap is wider among men and women with a bachelor’s degree than among those without.
While workers with a bachelor’s degree earn about double that of their co-workers without a college education, the difference between men’s and women’s earnings widens with more education, the report states.
Among workers with a bachelor’s degree, women earn 74 cents for every dollar men make, which is less than the 78 cents for workers without the college degree.
According to the report, women workers with a bachelor’s degree are younger on average and many are years away from the earnings peak usually reached by people in their 50s.
Higher pay reflects years of work experience and pay raises. The earnings differences between men and women also peak in their 50s, although men on average earn more at every age than their female counterparts, according to the report.
At all ages in both education groups, men outnumber women except for the youngest age group (25-29) with a bachelor’s degree. The influx in recent decades of college-educated women has driven their numbers to record levels. In fact, the number of women working full time, year-round with a bachelor’s degree is almost equal at 18 million women and 21 million men.
Among full-time, year-round workers, women are more likely to have a bachelor’s degree at a rate of 41.7% compared to men at 36.2% among full-time, year-round workers. This is particularly true for workers under age 60.
As older educated male workers age out of the labor force, this pattern of the college-educated workforce dominated by women may continue. Of note, male workers without a bachelor’s degree make up the largest group by far.
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