Hans Bader from the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains.
Excerpt: (links removed)
As The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler notes, government data shows women work fewer hours than men, which explains much of the apparent pay gap: “since women in general work fewer hours than men in a year, the statistics used by the White House may be less reliable for examining the key focus of the legislation — wage discrimination.” I discuss some other unfounded claims made in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act at this link.
As Steve Tobak noted at CBS News,
Men are far more likely to choose careers that are more dangerous, so they naturally pay more. Top 10 most dangerous jobs (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics): Fishers, loggers, aircraft pilots, farmers and ranchers, roofers, iron and steel workers, refuse and recyclable material collectors, industrial machinery installation and repair, truck drivers, construction laborers. They’re all male-dominated jobs. . .Men are far more likely to take work in uncomfortable, isolated and undesirable locations that pay more. Men work longer hours than women do. The average fulltime working man works six hours per week or 15 percent longer than the average fulltime working woman.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 92 percent of all workers who die on the job are men, even though only a bare majority of all workers are men. These examples are at odds with the assumption of many supporters of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Ledbetter Act that pay disparities are simply the result of gender bias or sexism.
The Society for Human Resource Management contends the Paycheck Fairness Act “would effectively prohibit employers from using many legitimate factors to compensate their employees, including professional experience, education, training, employer need, local labor market rates, hazard pay, shift differentials and the profitability of the organization.”
A popular article by Carrie Lukas in the Wall Street Journal agrees.
The Department of Labor’s Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.
[...]Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women’s earnings are going up compared to men’s.
Moreover, if there is a pay gap, it certainly is not in our major cities, as the leftist New York Times explains.
Young women in New York and several of the nation’s other largest cities who work full time have forged ahead of men in wages, according to an analysis of recent census data.
The shift has occurred in New York since 2000 and even earlier in Los Angeles, Dallas and a few other cities.
Economists consider it striking because the wage gap between men and women nationally has narrowed more slowly and has even widened in recent years among one part of that group: college-educated women in their 20s. But in New York, young college-educated women’s wages as a percentage of men’s rose slightly between 2000 and 2005.
The analysis was prepared by Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College, who first reported his findings in Gotham Gazette, published online by the Citizens Union Foundation. It shows that women of all educational levels from 21 to 30 living in New York City and working full time made 117 percent of men’s wages, and even more in Dallas, 120 percent. Nationwide, that group of women made much less: 89 percent of the average full-time pay for men.
Just why young women at all educational levels in New York and other big cities have fared better than their peers elsewhere is a matter of some debate. But a major reason, experts say, is that women have been graduating from college in larger numbers than men, and that many of those women seem to be gravitating toward major urban areas.
Here is Carrie Lukas again, writing in National Review, about the real pay gap.
She cites the radically left-wing Time magazine:
…according to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more. This squares with earlier research from Queens College, New York, that had suggested that this was happening in major metropolises. But the new study suggests that the gap is bigger than previously thought, with young women in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego making 17%, 12% and 15% more than their male peers, respectively. And it also holds true even in reasonably small areas like the Raleigh-Durham region and Charlotte in North Carolina (both 14% more), and Jacksonville, Fla. (6%).
And then Carrie says this:
As this new research shows, it’s women’s (and men’s) attributes and career choices that determine earnings. Yet there’s something troubling about Time‘s tone, which suggests that we should all be celebrating the idea of women dominating the workplace. To the extent that this trend is driven by men losing jobs and remaining out of work, and young men failing to attain the skills needed to meaningfully contribute to the economy, this is not good news at all.
Of course, we all want women to have the opportunity to compete and succeed in whatever profession they choose. But we want the same to be true for men. Furthermore, given that some women still wish to stay home or reduce their workload in order to spend time raising children, women’s higher earnings may actually be a symptom of hardship: More women are having to work more since the men in their lives can’t provide for the family alone or because they are providing for themselves.
Hmmmn, if men can’t find good jobs, then their wives can’t stay home with children, and the government gets to raise them. Why would Obama want that instead of stay-at-home moms?
When Obama talks about “pay equity” and the “wage gap”, he is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. The only thing that he will achieve is to discourage even more men from marrying. If you agree with Obama’s delusions, don’t complain when men refuse to get married. Men marry when they can afford to marry, and when they get respect for being the primary breadwinner. Take away the provider role, and you take away men’s willingness to marry. That’s the way men work in reality.