Male-Female Pay Gap Persists And Starts Early, Study Finds

Nearly 50 years after the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was enacted, women continue to earn less than men do throughout their careers, and the gap is seen as soon as one year out of college, a new study has found.

In the study, researchers with the American Association of University Women looked at the earnings of female and male college graduates who were working full time in 2009 (the most recent year for which data were available), one year after they graduated. According to a report describing the study, "Graduating to a Pay Gap," the researchers found that, after controlling for factors such as college major, occupation, and number of hours worked, women's pay was 82 percent of their male counterparts' pay one year after graduation.

Christianne M. Corbett, a senior researcher at the AAUW and a co-author of the report, said her organization had been tracking the pay gap for decades, but it was hard to compare women and men in the work force because of different choices they might make in their careers.

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