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STUDY: Male Direct-Care Workers Earn More than Female Counterparts

May 11, 2016

Women comprise the vast majority of the direct-care workforce, yet earn less than male direct-care workers, an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) study on the gender wage gap shows.

The study looked at the top 20 most common occupations for women in the U.S. “Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides” are fourth on that list, while personal care aides (PCAs) are the 20th most common. The two job types are 88.4 percent and 81.2 percent women, respectively.

However, female nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides make 86.9 percent of what their male counterparts earn (a median of $457 per week, compared to $526 for men).

Women PCAs, meanwhile, earn a median weekly wage of just $441, while male PCAs make $537 per week.

The IWPR study notes that five of the top 20 most common jobs for women — including both jobs types in direct care — pay wages that are less than 100 percent of the poverty level for a family of four.

This type of “occupational segregation…reveals how much, or rather how little, we value what’s commonly thought of as ‘women’s work’ — child or elder care, teaching, and so on,” Emily Crockett of Vox wrote in an April 12 blog post about the IWPR report.

— by Matthew Ozga

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