The difference in income between male and female workers has shrunk dramatically in 40 years. More women are starting to work, they are also starting to work longer hours, and they are increasingly more educated. The average annual income of working women has increased by more than 60 percent since 1977, and the income of working men has increased by 12 percent.
Women earn an average of 34,000 euros on average, nearly 21,000 euros in 1977. The average income for men is now 52,000 euros, compared to 46,000 euros in 1977. This is clear from a survey by the Statistics Authority Dutch on the entry of working men and women in the period 1977-2020. Income is expressed in 2020 prices.
100 female workers vs 113 male workers
Income differences are largely due to cyclical fluctuations, employment rate, more or less part-time work, and differences in age, education and job types.
The total income of workers appears to fluctuate more with the economy because men work more than women in cyclical sectors such as construction and information and communication technology. There, income falls in crisis years and income increases sharply in times of prosperity.
Since 1977, the number of women with income from work has increased by 1.8 million to 4.6 million in 2020. For men, it has increased from 3.9 million to 5.2 million in the same period. In 2020, for every 100 working men there were 113 working men, 40 years ago the ratio was 100:223.
age and kids
In 2020, working women’s income was, on average, 35 percent lower than that of male colleagues, as a result of part-time work. Three-quarters of women work part-time, only a quarter of men, and the work week itself has fewer hours for women.
Age and family composition also play a role in earnings. The difference in income is greater between men and women who live with children, and hours of work vary greatly when the children are still young. The difference in income between a man and a woman is usually smaller among unmarried people, as is the case with younger men and women who live together without children.
The differences are usually greater between cohabitants over the age of 45. Women of this age work fewer hours on average than younger generations. Single mothers over the age of 45 are increasing their working hours, often out of necessity.
Regardless of the shorter or longer working week, a woman’s average hourly wage is still lower than a man’s, and the difference is about 14 percent. This is partly due to age and type of part-time work. In 2008, the difference in hourly wages between men and women was still 20 percent.
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