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Gender pay gap is smaller for millennials — but it may be increasing

Mark Wahlberg Michelle Williams
The gender pay gap doesn’t seem to be going


  • Millennials now make up the largest generational group
    in the American workforce.
  • They face the gender pay gap just like every other age
    group, but to a lesser degree.
  • However, experts predict this pay gap will widen as
    salaries rise.


The gender pay gap has been a
pressing issue, and the outlook for millennials may not be good.

Although the gender pay gap is smaller for millennials than for
Baby Boomers or Generation X, data indicates the gap will
continue to widen as millennials become more entrenched in the
workplace and earn more.

Recently, celebrities have been at the forefront of pay
discrepancies. When the film “All the Money in the World
needed to reshoot scenes, four-time Oscar nominee Michelle
Williams was paid less than $1,000 while co-star Mark Wahlberg
made $1.5 million. 

Over on television, Hoda Kotb is making $7 million a year as Matt
Lauer’s replacement on NBC’s “Today.” Lauer — who was
fired for “inappropriate sexual behavior” was earning $25 million
a year.

While these examples from the world of entertainment may seem to
be part of a dying problem, new data shows that the gender pay
gap is very much still an issue for young people.

Paychex and IHS Markit Small Business Employment
 studied small businesses — those with less than 50
employees — to find wages and wage growth rates based on gender
and age group. Paychex collected the data in September 2017 from
the payrolls of its 350,000 clients.

The report found that among small business employees, young women
still earn less than young men. But perhaps more concerning:
Wages for millennial men are growing at a faster rate than for
millennial women with comparable jobs.

BI Graphics_National millennial earnings and wage growth (1)Samantha Lee/Business Insider

The study showed that the average millennial makes $21.80 per
hour, nearly $6 less than the national average. The report notes
that lower wages for younger workers are on account of time spent
in the workforce and not a result of lower productivity or skills
deficiency. Overall, men make more per hour and put in
slightly more hours — 39.6 hours per week for men and 37.5 hours
for women.

Average hourly wages are growing at 5.8% for millennials compared
t0 3.0% for workers across all age groups. The difference in
growth rate should eventually level out the pay gap between age

Millennial women earn less across every region and industry than
their male coworkers

Working men make $6.64 per hour more than women, but the
difference falls to $2.59 when looking only at millennials.

Millennial women employed by small businesses are making 89% of
what men are, information that is consistent with the economy of
large. Data from the Bureau of Labor
show that although a gender pay gap is smaller for
millennials, it still exists.

Likewise, macroeconomic figures show that the wage gap for
millennials is increasing — not narrowing — over time. BLS data shows that young men
and women became closest to pay parity in 2011.

BI Graphics_Millennial hourly earnings and wage growth by region (2)Samantha Lee/Business Insider

In small businesses measured by the study, millennial men make
more than their female counterparts in every region of the
country. The west is the only geographic region where women have
a higher wage growth rate than men.

For millennials, men make more in wages than women in every
industry observed. The largest gap is found in educational and
health services which also has the highest percentage of women in
the field.

In all eight industries, men’s wage growth also outpaces women’s,
meaning the gap in real wages will continue to grow.

BI Graphics_Millennial hourly earnings and wage growth by industry (1)Samantha Lee/Business Insider

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