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Do men and women in the U.S. generally earn equal pay for equal work?

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The median U.S. full-time, year-round female worker earns 23% less cash wages than the median male, but when four factors relating to equal work and pay are taken into account, such pay gaps evaporate: (1) Full-time male workers average 8% more workdays per year and 8% more workhours per workday than full-time female workers. (2) Males are more likely to pursue technically demanding and higher-paying careers, such as computer science and finance. (3) More than 28% of U.S. workers are in physically challenging occupations (like construction), and most men have considerably more muscular strength than most women. (4) Women are more likely to take jobs that have shorter commutes and offer higher fringe benefits in exchange for less cash wages. Media outlets and activists often highlight the cash wage gap without mentioning some or any of these factors that relate to equal work and compensation.

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